Making our lives easier with the click of a button

Flying cars, teleporters and time machines are only some imaginative devices predicted to exist at this exact moment in time centuries ago. Though modern-day technology is not quite as advanced as futuristic flying saucers, the world is adopting new products that not only make life more enjoyable, but also easier to handle.

Electronics such as the TiVo, mp3 players and satellite radios often become a valued part of routine life that it’s hard to imagine life without them.

Hot new items, like the iPhone, manage to take the features found in a variety of electronics and combine them into one device.

Freshman Alex French has had his iPhone for about two weeks and is pleased with how it works.

“I can get the full internet on it, watch YouTube videos and I have my whole iPod loaded on it too,” he said.

Some may think the world is becoming a lazier place, but instead, people are becoming more connected to the world around them. French considers text and picture messaging easy ways to communicate, and from just glancing around, it’s easy to see that people will pay for these new features.

Another place to find technology is in the classroom, and David Border, Associate Professor in the Department of Technology Systems, likes to take advantage of the featured equipment, even though sometimes problems arise.

“Years ago, when a professor would come into a classroom with an overhead projector, that technology would have started up instantaneously,” he said. “Now, because there are so many inter-related parts in a projector, if there’s a weak link in there, sometimes you’ll see students waiting 5-20 minutes. When technology fails, you’re really losing precious instruction time.”

And Popular Culture Instructor Charles Coletta hopes that students can look back in time andcompare older technology with what is available now.

“When Lincoln died in 1865, some people did not find out for days or weeks after the event,” he said. “TV, film, internet and other media have all had many important milestone moments that changed our view of the world.”

However, Border stressed that certain fundamentals can restrict the growth of technology. Sometimes systems go into a gridlock and shutdown when too many people are on the channel, such as cell phone usage during 9/11.

But one thing is for sure, technology has developed in ways we never thought possible, and the younger generation may soon become the leaders of it.

“”They will have mastered most of these devices by the time they are five,” said Coletta. “My 3-year-old nephew does not know of TV before TiVo, and he can use the remote already like a pro.”