A Discussion Response: Innovations in My Lifetime

While I would much rather write about space travel (as astronomy is my favorite subject), my country sadly refuses to advance in space travel at the current moment. As Neil deGrasse Tyson, famous astrophysicist, wrote recently, “Feb 20, 1962, The USA launches John Glenn into Earth orbit. Something America could do fifty years ago.

… but not today.” Also, a Romanian teenager can launch a Lego Space Shuttle in space, yet NASA refuses to do so to their space shuttles, Lego-created or not.

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This is why I am writing about the innovation of electronics, not about a subject I read about and fantasize dearly. In the past fourteen years, there have been numerous innovations in our electronics. For example, Steve Jobs created inventions that would affect human nature. Many years after being fired from the computer company he founded and loved, Steve was rehired to bring it back from the brink. In March 2001, he introduced a new series of operating systems, OS X, that turned the once tortoise-like Macintosh computers into smoothly-running machines that performed faster than hares.

Unlike Windows computers, the Macs not only performed better, but had a lesser chance of attracting viruses. Seven months later in October, he unveiled his newest masterpiece, the iPod, a portable electronic miniature device that could hold multitudes of songs playable at any time. The iPod was an instant success, and as new models succeeded old, similar music players were being mass produced by companies like Sony and Samsung. In just a few years, these two inventions made Apple the “king of electronics”.

In 2007, Steve Jobs revealed his next invention: the iPhone. Not only did it have a touchscreen, and calling and email capabilities, it allowed the user to download apps, ranging from games and office applications to pedometers and health. Quickly the iPhone and its counterpart, the iPod touch, took off, as copycat smartphones and mp3s lagged behind. Finally, in 2010, Mr. Jobs showed the world his most important product, the iPad. The iPad was a tablet just like the iPhone, except with a much bigger screen, and additional apps and processor power.

The iPad could be used as a portable computer, gaming device, or a handy tool in the office or at the workbench. Like the previous products, the iPad too was an instant success. Besides Apple’s products, there are several other electronic inventions. For example, the video game consoles of the 1980s could only run games with crude graphics. Today, systems such as the XBOX 360 can not only run almost real-looking games, but are also entertainment hubs.

For example, one can play music, watch shows on Netflix, play games, “see” friends face-to-face via Skype, and run DVDs all on one console. Also, many people in the United States watch television through Netflix and Hulu Plus streaming, shows recorded through a DVR, live, or on demand. Finally, another example of an improvement of a product is the television itself. When I was born in 1998, many people sat in front of their bulky and boxy CRT TVs to watch the news, sitcoms, and movies.

However, as the 21st Century came, new televisions were introduced, called flat-screen TVs, which had better resolution, bigger screen sizes, and were less bulky, boxy, and heavy than their predecessor. Flat-screen TVs come with multiple display types, including plasma, LCD, LED, and the recently introduced OLED. These are just some of the infinite innovations and inventions that have changed mankind over the last fourteen years.