The Technology We Use – 15 Years From Now

JVC HR-3300U VHS VCR

JVC HR-3300U VHS VCR. This is the United States release of the HR-3300. The HR-3300 is the world’s first VHS-based VCR.

While pondering a 1-page website that I want to create and leave alone for 15-20 years, it made me ponder what technology I want to build it on. Really – what are we using today that was created and unchanged enough to last 15 years? What in the world?! I’ll be 50 in 15 years…

technology (obviously) evolves quickly

The first website was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html and was created in August 1991. 1991! I have t-shirts older than that, and I’ll be 35 later this year (because I’m not a dirty old man wearing a KISS shirt from a concert smoking dope in 1981).

1st WWW website
As recently as 2010, this site was being reported as gone forever, but they have restored the server, the IP address, and as much of the original setup as possible. Hats off to you.

By the time I got on Facebook, it was approaching my high school’s 10th reunion in a year or so. Nothing was being said about when and where it was, so I guessed there were only 20 of the original 350 still not in jail or dead from overdose, so I forgot all about it. Then I found out that the info was on MySpace. Remember that craptastic site that everyone borked up their pages as fugly as possible? For the record, I’m against non-designers having control over colors, fonts, and backgrounds (Blogger.com, I’m talking to you).

MySpace redesignIt was 2007 and a lot of people still hadn’t moved to Facebook yet and were still doing their “it was nice knowing you, cruel world” messages on MySpace. Now it’s all but a memory, even though they spent a bazillion dollars on an actually decent redesign.

Technology moves faster than the mainstream population, so there is always a lag in consumer adoption. In my lifetime, I’ve seen the adoption of VHS, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, flat screens, computers, laptops, smart phones, and now tablets.

adoption is also quickening its pace

We got a VCR around the same time we got a Commodore 64, which I think was 1984 or 1985. Later we got a TV with a remote control! Aside from computer upgrades, that was about it until about 1989 when CDs came out.

CDs took a long time to catch on. I clearly remember the day I first saw and heard one in a friend’s house. They had ONE CD. Within a year or two, I had a mini stereo system in my room with a radio, cassette (kids, those came before CDs), and a CD player on top. I spent all of my allowance acquiring new music rather than waiting for the radio.

DVDs took about 3 years for a lot of people to start getting the technology and the media was a tad scarce for several years. Some of the guys a few years older than me when I graduated high school had massive VHS collections with big TVs and surround sound. I’d already started buying DVDs for my collection, but they were too invested to abandon their current titles. We haven’t had a VHS player since we gave mine to my parents (I have NO IDEA WHY they took it) in 2006.

Now it’s all Blu-rays catching on, and they come bundled with DVDs, so there isn’t any real barrier to entry either way other than a still inflated price – if you have DVD now, you’re set for later and if you have a friend with DVD, then split the costs. Our collection is up to 9 titles, including one 3D Blu-ray (The Avengers) and I’ve nabbed two at consignment for $2 each.

it’s not realistic to think that a new website will be as-is in 15 years

At least I’m not in denial. At some point the content on the domain I’ve purchased will need to switch platforms or technology. As widespread as WordPress is today, powering 17% of all websites on the Internet, I don’t think it will be around in 15 years.

Someone, maybe Matt Mullenweg himself, will innovate.

Will HTML even still generate content that people can or will access? Technology tends to build upon itself, but every now and then an innovation changes the entire global landscape. It’s not like we are benefitting from some new advancement in pens and paper since the 70s when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak changed the world with the first “affordable” personal computer.

It’s very possible probable that we won’t be using a computer or tablet as we know it now to visit a domain name.

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  • http://takeitdigital.com/ James Harris

    Great article! Smart glasses, smart watches, and smart TV’s may kill the personal computer. That’s just my guess. It seems that the gadget world is evolving faster then ever. The scary thing is, It will peak eventually. What happens when we run out of ideas and stop innovating.

    • http://www.petersenmediagroup.com/ Jesse Petersen

      I think we have a good 300-400 years to catch up with the works of Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, and Isaac Asimov. It’s an exciting time to live if we can overlook all the crap that technology is posing in current conversations in the media.

    • Jasper

      Human curiosity will always lead us to new inventions. We are still thousands of years to reaching our maximum potential. Heck maybe thousands of years from now we’d still be trying to invent something. We can all thank human curiosity, boredom, and laziness for the technology we have today. xD