The cool thing about technology

I went to visit my family over Labor Day.  We hung out, talked, watched some TV, and went out for dinner at a local restaurant.  We took my car, and on the way back, because my stepfather’s always commenting on how cool it is, I let him drive.

He was really impressed by the handling and also by the cool electronics, and that was without even showing him the voice control feature.  He even joked that he was going to borrow it and take it to the next football game so he could back in and watch all the action on the backup camera.  But the thing that really amused me was when he said it was “like driving a Cadillac.”

The thing is, I don’t drive a Cadillac.  (I make pretty good money as a programmer, but not that good!)  I have a Ford Focus, which is one of the top selling cars in the US.  By definition, that makes it an “Everyman car”–pretty much the exact opposite of a Cadillac!

But I can understand where he’s coming from.  What it’s really like is driving a Cadillac 5 to 10 years ago.  But today, all that luxury technology is part of an average car.  And people apparently love it; Ford just announced that their sales are up over 10% overall in the last year, and up about 30% in small cars, and their stock price has almost doubled over the same period.  (Disclosure: I own some stock in Ford.)  They’ve found ways to make high-quality products affordable to the masses, and they’re just raking in the money!  (Hint, hint, Embarcadero…)

And it’s not just cars.  Everywhere you look, the progress of technology is bringing yesterday’s luxuries within normal people’s reach.  It’s a bit mindblowing to look at the numbers, look at the computing power it took to put a man on the moon, and realize just how many orders of magnitude more than that I have on a little phone I can hold in my hand!  Welcome to the future, everyone.  That’s one of the coolest things about working in high technology: being part of creating cool stuff that can benefit everybody.

That’s the reason I backed the OUYA project on Kickstarter.  Since the beginning, video game consoles have been a device for consuming content only.  There were tens of thousands of dollars worth of barriers to entry if you wanted to create and publish a game.  But now we’ve got an Android-based console out there that anyone can develop games for, which is why I’m excited for the upcoming Delphi XE5 release with its long-awaited Android support!

What do you guys think?  How has the progress of technology helped in your life, making things available that would once have been way out of your reach?


  1. wouter says:

    I used to save all my money to buy hardware music synthesizers.

    Nowadays i can simply download them as a virtual instrument and have as many instances of them as my cpu allows me to run. They’re a lot easier to automate, have more features, and some even sound better.

    The average home pc can run more advanced tools to create music than what the most expensive hardware studios in the world had at their disposal two decades ago, and anyone with a paper route can afford it.

    • Bunny says:

      In the former days such Delphi components existed. Those components had been straight translated from circuit layouts/ wiring diagrams.

      Agreed. The evolution on computers concerning music is amazing.

  2. Donovan says:

    ” (Hint, hint, Embarcadero…) ”


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