Our grandparents would probably have little empathy for those of us who have had difficulty keeping up with the rapidly changing digital world. They would tell us to lighten up and go with the flow, after all, they witnessed an amazing amalgam of changes before the computer came onto the scene.
The telephone was a significant leap in staying connected. We are social creatures, and will go to extremes to ensure we stay connected, as the pony express will attest. It was, therefore, no surprise that the invention of the telephone was going to be a blockbuster of a device. The only surprise was that it was slow to catch on.
There was another device that would become a significant staple in all of our homes. First demonstrated in England by John Baird, a device capable of transmitting images over a distance would become a permanent fixture for families all over the world. Television was demonstrated at a perfect time, right after World War II, when the whole world began to believe it was important to stay abreast of what was happening globally, as it had been demonstrated that it could affect every life.
It seems that at least in the US, new technology followed a standard patter. For a time after its demonstration growth was quite slow. Once the true potential of each device became recognized, each took of in a meteoric rise.
When the Apple II was developed, it had a program written into its memory called Visicalc, and it became the darling of the business world. The idea that one could set up these matrices and then calculate profit and loss as fast as the number could be input was revolutionary. It did not take long for another program Lotus 123 to come along and displace it, only to be replaced itself with the now famous Excel spreadsheet.
But having a device that caters to the business community, as profitable as that was, would not drive the machine to the heights it was destined to attain. Next up would be entertainment, with an initial offering called Space war! BY our current standards this was a very rudimentary game, yet it showed the potential for the highly intricate programs we have today.
When the idea of a word processor came along, the device was now coming to the worker level of acceptance. Business runs on communication, and written word is a staple of office work. The idea that whole pages could be written and then reviewed and corrected before printing was very popular and powerful.
When it comes to programs that have a heavy impact on business, there is no question that a program known as PowerPoint is close to if not the most significant. Anyone who has worked in an office setting, and probably everyone who has been employed in any capacity has at least seen presentations created with it. The computer has made all forms of communication easier and better, although those who have set through thousands of presentations may disagree.