The futurist

“Computer people are the last to guess what’s coming next. I mean, come on, they’re so astonished by the fact that the year 1999 is going to be followed by the year 2000 that it’s costing us billions to prepare for it.”
— Douglas Adams, 1999 — Cited by Stephen Fry

I was recently remarking to my mate Brian that it was he who first introduced me to the concepts of eBay and portable music players (eg iPod).

I recall him years ago describing the iRiver player he was covetting — and eventually bought, if my memory serves me correctly.

And I remember him describing this new online auctioning system. People would list their items, others would bid, a small fee would go to the auction company, and everybody would be happy. It was called “eBay”.

Brian was always an early adapter, and I hadn’t heard of these things, and neither had most of the general public.

In both these cases I my response was to think “What a stupid name. And what a stupid idea.”

And I thought Gmail was a hoax.

I guess I’m not very good at predicting technology trends.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “The futurist”

I’m old enough to remember being amazed at seeing a cassette radio in the dashboard of a car. Wow! Your choice of music when you want it!
Let’s hope new technology can solve global warming and the pending energy crisis – soon.

I can remember my dad telling me that in the early 1960’s he heard a silly prediction that one day in the future a computer might be reduced to the size of a refrigerator!! Today’s technology will also seem primative in our future. By the way I just got the news that I’ve been granted my visa to live and work in Australia!!! This has been my dream for the past 3 years and the application process was long and difficult. I choose to settle in Melbourne (I don’t know which area yet) and this blog has been a great help to me and a good insight to Australian life. Thanks, Jed

Last week, we found the receipt for our first computer. It had a memory smaller than most memory sticks and cost us over $2500.

I’m usually able to see the uses in new technology when they’re first introduced, even if I didn’t adopt them myself.
I will admit that I thought YouTube, Myspace and Facebook were all stupid ideas though, so don’t feel alone Daniel.

Oh, YouTube! I forgot about YouTube. The first time I looked at it, I thought it nothing special, and that it had a really clunky interface, and didn’t go back to it for months and months afterwards.

My first real PC was a luggable – it was a clamshell “laptop” with a monochrome green screen which was (I think) 320×240 – an Amstrad (that name just popped into my head!). From memory it had 640k memory and EVERYTHING had to run off two 720k 3.5 inch floppies – DOS, Word Perfect everything. I bought it for myself for work in 89, because my work didn’t have any PCs for staff to use.

My first computer was a Commodore 64 with the tape drive. My first hard drive (the size of a shoebox) was 10mb….

God I am old….

Ren, you are another champion! I bought one years ago (40G, still filling!), and I’ve never been happier. Only one problem – nothing that a full discharge couldn’t fix! So much better than iPod! No over-priced accessories, no iTunes, no stupid white ear plugs or crappy screens, no crappy customer service, no defects, it’s wonderful!

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