6.28.2009

Losing my early adopter credibility?

Personal tech timeline:
  • 1986: I first used a computer (Mac Plus).
  • 1990: I designed birthday party invitations for my eleventh birthday using SuperPaint. (See this and comments for people waxing poetic about MacPaint!)
  • 1996: I got e-mail and first surfed the web (Lynx!). I remember the first time I saw a web browser with pictures! It was so cool--even cooler than when we got our first color TV circa 1986 (1984?).
  • 1996: I learned Adobe Illustrator (was that the layout program? I can't really remember what it was called).
  • 1997 or 1998: I taught myself HTML from a book and created my own website, hosted on Geocities, z"l.
  • 1998-1999: I had a Mac laptop. Laptops were only just beginning to become popular. Most of my friends during my freshman year of college only had desktops. (Note that I said "had" rather than "used." This laptop was a hand-me-down from my uncle, and the battery didn't work at all. It sometimes would randomly turn off in the middle of working on something, and the only way to get it to turn back on again was to take the battery out and slam it back in quickly while hitting the power on button. Also, I think that it had an Ethernet port, but no Ethernet card, so I'm not sure I could get on the internet with it. In fact, I'm fairly sure that I couldn't. So I mostly worked in the nearby computer lab or in the basement of Hillel.)
  • 1998-2003: I used Pine to check my e-mail in college, even after a web-based interface became available around 2001 or 2002. Pine was so much faster! (Attachments were a bit of a pain, though, since they required opening an FTP program.) When I graduated college, I got a free Unix shell account through Lonestar so I could just transfer my address book and all of my folders over without losing any data. I still have that account, and still (mostly) remember the important shortcuts in Pine.
  • 1998-2003: I backed up all my papers on the server, using FTP.
  • 1999: I got a laptop (blue, ibook, clamshell) without a floppy disk drive. This was seen as fairly insane at the time. I had a readable CD drive, but did not write to CDs. I mostly transferred files on and off using FTP, but I broke down eventually and bought an external floppy disk drive that I used maybe six times in all the years that I had and used this computer. I used this laptop continuously and all over the world from 1999 until 2004, when the "B" key issued it's last dying breath and the "S" and "I" keys were also sticky. Also, it didn't have a wireless card, which started being impractical around 2004.
  • 2000: I got my first cell phone (Qualcomm! Do they still make cell phones?) during my semester off from school. (I used it for about six months, then stopped service when I returned to school.)
  • 2001: I bought a Palm (actually, a Handspring, z"l) so I wouldn't have to drag my laptop around while I was doing thesis research in libraries in Israel and Cambridge. It lasted until early 2006, when I got a Palm T|X with WiFi to replace it. I still use the T|X, but the battery only lasts a few hours, so I don't use it much.
  • 2003: I joined Friendster. (Remember that?)
  • 2003 or 2004: I joined Facebook--one of the first 2200 to join!
  • 2004: I started my first blog (I think it was 2004--might have been 2003--it was a secret one that didn't last long).
So, why didn't I join Twitter until 2009?1 And what compelled me to join now? A client of mine (I'm doing freelance consulting) asked me what a Twitter was, and I felt like I had to join in order to shore up my claim as a young, technologically progressive person.

Here are some useful resources for anyone, like me, just joining Twitter now (so late in the game!):

Here are some recent articles about Twitter:

Here are some fun or useful feeds to follow on Twitter, if you're just getting started. You can click on the links and check them out even without being a Twitterer yourself.
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1. This is not quite a fair account of my life. For example, I did not purchase a digital camera until 2008, mostly because of financial considerations. I did not want to get a lousy one, and could not afford a decent one, so I stuck with my film camera. Also, I have never owned a cell phone that took photos or was smart in any way, shape, or form. Again, entirely an issue of not being able to afford either the phone or the data plan that would make a smart phone smart. There are surely other examples of general technological lag in my life that I am just not thinking of right now.

1 comment:

Religion and State in Israel said...

Thanks for recommending my twitter updates @religion_state to your readers!

Joel

Religion and State in Israel