To the brick and back – technology mindset over the years

I have a tiny little mobile phone which has several functions available the main ones being: I can phone people or better still they can phone me. No camera, no internet – no facebook notifications – no twitter updating. How can I possibly survive???

Nokia 101 2013

Nokia 101 2013

While the currently available phones are getting bigger, and bigger, and BIGGER:

AscendMate-HandsOn-23-580-100 2013

AscendMate-HandsOn-23-580-100 2013

Back in the late 90’s I had the classic BRICK. This one also had all the functions anyone would ever need from a phone: I could ring people or better still they could ring me. No camera, no internet, no ICQ, no Bluetooth (Yes, go look it up. Ericsson invented Bluetooth in 1994 though the first problematic versions were cleared up and a standard was ratified in 2002).

Siemens phone circa 1995

Siemens phone circa 1995

At that time, the phones were getting SMALLER, and smaller, and smaller!

sonyz5 circa 2000

sonyz5 circa 2000

It was funny to see a big rugged man, for example, stabbing at the miniature keys on these itsy-bitsy-look-at-us-we-can-make-techy-stuff-really-little, totally impractical phones.

Guess I’m just the basic unit, despite the trends.

It reminded me of earlier times when the same sort of mindset brought us eyestraining televisions, calculators, etc.

panasonic-mini-tv circa 1980

panasonic-mini-tv circa 1980

Calculator Watch circa late 70s

Calculator Watch circa late 70s

And a huge R U Serious to the Seiko Epson RC 20 Wrist Computer

And a huge R U Serious to the Seiko Epson RC 20 Wrist Computer

When I was younger I used to say, “In my life-time, all this disjointed and brand-focused technology will come together to actually work in our lives”. Ok, techno geeks, best get to it, time is getting away …

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2 thoughts on “To the brick and back – technology mindset over the years

  1. It does seem silly that cell phones, calculators, etc. have started getting larger after previously becoming very small. Some of that is due to marketing–manufacturer’s make things smaller to demonstrate that they can, hoping people will buy them as a result (and many do)–but it is also a result of the evolution of how we use these devices. For example, smart phones are getting larger because people need keyboards sized for actual fingers and they want video screens large enough to see without a magnifying glass. The key is that people are making electronic devices an integral part of their day-to-day lives. The devices are changing accordingly.

    • I agree with you, gardenengineer, that we drive change.

      I’m happy to watch it from the outside, but appreciate that the fads and hype allow for advancements toward ever more practical and useful technologies. I also know that most technology has amazing and inspiring uses beyond the applications of mass produced items. Medical technology, Space technology and Manufacturing technology have changed the way we live, think and work.

      I’m just happy to buy only what I need and recycle old technologies to minimise my personal impact on landfill and jungle homes thousands of miles away. I have no doubt that my life is improved, nevertheless, by the bright and sparkly ‘things’.

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