Saturday, July 03, 2010

Technological Marvels

Last night I was sitting at my desk when I heard the sound of Sunny furiously clicking on her laptop.

"Come on you piece of shit." She growled at the screen.

I looked over. She was trying to do something on Facebook and the internet connection was a little slow.

"You know," I said. "You're sitting there using a device that fits comfortably on your lap that has ten times the raw processing power and almost four hundred times the memory of a first generation Cray Supercomputer. You're using it to connect wirelessly to a worldwide network of computers without any specialized knowledge at all and it runs on a battery that would have had to have been the size of a large suitcase twenty years ago. Hell, the machine itself would have taken up multiple floors in a large building and required a dedicated team of technicians along with a million dollar cooling system thirty years ago.

…and because Facebook isn't loading quickly enough, you're calling it a piece of shit when, really, we should just be astonished that such a technical marvel even exists at all. Think about it, that information is coming from all over the world, being routed automatically through thousands of computers to arrive on your screen, alone, out of the millions of other computers currently connected to the internet. How can we, as a culture, be so bored and complacent about something that should totally blow our minds every time we see it?"

"What?" Said Sunny. "I wasn't listening."

"Never mind." I said. "Try turning the router on and off."


Evan 08 said...

I had a similar experience yesterday. I went to Des Moines to see some friends yesterday, and used the GPS on my phone. I mentioned to my daughter how amazing it is that my phone can tell me within 20 feet where I am.

"Dad, you're a geek."

rayray said...

well evan, you are.
and paul, if sunny HAD been listening, she probably would have knocked the snarf outta ya.

Rusty said...

True. I often think back to my high school days, and a certain math teacher who was telling us about binary numbers and how they could be used in 'computers'. Eniac was probably just in the planning stages.I think back to imagine how many things we take for granted today would have seemed miraculous then. The list seems endless. ATB!