A Visitor from the Past


early NASA computing powerSometimes… we find an old photo album in the den, where wifey stacked away stuff that wasn’t pretty enough to make the cut for the living room, the coffee table, the little armrest in the bathroom. Sometimes, we come across an old friend, whom we didn’t think of still being alive and around. Sometimes… our loved ones remind us of moments we had in the past. Significant moments. Moments to remember a lifetime. And sometimes… none of this applies. Sometimes – funny things from the past simply happen upon us. And such one moment happened today:

I am subscribed to a newsletter that gives me an idea of whether or not people Google – or rather: ‘Yasni’ – my name. If they do, said newsletter has statistics on how often they do and what search terms on Google or elsewhere takes them to my profile. Hm. I prefer to understand things (where it would be a WHOLE different story, what defines ‘understanding’, you know?) Anyway. I click this link. And …. all of a sudden… I find myself in my own version of “Back to the future” – in a manner of speaking… What happened? Well. There is this ‘Yellow Pages’ kind of thing in my country. It tracks, how often people look for your name and – as said above – what search terms they use to find you. I think, this newscast comes in on a weekly basis. Something like that. I don’t pay it much mind, as what it’s about is for them to basically advertise their services. As in: “Pay us your dear bucks, if you want to find out, when and how Granny managed to look for you, when you didn’t return her calls.” As I don’t have bucks galore at this point, I’m left to care less for how Granny finds me. Again. That’s a different story. But now… among the search results that someone must have gotten presented with… one of those takes me back to like almost 20 years ago! When I was in college, going for a degree in teaching at first. 1994 to be exact. I was about to fall in love with my later wife, now ex-wife. I had bought my first computer. I had remembered my Granddad going “Why don’t you do something with computers, son?” And so I bought one from the little money I made with the odd jobs I held next to attending lectures at university. And I spent many a night in figuring out, what that thing actually did or rather: What I could do with it. In particular: How I’d be able to record my own music on it. This is 1994. Fast computers took up an entire room, cost about a 4-bedroom-family home in the suburbs with a 2-generation payment plan and consumer ones’ barely surpassed a pocket calculator in processing power. I had an ATARI 1040 ST.Had only 1 MB (!) of memory. (Chinese to you? Follow the links… :)) BUT: That odd machine, which danced on my last nerve (as ALL of technology does, actually) – gave me the freedom to record some of my original music! Yessir! I was free, all of sudden!!! (More or less LOL).

Well… Now it’s 2011. I have about some thousand times of processing power at my fingertips than NASA had when they launched their first Apollo missions. I have sound libraries that would have forced me to sell my mother’s liver to a cancer patient back in the day in order to be able to afford the sounds that now come preinstalled on a laptop! The point of this? Being a bit sentimental for one. But… being amazed time and time … and then time again at the possibilities this generation has in store for us.

People… we got it GOOD around here!!! Make no mistake!

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