From Floppy to Flash drives

Its amazing to see how fast the cyber world is changing. In 1995, when I took up computer science as a subject, we used PCs (without a harddisk) and 5.25 inch floppies. There was only one PC-XT in our lab – those that came with a harddisk. There was no LAN, no battery backup. I saw those things for the first time when I joined college. There we used mostly XTs and ATs, with one 386 and we got a 486 later. Today we have flash drives and one who hasn’t used a floppy cannot realise what a boon flash is: reliable, high speed, high capacity. With floppies we had to keep the same material in two floppies at any given time since a single floppy was too risky: could fail any time. There would even be times when both would fail – leaving you without an option.

Without power backup, I got the habit of saving frequently. I still have this habit although we have reliable power backups now. It still happens rarely though – that we are not able to save – say because a remote connection stopped suddenly – and if it does happen, I am always smiling! The others are almost always crying.

The web has also changed a lot. When I built my website in around 2000 we didn’t have:

  • Social networking bookmarks (Digg, Reddit)
  • Pingbacks in blogging
  • YouTube (although, I still don’t use it that much) and video sharing
  • The use of XML was limited
  • RSS feeds
  • Podcasting
  • globally recognized avatars – especially MonsterIds

There have been a lot of interesting public supported projects:

Update 18th March 2009: It seems I left out AJAX – a framework that allows part of a web page to reload, without having to reload the entire page. Web programming isnt the same again after AJAX.


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