As a technologist, I know that there were some things that shaped my love of and use of technology. The first, was the presentation of a circular slide rule by my father to me, around my 15th birthday. I loved that slide rule. It was more than simply a slide-rule-in-the-round. It had a periodic table of the elements on one side. It had a sheet with mathematical formulae on the inside. I used it an almost every day. It, that circular slide rule and the Swiss Army Knife I got in Ireland were my constant companions.
From those two items came the next tool for me in the technology space. The Apple IIc computer. I went from the IIc to the IIgs. My ex-wife told me, right before we ended our marriage that in fact “the computer thing would never amount to anything.” I guess in the end people can be wrong. My ex-wife certainly was. My love of those original computers moved me towards the Macintosh computers. I had a Macintosh SE, SE/30. Macintosh IIc, Quadra 700 and then a PowerBook. The PowerBook (color) was mine for about three days and then became my current wife’s computer. (I tried to convince she wanted one, she said no, saw me using it a few times and decided she had to have one). My current wife has always supported me; it is why she is current and won’t be an ex.
Macs were left behind when I joined Microsoft. I was a PC guy from then onward. When I left Microsoft, I got a new Macintosh MacBook. But that is not a story relevant to the evolution now discussed. The reality for me being now, I still seek that circular slide rule. I measure the devices I have against the perfect memory of that slide rule. I realize it is perfect because it is no more. The evolution however of computers is what drives me now. I look towards devices as tools. Each performs a specific function. My iPad is my portable communication device. My iPhone is my connected always with me device. My laptop represents the tool I use to build IP at work and to build and consider IP at home. All of this technology simply a tool. From understanding what is under the surface of the water, to take pictures from above, technology is a tool. It is something I use, happily because of a circular slide rule.