My roommate from college and I used to play this game called a MUD. Multi User Dungeon. D&D online with people all over the place. We used to use those old green screen terminals to telnet to a server and play the games on the servers. That’s actually how I met him originally – we were grouping with a bunch of other people and killing some monsters for gold and experience points when we all started talking about where we were. When he mentioned James Madison University, and I asked where, he said the name of a building across campus. Turns out he was also the ex-roommate of my RA that year. I met my wife the same way.
One of the things he and I used to talk about was “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could take a computer and put it in the middle of the quad (the huge lawn in the front of the campus) and play games sitting out there with no wires and no network cables?” Granted, this was 1992, and there were no such things as laptops, Windows 3.1 was in its infancy, and forget about wireless connections.
So it’s 15 years later, and I’m sitting on one of those laptops in my bedroom looking out the window at the sun on the lawn and typing this. As I am typing it’s autosaving my information through the air and sending it to somewhere in Chicago where those of you reading this will see it on your browsers.
It’s amazing to think that 30 years ago, I was tapping away on a Commodore 64. There were no such things as cable tv, the internet, DVD’s or even Online Porn. Just in the last 10 years things have come so fast that it’s mind blowing. In 1999, people were still using dialup connections, posting stuff on bulletin boards, and generally just trying to find their way around the World Wide Web. When was the last time you called it that?
Considering the speed with which things are happening, I wonder what will happen, even in the next 5 years. I’m hopeful that through government help and philanthropy, that we’ll figure out how to not use oil, and fuck up our planet any more than we already have. Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to actually help the planet get back to what it should be? Or at least close?
So what is the one thing you couldn’t do without that you use all the time, besides the internet. For me, it’d have to be the DVR 🙂