Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The 10 Won Battles of Recent Tech

Recent technology has victimized the older technology inasmuch as we would want to say it did not. Thanks to the immense ingenuity of innovators around the globe, we are endlessly thinking of gadgets to produce in order to make our lives better and easier. There are tons of useful technologies in the past decades that have been or are becoming obsolete, which this generation’s youngsters probably would not have to use at all.

Let’s list down “victims” of new technologies, basing from the usual activities we do.
  1. Paper Letters vs. E-Mail – Sending messages has never been this easy with electronic mails around. No more writing and using of liquid erasers that wastes our time. To add, Mother Nature has been rejoicing, because bills can be delivered electronically, rather than printing thousands of them to just end up in the trash.
  2. Fan vs. Air Cooler – Gone are the days when we need to exert effort in swaying our hands up and down just to feel the breeze fall onto our face. With an air cooler around, it does not just sheds out air but also helps with the cleaning and cooling of air.
  3. Payphones vs. Mobile Phone – Back in the early 90’s, people are so used to seeing a payphone in corners of the streets. Until one day, telcos removed them one after the other because earnings aren’t the same as before. Mobile phones have revolutionized several tasks into one portable unit that is easier to bring around. But I guess we miss finding that last coin in our pockets so as we can call using the pay phone?
  4. Portable CD Players vs. iPod – Most teens before would have probably cried over a CD player, which their parents didn’t want to buy for them. Hello, it’s cool to have and it’s awesome to bring along if you’re a music enthusiast. But as soon as the iPod came out, it became less bulky and more stylish to bring – not to mention the longer battery life and better interface it has. Heck, people have equated the word MP3 player to iPod, even if the latter is originally a brand’s name.
  5. Hard Drive vs. Online Storage Sites – Although people are still purchasing thumb drives and portable hard drives today, we can’t remove the fact that we are moving into cloud computing very soon. With our files up there in the cloud, there’s no more need to worry about leaving the physical hard drive at home.
  6. Library Catalog vs. Computer Kiosk – Back when I was still studying, the need to find books using library catalogs has almost been non-existent. With kiosks located in the library, students find it easier to search for books and their locations. Aside from this, man power is cut, since books can be borrowed using the barcode scanner instead.
  7. Compass/Map vs. GPS Device – You can say that both of these aren’t 100% accurate, but the newer one is a lot better for sure. With a compass, all you see are directions, but not the exact location; with maps, there’s a chance that street names have changed since the last printing. A GPS device is easier to update by just plugging it in a computer.
  8. Books vs. E-readers – There’s a reason why people nowadays prefer e-books that the real ones. With a room only as your storage place, real books can take so much space and can also make the room look messy. E-books are easier to find online, cheaper to buy, and more comfortable to bring around.
  9. Bundy Clock vs. Biometrics – When employers want to make sure attendance and timing in of employees are more accurate, biometrics devices (e.g. finger and optical readers, etc.) are the better option to use. Without the actual person timing in, you are sure that monthly reports come out as accurate as possible.
  10. Taped Camcorders vs. Flip – Soon enough, camcorders will die down because of the hassle in purchasing tapes before being able to record videos. With a Flip around, it’s as easy as putting it out from the bag and start recording at once. With USB ports all around these days, transferring of videos is quick too.

Much of the technology at present have already helped our ways to make us more efficient. But more improvement is yet to come. We should be thankful to old technology though, because it has taught us patience, diligence, and discipline in one way or another.

There may be hundreds of other “battles”, of course, so feel free to list them down and send it to [email protected] or tweet me at @GlennOng.

This article is my sixth contribution to Manila Bulletin -- one of Philippines' leading broadsheets -- published on March 06, 2011 (Monday) in the TechNews Section. You can view the PDF version here.


I still love the smell of books, though. Hihi. But I've been dying to own an eReader for ages.

Old book, new one or just generally books?

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