First “Star Wars” shows how far technology’s advanced

Gary Adcock

For this holiday I am begging people to use technology wisely. Leave your devices alone.  No one needs to get an update from inside the theatre while you are watching “The Force Awakens.”

Not to mention the feeling you will have when the Wookie setting behind you uses “The Force” to Jar-Jar your iPhone somewhere into the nether-reaches of Endor.

Take a moment and think about this: When “Star Wars” opened on May 25, 1977, cell phone technology was in its infancy. What was considered the first “mobile” phone was still nearly six years from being released to the public.

Let’s step into the Way Back machine and take a look at what was the tech landscape in 1977. The TCP backbone needed for communication between devices is barely three years old and the entire number of host computers attached to that network broke 100 units.

Luke Skywalker brandishing his light saber

USENET News groups, the forerunner to our modern chat room, are still two years away from being created.

See back then, we were still trading data as bits not bytes and the fastest internet connections maxed out at 600-1200 Baud, where a run on sentence like mine could take as long as 15-30 seconds before it was available to be seen on the receiving computer.

Times, however, were changing. Back in 1975, the first CCDs for still cameras were created by Kodak engineer Steve Sasson, although the first commercial applications were delayed in reaching the market until the early 1980s.

So take a minute this season to reflect on just how far the technology has come about since “Star Wars” launched generations of lightsaber wielding fans.Not yet a reality, it took nearly 20 years before “The Last Broadcast, considered to be the first “digital” film — one that was created and edited digitally — was released in 1998. That’s the same year “Pleasantville” arrives as the first wide release motion picture that used the “digital intermediate” process for color correction and finishing on the way to its final release.

And turn off your damn phone. The movie is starting.  

 

COMMENTS