Just tonight, as I was even more tightly weaving my various web presences together in a big, automated conglomeration, it occured to me (as it often does), exactly how much fantastic technology from my childhood is now in the hands of my little mobile phone.
My mobile phone does a lot of stuff. It's a video/camera that's really quite decent. It's also a videophone. That's right. The video communicator from saturday morning cartoons is now a reality. Me and not_in_denial
often video-call each other because, well, we can do it, and it doesn't cost me any extra on my plan. And it's often fun to actually see what each other is doing.
It's also a GPS device - at any time, if I'm lost, I can turn on my Maps system, find out where I am, and figure out where I want to be. I can even make the phone tell me a route between the two points. And it'll talk me through it, too.
And then there's the internet access. I have total and unfettered internet access on my phone. At any time, if I want to check my mail, I can. If I feel so inclined, I can check google or wikipedia if anything tickles my fancy. And that internet is actually pretty fast - fast enough that I'm generally not waiting long for any page.
And having that internet access has a bunch of other handy benefits. I have a Google Calendar for scheduling purposes. There's a website that lets me synchronise my Google Calendar with my Mobile calendar. So, at any point, I can just look at my phone and see my schedule (and tonight, I connected my facebook events feed as well, so now as soon as I say I'm attending, everything updates). Also, with a recent addition to my phone app collection, I have portable access to my IM programs. As well as portable access to my Twitter, and Skype.
And then there's the fact that the phone is also a MP3 player, Radio receiver, Photo viewer, Movie viewer and FOXTEL access point, although I barely use these particular functions. I can even plug it into a TV if I don't want to look at a tiny screen for most of these things.
And it is a bit amazing how quickly I have just adapted to having these things. Especially the internet thing - It's now just standard practice to have my IM systems on all the time so I can keep instantly up to date with my Twitter updates (you know, the way Twitter was designed to be used...), At work, I no longer have gmail access on the staff computers. So, I just keep gmail open on my phone instead, and check at intervals. I read news sites outside while I'm having lunch. I do quick banking checks whenever I'm not sure how much money I have in my bank - no ATM required. Having immediate access to the internet has seriously changed the way I act towards it. Honestly, if I had to use a mobile that didn't have these capabilities, I'd really feel the sudden downshift in my capabilities.
So, what's the point of this post? Well, sometimes I just have to express my honest wonder at how far technology has come, how much of those cartoon magitech systems have actually become reality. I have a real minicomp, in the cyberpunk sense, and whenever I think about that for a moment, it fills me with a chid-like giddy wonder at the world I live in. And, for once, I thought I'd share that with people...