“Stoked” Technology and Gadgets

Computers, TV, radio and game systems change on a monthly bases in today’s world. The appearance and performance of technology today is superior to that of when students first started using them. The computers of the 80’s were among the first to become personal for homes. Before then, computers were owned by large companies and businesses that could afford the massive devices and people to run them. Schools picked up on this and started integrating them into student’s lives and teaching. Playing games like Oregon Trail and Frogger became increasingly popular with students as they learned how to type without looking at the keyboard. Computers were heavy and bulky compared with today’s flat screens and wireless capabilities. The actual screens were small compared to their monitor size and early versions had a green tint instead of white. Another unique feature was the absence of a mouse. The laptops were almost as big and heavy as a personal computer but could be transplanted into a luggable shaped case. These computers used the original 3.5″ floppy disks, which was inserted through a side disk-drive instead of straight into the CPU and were used in computers like the Apple II, IBM PC and Atari ST. It was during the 80’s that gaming consoles began to get a foothold in homes and less as arcade styles. Before consoles were introduced, games could be played as arcades, which only featured one game usually with two buttons and one controller. Common games included Pacman and Space Invaders that had simple graphic design and practically no violence. When Nintendo introduced the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985 the gaming industry experienced new type of entertainment and market practices. Now consumers could buy one console and many games that included Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. The Super Mario Bros. became somewhat of a controversy because it was one of the few games at the time that had visible violence. Nintendo also produced the Zapper which was one of the first gun shaped controller which came in colors of gray then later changed to orange to make it seem less like a real gun. The NES had its share of problems but most could be fixed by blowing into the console or the game cartridge. The Nintendo also made a smaller, handheld console that played the same types of games and designs. Mobile phones in the 80’s were a sign of wealth and status in the business world. In the beginning however they were heavy and difficult to carry compared with today’s slick design and weight. In the 80’s there was the Bosch transportable phone which weighed a little less than twelve pounds and had to be used with two hands. Another gadget that became popular during the 80’s was the personal organizer. The CASIO TA-1000 was an alarm clock, calculator and data-book that was popular with business people and travelers. This later progressed into the Casio IF-8000 Touch Screen Computer that had the same features as before but with an added touch and writeable screen. The experience of technology in the 80’s helps to show the progress that has been made in today’s world. New communication and ideas were made possible because of the innovations of that time.