Monday, June 18, 2012

The Times, They Are A Changin'

My buddy Zercool put up a thought-provoking post yesterday. He mentions seeing a digital camera advertised in the paper for short money and relates it to the sea change in air travel over his great-grandmother's lifetime. I started to leave a comment, and then it turned into a post of its own...

In 1999 the Mrs. and I dropped some $900 on our first digital camera. In 2011 we bought our daughter a more powerful camera as a stocking stuffer for ~ $20.

In 1997 I bought one of those palmtop computers for $700. In 2010 we bought our son an iPod with more features and the ability to go on the internet for $250.

In 1995 I got my first cell phone. It was the size and weight of a brick, the battery lasted about an hour, and it came with 10 free minutes peak and 10 free minutes off peak talk time. Today, well, heck, my phone has internet and a camera and can play games - and comes with 700 minutes of air time (and free nights/weekends).

In 1994 I bought my first home computer. It had 8 megabytes of RAM, 550 megabyte hard drive, a 4X CD-ROM, 14" color monitor, and a sound card. I paid $2,500 for it. Last Christmas we got a 22" all-in-one unit with 4 gigbytes of RAM, 1 terabyte hard drive, DVD burner, and a built-in webcame. It cost $400.

In the late 1980s my dad bought a video camera that used VHS tapes. I have no idea what he paid for it - used - but I know it was a good chunk of change. The battery alone was the size of a brick and the unit had a padded part on the bottom for resting on your shoulder. In 1997 I bought a VHS-C (compact) camera that was significantly smaller, for somewhere just south of $1K. Earlier this year I dropped under $250 on a Sony HandyCam with an order of magnitude better resolution that records to a removable disk the size of a quarter.

I can't wait to see how my children compare the technology they have now to what their kids will have!

That is all.

3 comments:

libertyman said...

Let's see, my first fax machine was the low end Sony for $1000. My first digital camera used floppy disks, and had less resolution than any phone today. How about a bag phone? Yes, progress has been made.

UGA Wino said...

Back in the 70s my dad had a 8mm/Super 8 home movie camera! I remember someone having to follow him around with a battery pack and two light bulbs. No telling how much that thing cost back then. Probably a hell of a lot more than my iPhone. (And that doesn't count getting your film processed or buying a projector/screen to watch it on.)

I'm nit sure how much memory my first PC had back in '96, but I remember it costing over $2000. And that was at a Dell Outlet store. Bought a laptop for work last week for $400 that no doubt has more memory.

And what about TVs? I have a 37" HDTV that's probably pushing 10 years old now. I paid $2000 for that thing back in the day. Now I see 50-something inch TVs for well under a grand.

Dave H said...

My first PC had one floppy drive, 256K of RAM, and cost $800. My last PC had a 320 GB hard drive, 2 GB or RAM, and also cost $800. But it didn't have a floppy drive. So much for progress.