Menasha, Wisconsin twelve years ago this month was the beginning of an Era. I was sitting in a tiny 150sqft office. The office had no bathroom, 1 outside door and a tiny closet. My dad build a walk up counter for customers that you saw when you entered the room. There were 2 large metal desks stacked full of computers with multiple giant CRT monitors. Then there was the closet, that’s where the real magic happened. That 3 foot wide closet, was filled with severs, modems, phone lines, and network cables. I had started a Internet Service Provider, one of the first few providers in my whole area. I had a dedicated 64K connection to the Internet, it cost me over $400 a month. Over the next 5 years, I helped connect thousands of people to the Internet, none faster than 56K.
Last week I went over to my local Sprint store to learn about the latest technology in cellular phones. For years I’ve had a Motorola with a regional cellular phone company, it had Internet access, but was far slower than a modem. I took a look at the new Palm-Pre, but the speed of the Internet wasn’t impressive. I returned to that store a few days later and they had a HTC Hero that they let me try out.
The HTC Hero was nothing short of amazing, internet access on it was very fast. Pages loaded in seconds, files downloaded quickly, it even played streaming music and movies. I’m only 30 and the jump in technology blows my mind. The Internet access on the HTC Hero (Sprints 3G Network) is more than 10 times faster than my $400 a month Internet Connection, just 12 years ago. Five ounces of HTC Hero can do more than every computer put together that I had in my office just 12 years ago.
I stated to explore just what the HTC Hero was able to do. The single most impressive display of technology on the HTC Hero came via the build in camera. I loaded a program called Qik. This program allowed me to stream a virtually real time video feed from my phone to the Internet. The quality of the video was similar to that of a basic web camera, but it worked anywhere any everywhere Sprint has coverage. The videos you take with Qik are automatically save and archived on their web site. There are many other features to the HTC Hero that I have been very impressed with. If you search for HTC Hero review, you will find dozens of highly detailed reviews of the phone.
This is the beginning of a new Era, one where we have instant access to information, and resources in a way that was never before possible. 12 Years ago when I started the ISP there were just a few basic encyclopedias available online. Today, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia has more than 2 million articles available free of charge. Wikipedia is now available in a mobile device friendly version that loads automatically on most mobile devices when you access the site.
With Sprint unlimited use plans started at $69.99 a month, the average consumer now can have access to virtually unlimited information on any subject at anytime anywhere. Plus the ability to keep in constant touch with anyone around the world, instantly.
I’m currently exploring some of the booming social networking applications available on the HTC Hero. Twitter for example can be updated from your phone, it even allows you to instantly take and post photos.
What is in store for us for the next 12 years? Can you even guess? 12 years ago I was completely immersed in technology and I still could not have even dreamed of technology such as the HTC Hero.
I suspect the future will continue to be full of amazing surprises.