Thursday, 12 September 2013

Technology is always amazing

I watched a video of a man showing off a sequence of Photoshop improvements to his granddad. Granddad had an old photo of himself in what might have been a Navy uniform, and the grandson had posted that cracked old photo online to ask people to touch it up and repair it. He had a sequence of about ten prints showing the gradual improvement, and Granddad was quite impressed by stage three where you could still see a lot of lines and some unintended background (it was a photo of a photo). It's funny how impressive technology is these days, when you think about it, and how much we take it for granted. I'm not really amazed at all by the process of photo touch-up, nor the way in this case it was crowdsourced, each person making a contribution, but this man's Granddad was pretty much blown away at every step. He grew up with low expectations of technology, I suppose, so the fact that any improvement is possible is a bonus.

I grew up with moderate expectations of technology. Our first computer was slow, ugly, ran MS-DOS 3.0 (I think) and Dad had to create the printer driver by hand, copying the hex code out of the manual. We had no internet until I went to university and I didn't get a mobile phone until I could afford it myself, when I started working full time. In my mind, everything impressive about personal computers has happened in my lifetime.

The next generation will grow up where the internet is in the air all the time, mobile phones have always had touch screens and tablet computers are the rule, not the exception or just a toy. They will think about technology very differently to me and my parents, and it will be fascinating to see what they dream up when it's their turn to reinvent the lot.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Oh, and then there's Google Glass.
PPS - And the smart watches, too.

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