We were doing video long before pocket-sized productions. My first Adobe Premiere file rendered in 1998. Back then, you couldn't get decent video with purse-sized cameras but the same storyboarding techniques work today that we taught to aspiring film makers then. Remarkably, we teach HD digital video production techniques now and my students can edit, render and upload while having a cup of coffee in the canteen. We used a separate editing suite with ISDN cabling to complete the task 10 years ago. Our ISDN bill ran more than 10,000 Irish pounds annually. I get hundreds of times the speed for one-tenth the cost today.
Watching the phone network collapse. My single Y2K snafu was standing at an ATM in Wesport, County Mayo and withdrawing a fortnight's wages just before midnight, then watching the Digifone network collapse because too many people were texting and ringing in the new millenium. The year 2000 marked one of the last years I bought a disposable camera. I was looking at some rather expensive Kodak digital cameras by late 2000.
Terrorism. One week after the World Trade Center fell, I started blogging. I still think most of the activities around anti-terrorism centre on the theatre of the moment, not on setting a foundation for secure travel in the free world.
Bursting Bubbles. I slid into an academic teaching position just before all the dot-com adventures started deflating. I'm in some Facebook and LinkedIn groups with a few of the people I knew who worked at Rondomondo. Like them, I wonder how different things might have been if a content channel had actually been developed by eircom. The creatives were perfectly positioned to deliver a triple play for the dominant telco but it seemed a low priority was placed on actually developing short form content for the masses.
Chinese before the French. It's a reflection of globalisation to realise that Tipperary Institute, a small third level in southeast Ireland where I teach, had several Chinese students complete two years of study before the first Erasmus students came to the campus. International students keep me honest.
Mobile has made my life better. Getting people to understand the value of snappy content has helped reduce my e-mail burden. Most of my friends know I handle important daily tasks on my mobile phone because I've been doing that since the Nokia 9000 Communicator. I used to pay a lot of money when dialing out on the phone to a data modem to download mail from Ireland On-Line. With each passing year, those costs dropped dramatically and now I get mail pushed for a flat fee every month. And a few years ago, my American friends started seeing the joy of text as well. Only recently, American cellular services started selling proper data connectivity on phones and that has helped collapse the eight time zones that separate me from important family members because we can communicate effortlessly and often at no cost.
Free gadgets. One of the primary motivations for keeping a blog for the past eight years revolves around the gadgets I can get to test. Some of my readers offer their old gear for low prices. I've doubled the number of Nokia E90s in my home, thanks to a former Lehman Brothers analyst who kicked her phone to Ireland when she packed out her desk in a banker's box.
I often wonder what I'll cite as high points of the next decade because I think I'm headed into a new realm of exploring a world through the eyes of a primary school student and that will mark a significant change in my horizons.