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Great Leaps in Tech


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#1 adam7288

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 12:07

In this world of incremental improvements, its so rare to have that moment when you experience something that is a huge leap forward. Here are some of mine:

 

Going from dial up to Cable modems - like going from writing on scrolls to the printing press

 

Going from single core CPU to quad core - completely changed the workflow...now you have cores to spare, you weren't afraid to push your machine

 

From 512kb video ram on my first pc to 1mb - the difference being that I could see 16 million colors instead of being limited to 256

 

Steel mountain bike frame to aluminum / carbon fiber - like flying vs walking

 

From ie6/7 to chrome - V8 javascript engine does not disappoint

 

My first SSD - "wow I did not realize it was that huge of a bottleneck!"

 

 

What kinds of moments like these do you remember (does not have to be limited to computers)?




#2 vetsanctified

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 12:52

Leaps and important moments I experienced first hand:

 

Doom & Quake: While today we take them for granted and we've heard countless of times the importance of iD's most important works, experiencing directly the roar they caused was something else. There a reason why, almost 20 years later, iD's still enjoys some credibility despite having an almost 20 year-span of barely good to quite mediocre releases.

 

Game graphics never the same.

 

1998 games: Specially Half-Life and Metal Gear Solid. These two did for gaming's narrative possibilities what Doom and Quake did for graphics.

 

Pentium III (Specially Tualatin): Would you believe there used to be a time where some folks at the tech industry believed that architectures like RISC and PPC would overtake x86 and Intel eventually? Well, these voices where silenced with the Pentium III. A speed demon that also was a tech miracle, spawning both desktop and mobile solutions, Pentium III is, arguably, the processor that saved Intel. The Pentium 4 almost derailed the company again, when they were more interesting in Ghz numbers and not in actual performance. This era is also known as 'the days AMD used to be actually a credible alternative'.

 

But since the iCore procs appeared Intel have never looked behind.

 

CD Writers: Some members here are too young, but the idea of having such massive space (700 MBs!) for backups was all the rage back then, and they were cheap! This was a time where many companies where trying to thrive in a space-needy market with proprietary solutions (Remember ZIP and JAZZ?).

 

3dfx: Do I need to explain?

 

WI-FI: Another tech we take for granted, but it was massive in the 90's.

 

And the two things I suspect many will try to cut my throat:

 

The iPod: Yes, there were already many MP3 players in the market, personally I used to have a Creative's Zen XTRA. But for those of you who can remember, MP3 players felt somehow of a fad and the industry actually did not trust the technology entirely –this produced a series of portable audio experiments like Sony's MD–. The iPod, arguably, is as important in the portable music history as the first Sony's Walkman. It popularized these kind of devices to a point where now we hardly hear the term 'mp3 player' as it's been replaced by 'ipod competitor' or simply 'ipod'.

 

And...

 

The iPhone: I will synthesize my opinion with the following image –ignore the Samsung text, my comment is directed to the general world of pre-iPhone smartphones:

 

samsung-smartphones-before-after-iphone.



#3 vetneufuse

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 13:00

Oh gawd

 

  • Going from my first 8086 computer to 286 and amazed by the new instruction sets then going to 32-bit instructions later in 386 based machines and being amazed what you can do with them
  • Dedicated 3D accelerators - at the time it was like holy crap I can make a 3D cube rotate!
  • First time I broke the 640KB "common" memory barrier with EMS and XMS memory
  • First ever online experience with AOL was a whole new world, before that we just had 300 baud dial-up random BBS phone numbers
  • CD Writers were big, I remember when I got the first one around me and everyone wanted to use it.... same thing when DVD writers came out
  • Digital Cameras... I remember buying one of the first consumer ones, no one had them, everyone was amazed but couldn't see the end of film in their minds


#4 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 13:08

Playing time commando in 1995-1996 on windows 95 really changed my gaming experience as I was used to playing on consoles at that time (snes, sega).

 

TimeCommando001.jpg

 

Time-Commando-mac-screenshot-1.png

Greatest game i've ever played story telling wise if you ask me and how you advanced between ages as well.



#5 vetneufuse

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 13:57

Playing time commando in 1995-1996 on windows 95 really changed my gaming experience as I was used to playing on consoles at that time (snes, sega).

 

TimeCommando001.jpg

 

Time-Commando-mac-screenshot-1.png

Greatest game i've ever played story telling wise if you ask me and how you advanced between ages as well.

When I was young, I remember playing Kings Quest on the IBM PCjr.. haven't seen that game in decades, I always remembered it as graphical, fun, lots of detail.... *lol* looked it up a while ago, and thought, wow this is nothing like I remembered... that and Jump Man Jr on the PCjr are the first games I remember playing a lot



#6 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 14:03

When I was young, I remember playing Kings Quest on the IBM PCjr.. haven't seen that game in decades, I always remembered it as graphical, fun, lots of detail.... *lol* looked it up a while ago, and thought, wow this is nothing like I remembered... that and Jump Man Jr on the PCjr are the first games I remember playing a lot

Yeah I guess as kids we were easily impressed, but I for one, about 5 years ago, managed to get time commando running (Sadly, lost the original game and CD and don't have it any more) and even though game play isn't up to today standards, had a blast playing it again.



#7 +RedReddington

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 14:08

The most obvious ones are (For me)

 

  • Cheaper Mass Storage which had a knock on effect for everything else.
  • DVD's
  • Film Piracy
  • Intel Pentium and Beyond
  • Broadband Networks moving into the consumer arena