I VIVIDLY REMEMBER the hand of technology playing a major part in the memorable events of September 11, 2011.
The Irish Open Mailing List offered the best alternative to modern day Twitter. People like Richie Wilson, Brian Greene, Gaddo Bennedeti, Tom Murphy,Peadar McKevvitt, Fergal Byrne, and Dan King fed information into the list throughout the day. There was no Twitter, Jaiku, Facebook--in fact, Google wasn't even among the top 10 most-visited sites on the internet in 2001. Most of us got the news from a big screen television. My primary info came from a TV set in a pub in High Street, Christchurch, Dublin. I left my IBM Transnote laptop running inside Zenark and watched the second aircraft hit the World Trade Center. I believe I had the only tap screen laptop in Ireland at the time. I could make some commands work by touch but the device needed a stylus to work best.
I carried the Nokia 7110 in my pocket. It was the world's first phone with a mobile web browser. I could see the Open Mailing List mail on it but no commercial broadcaster.
Along with dozens of others, I stood outside the Philips electronics shop at the corner of Dame and Georges Street watching the WTC towers fall in a communal elegiac moment.
I lived in Kilkenny at the time and carried my music in a Sony Mini Disc player. I wouldn't have an iPod for another three years. And I would not have a megapixel camera until the last week of September 2002.
The world has changed a lot in 10 years. And after all the pre-flight screenings, TSA theatre, and restrictions on public photography, I do not feel any safer in the air.
Sent from my Nokia E7 using O23G on the M8 in County Tippperary, Ireland.