Sufi Nawaz

I build stuff

Technology: Past and Present

Posted by in Inspirational, Technology

I know this picture of a medicine bottle is a tad bit on the weird spectrum for a blog post picture, but there is a reason for this which I’m about to get into in a bit. But first, I want to take a moment to reflect on my life’s first PC. Well, truth be told, it was really even before my own first PC since it was my parents’, but I showed it love and care all the same. This computing machine had a beautiful 14inch CRT monitor that not only could be used as a monitor for the computer, but switch its input, it could also be used as a TV. With a keyboard that made every keystroke sound like they mean purpose and a hard drive of 256MB that generated sound on of its own, this mighty computing machine boasted a powerful Pentium processor with a glorious Intel Inside image on the casing. Of course Pentium came out a year or two ago by this time in the USA, but in Bangladesh (where I was at the time), this was the latest and greatest computing machine (reasonable) money could buy. Hardware aside, the computer had an intuitive Windows 95 operating system with magical software like MS Paint and mine sweeper. Of course, it took me a while to figure out what was going on with mine sweeper, but once I figured it out, I was kicking ass and taking names.

That was 1996. And a beautiful year that was, one filled with Prince of Persia, Brick Breakers and so many more – all with convenience of installing these games using Floppy Disks and restarting Windows in DOS mode.

Raspberry Pi Zero with IR Camera Module
Raspberry Pi Zero with IR Camera Module

Now is of course, 2019. We have more computers than we have IPv4 allocations. I find it amazing to realize that devices like Raspberry Pi Zero is so tiny in its form, that it can fit in a medicine bottle. The medicine bottle in this picture of course is holding more than one of these devices, it’s holding a couple of Pis along with two camera boards for them. I can even fit 3 or 4 of these computers in my wallet with room to give, each having their own WiFi and Bluetooth connection capabilities. And the fascinating aspect of it is that each of these raspberry pi has 4 or 5 times the computing power of my first PC – and that to me is mind blowing. It is easy to forget sometimes how much of a change I’d lived through in terms of technological advancements, but with a quick reminder, I’m in awe again about where we have come today and I am excited to see what future brings and what we as engineers can do to make use of it for the betterment of the world.

PS. I’m totally aware of how this blog post makes me seem like an old dude, but you know what, I’m absolutely ok with that 🙂