The ghost of technology past hanging out with the ghost of technology future

5Many years ago, there was an event that happened. I have talked about that event many times. It was a changer for me. My father went on a trip for the University, when he got back he gave me a circular slide rule. It was nowhere near as easy to use as a calculator nor was it as easy to use as a traditional slide rule. But it was cool.

It had a card on the inside that had a bunch of information on the card. On the back of the circular device was a periodic table of the elements. I understand the reality of the situation. It was given to me by my father. It was a cool thing that was both practical and whimsical. Finally, it was the device that started me down the modify your cellular device capabilities many years later. I got that slide rule in 1975 or possibly a year after that.

Complex calculations are the first thing you use a slide rule for. Recreating those on my initial cell phone wasn’t likely. So, I got an HP programmable calculator. That gave me the ability to do all of that on my calculator. Eventually with the rise of the Pocket PC phone I was able to replace the HP Calculator (I actually still have it) with an application. Now, there is a great emulator for the iPhone that lets you run a virtual version of that HP calculator I had.

6The additional functionality (periodic table etc) was soon on the cellular devices as people created more and more useful table of the elements. In fact, now you can get even better versions on the Android or iOS devices. I really like the ones that are more interactive than the original I had (slide rule) and the first replacement (pocket pc).

That said and all laid out it was a quest for me. To first replace the circular slide rule, but also to find better ways to do things (for me). I have always been interested in technology. I find that it is something that can be used to improve and to change the world.

Technology is a game changer. It is a game changed as well. That change continues to permeate society. The reality of selfie’s and the instant state of update created by users of Facebook and other sites are driven not only by the fact that the potential is there, but because the connection is always there as well. It is the two sides to the coin.

Enabling connection allows more people to be, remain and expand their connections. Technology that enables both the connection and what to do when connected further expands the connection. Not only am I connected all the time but there is something I can do with that connection. It could be a chicken and the egg question for later generations. But for now, it is pretty easy to see that the reality of technology was creating the environment where sharing was more critical than it had been in the past. The act of sharing however was also changed by the technology used for the sharing. Together we have the brave new world.

7Still, all of this for me to replace something I once got. In part once it was lost (first the slide rule, and then my father) it changed things forever. Now, I seek the next big wave of change. What is coming beyond replacing that circular slide rule.

I like to think the future is like a prism. Many colors are available, it is the abilities of the system viewing the collars that determines what you see.

So, my quest continues. Now a larger quest (no I am not chasing giants that from a distance look a lot like windmills). It is just that now my quest is removing me from tasks where possible. I find that my GPS is right more than 99% of the time. The only errors it makes are when I make the wrong turn first. I am now trying to integrate more and more technology to replace me in the middle.

Once I sought to replace a circular slide rule. Now I am seeking to remove the errors of the former circular slide rule user!


Technologist, geek