Computers haven’t just made it easier to communicate with other people around the world, watch TV and write documents.
They’ve fundamentally changed every aspect of modern living in a way that, other than a global shortage of silicon, nothing is ever likely to reverse – and support companies like Conosco work hard to keep computers running at their best, so we can all make the most of these impressive machines.
computer (image source and credits)
But among the massive strides that have been made since personal computers were introduced in the 1980s, there are a few innovations that truly stand out.
It might not feel like a computer technology, but GPS owes plenty to the rise of computer electronics.
Nowadays, it’s practically impossible to get lost, with satellite imaging and virtual three-dimensional representations of the landscape around you right there in the palm of your hand, and a gigantic red arrow showing you which direction you’re pointing.
2. Mobile Phones
They’ll come up again below, but mobile phones – and, in fact, all cordless computing devices like laptops and tablets – are an impressive achievement, bundling an enormous amount of processing power and technical know-how into a device that, more often than not, can fit into your pocket.
Like GPS, you need never be lost with a mobile phone in your pocket, as you can always call for help – providing you have a signal, of course.
And perhaps the most thoughtful feature, though we all hope we’ll never need it, is the fact that you should be able to make a call to the emergency services even if you’re out of credit, regardless of which network you’re on.
3. On-Demand Everything
We’ll give the internet its own time in the spotlight in a moment, but separately, on-demand music, television, digital radio and so on deserves to be bundled together into an honorable mention.
Gone are the days of heading to the record store at weekends to get the latest singles (and gone are many of the record stores, as a result) – on-demand downloads have irreversibly changed the way we consume music, and are rapidly doing the same for television and films, too.
The dark days of internet piracy are largely behind us, and innovations like iTunes (from Apple, who we’ll also mention again later…) have made it easy to legitimately purchase songs and TV episodes for just a few pence.
4. Touchscreen and Accelerometers
You might think nothing of it when you tilt or swipe your device to navigate its menus and screens, but the sophisticated technology that enables touch-sensitivity, or allows your tablet or phone to know which way is up, is truly astounding.
The next time you rotate your phone or tablet to view a picture in landscape instead of portrait, take a moment to appreciate how complex the behind-the-scenes electronics are, purely to create such a simple and elegant effect.
5. The Internet
It was envisioned as a way for scientists to share research data, but since then, dial-up has become broadband, fixed-line has become wireless, and even mobile phones are getting in on the act through 3G and dongles.
Games consoles, digital television decoders, fridges and photo frames are all getting online, sharing data in an unprecedented way that grows and grows as time goes by – and it’s hard to imagine where the worldwide web will go next.
To list Apple’s innovations separately would take up at least half of this list – the iPhone turned smartphones from a businessman’s accessory to an everyday communication tool for the masses, the iPod was the biggest thing in mobile music since the Sony Walkman, and the iPad made tablet computers a mainstream option.
Even if you’re not a fan of the company or its products, it’s impossible to deny that Apple is the biggest brand in innovative computing technology at the start of the 21st century.