The Five Technologies That Impacted My Life

Late last year several of SlashGear's distinguished columnists wrote a similar column highlighting some of the key technologies that shaped their life. I thought it would be great to bring this series back and write a similar column on my own personal technological pilgrimage. Many of these are more representations of a more fundamental element of computing that has broadened my horizon and got me to where I am today.Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

That's right, the very first one: the EPIC NES. It was 1985 when the NES came into my house. I was instantly the coolest kid on the entire block. My father being one of the first analysts in the computer industry developed a good relationship with Nintendo so he got to bring one of the first units home.

Many of you can relate to your first gaming expereince, whether it be with the Commodore, Atari, NES or even the Playstation or Xbox. It was mesmerizing, captivating and seriously addicting. I couldn't get enough, the escape that video games presents was more immersive and emotional than books or movies could ever were, for me at least.

I wish I had more time to play video games today but with a family and more work than I have time to do, it gets a little tough. We play as a family frequently on the Wii or the Kinect but I miss the days of 4-5 hours sessions all by myself. Plus my wife really dislikes how I yell at the TV, to quote Brody from Mallrats "hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn for Sega."

It also most likely contributed to by ADD.


DIR/W. Ah the memories of DOS. The PS/2 was the first computer I remember using. We had many others before it but I simply don't remember them. I learned to use DOS on the PS/2 which instantly made me the go-to for tech support in computer lab in the 5th grade.

Computers and computing are a big part of many of our lives. I highlight this one because it was the one I spent the most time with and to which many of my first experiences with computing are tied to.

Long live the Oregon Trail.

Compaq iPaq 3630 w/ PCMCIA sleeve and Ricochet Wireless Card

I had a difficult time choosing between the iPaq and the first Palm Pilot. I was at the Palm Pilot launch event when Jeff Hawkins first publically demonstrated the device. I remember thinking at the time how ground breaking this pocket computer was.

The primary reason I chose the iPaq was because of the Ricochet wireless card, provided by Metricom. Although the original Palm Pilot represented and cast a vision for a true pocket computer, the iPaq with the Ricochet Wireless card brought me the internet in my pocket for the fist time and that was what was so significant for me.

I remember pulling the huge brick out of my pocket, connecting to the internet in Starbucks and broadcasting to everyone in there that I was on the internet on my PDA.

My first HDTV – Mitsubishi 55" Rear Projection

Since I am an early adopter, I bought my first HDTV the second I could possibly afford one and that happened to be in 2003. That was also the year my first daughter was born so I positioned it a birthday present for her, which obviously no one believed.

I remember the first time I saw an HD picture on this beast. I nearly cried. I stared at it for hours and watched the most random things simply because HD content was limited and I just wanted to watch HD shows. I remember telling my wife it was like looking out a window or like actually being at the football or baseball game.

She didn't think so but I did and that was all that mattered.

The Apple iPad

I chose the iPad for a number of reasons. Mainly because, in the 13+ years I have been working in the technology industry, I always dreamed of a product like this (a tablet) and this was the first to really deliver. I used nearly every pen-computing tablet that came to market prior; yes, there are a number of good tablets on the market, and they will all continue to get better, for me the iPad bought touch computing to the mass market.

The first true usable touch OS and touch experience obviously started with the iPhone but a screen 4-inches and smaller is only capable of some elements of touch computing. The iPad represents a much more holistic touch computing platform and has cast a vision of where touch computing will go with future innovations.

So those are my 5 defining experiences with technology. What technologies impacted your life?