Kaj Arnö

Information Technology

TBOP2017 ⋅ 6:03 ⋅ Filmed May 12, 2017
Highlight

It’s easy, as you look from your tablet to your smartphone from the comfort of your smart home, to forget just how far we’ve come. In this clip, Kaj Arnö quickly showcases the rapid pace at which technology has evolved — showing off his personal effects as examples. But what does this progress really add up to? And how much of the technology is out of our control?


Further Reading

Nagu

GPS


TRANSCRIPT

The place that I hail from, that I start from, is Finland. The spot in Finland that is dearest to my heart is in a place called Nagu. We have 1,500 inhabitants and we have 3,000 islands. So Kingston, yes. You talk about The 1,000 Islands, this is part of the Archipelago Sea and Nagu has 3,000 of them.

[00:31] In this place, I put all my old IT stuff and all my old information. You can see my granddad's typewriter from the 1950s here in my home office. The starting part of this is, the perspective of technology on human life. Whether simplifies our lives, whether it actually solves our issues, or whether it creates more issues by itself. I think that the answer will be, a bit of both.

[01:03] I think there is progress. You can see here my own typewriter, not my granddad's, and it's from 1978 and it's an IBM one. It had a delete key. That's as high tech as it was because there was a white stripe that if you press the delete key it was actually so automated that you didn't have to use any — I don't know what these things are called in English — white paper that you put in front of the arms of the typewriter. You could use delete with it. So OK, that's the starting point and of course, we are fair anyway from that right now. All the areas, and this is the point, all the areas where we see progress, we see something catching up to us. Something eating up the progress.

[01:48] So the first area where there's lot of progress, is Memory. This, so called diskette had, I think, 300K on it. Roughly 5 and a 1/4 inch. So of course, any phone these days has a multiple of it. But file sizes have eaten it up. Sloppiness when it comes to discipline about zipping things and keeping things small have eaten up the progress in this area. Sadly, there's a pattern here.

[02:22] There are other areas as well. Yes, this is one of my first phones that actually could take pictures and they were lousy but again, the pixels that you get out of the resolution will represent a cost when it comes to processing them and showing them. So, you have cameras everywhere and that's fine. It's really great to remember flying here in Kingston and seeing these 1,000 islands. By the way, we have 3,000...and yet that will also impose a cost in the form of time. So we now spend our time looking through our phones and deleting the bad pictures and probably not even using these pictures because of the huge cost in time that they represent.

[03:16] This is the same kind of thing representing here now, Networking. The network speed is, of course, highly growing and we have an easier time because of network speed being high. But guess what? Things are not under our own control. If you look at the bit speed that is needed to transfer what is needed to transfer, it's not very much that you would need out of the network. But because the devices have a [mind] of their own and decide they want to update just after you landed in a country where you pay an exorbitant amount for roaming, it means that you can use stuff that you really wanted to use.

[04:06] And this automated background task, eats up also speed. I remember the first true micro-processor or desktop computer, PC, that I bought. It was in 1980. I booted in 0.2 seconds. Now, that's hard to beat these days. Of course, it just said, A...B...C....80 and there was a prompt and you could write the basic commands. You really couldn't do much after that but it's still booted in 0.2 seconds.

[04:40] GPS is a much better way to know where you are and it's really easy. I could help the taxi driver who drove me from Montreal to Kingston by entering the name of the hotel into a GPS. He had used a paper device like the one I have on the right hand side. Not of Finland though that would not have brought him [anywhere]. Given all these advantages of the GPS, they are also not all under our control. That is too bad because there would be so many things you could do if you had control over your past tracks. Where have you been with your car? Where have you gone paddling amongst The 1,000 Islands? Where have you been running? Skiing? With your boat and so on? These things are you under our control, they are under control of a couple of players who give us what they please and what is in their interest to give us. We have a lot of condescending apps.

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