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2000-2009: the decade personal technology soared

December 28, 2009

by Mark Ollig

In the year 2000, Microsoft was still the dominant name in the computing world while Apple was struggling with the only product it really had – computers.

By 2000, Internet commerce started to be looked at more seriously, even though folks still were accessing it with slow dial-up modems for the most part.

Google, at this time, was still considered a “newbie” with its search engine, as it was just starting to sell advertisements on its site based on keywords. They charged 5 cents whenever anyone would click an advertisement text on one of their pages. Google started Google Mail, or “Gmail,” in 2004.

Apple began its comeback at the end of 2001 with the introduction of its 5-and-10 GB iPods.

2001 also saw the launching of the popular – and sometimes controversial – Wikipedia.

By the middle 2000s, downloading information, especially video, using dialup modems, was becoming frustrating. All of us were craving much faster – but affordable speeds – in which to travel the Internet.

During the middle of the decade however, broadband technologies, which provide higher information-carrying capacities, were becoming the new highways we began using to access the Internet.

This has been the decade of social networking, and one of the first popular social sites was started in August 2003. It is called MySpace.

Facebook, which your humble columnist uses the most, became public in February 2004.

Even though more online shopping sites were available over the Internet, people were still skeptical about keying in their credit card information.

When I began using eBay in 2003 (eBay began in 1995), instead of using my credit card for making payments on items I purchased, I used a service called Paypal.

I learned PayPal was started in 1998, however, the PayPal we know today really became known in 2000. The company was fully acquired by eBay in 2002, for something like one and a half billion dollars.

The Apple iPhone was introduced to the public at the beginning of 2007.

During this decade we also were confronted with attacks by “botnets,” which are a type of software “robot” whose code is embedded on Microsoft Windows computers.

These compromised computers have the botnets’ deviously malicious files opened, and become “alive.” These botnets then carry out their programming tasks for sending spam, and attacking specific sites. Twitter is one site that has been recently attacked and actually shut down a few times by bots.

Many of us browsing the Internet in the early 2000s were using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Apple’s Netscape Navigator.

In 2003, Apple released its new Safari web browser.

In 2004, a new “open source” web browser by Mozzila, which is commonly known as Firefox, was released. Today is being used by a reported 25 percent of all Internet users.

I currently use Firefox as my preferred web browser, and will sometimes use Safari, as well.

Internet Explorer is still on my machine, however, I rarely use it anymore.

This decade also saw the sharing of personal user-generated video content take off in 2005, with the start of Youtube, which was bought by Google in 2006.

The last couple years of this decade, our computers became smaller. We started using “netbooks.”

In 2009, more of us have been “tweeting” over the popular social networking site called Twitter.

Twitter was started in 2006, by Jack Dorsey. Dorsey wrote a program which combined text messaging with instant messaging. Dorsey, who was born in 1976, was named by Tech Review magazine in 2008, as “an outstanding innovator under the age of 35.”

At the start of this last decade, when we talked about how much storage our personal computers used, we would state it in terms like Megabytes. By the mid-decade, we used Gigabytes. Today, at the end of this decade, we now talk in terms of Terabytes of storage capacity.

I can only imagine what terms we will be using at the end of 2019.

So, what will the next decade bring us? Well, I will guess we will see a continuation of real-time social networking taking place over improved mobile devices, for one thing.

This next decade we will also witness fascinating breakthroughs and displays of incredible computational power.

Some of this computational power we will be using may not be inside of our computers, but rather inside of a “cloud.”

I look for more of the computational power of computing to be derived from what is called “cloud computing.”

Our personal computers, mobile devices, and various computing gadgets will harness futuristic computing power which they will access on other “super computing” machines inside this networking “cloud.” This will make the devices we use, connected to the cloud, appear almost “magical.”

We will be socially interacting with each other over our mobile devices, seeing and talking in real-time. We may even commutate over virtual projections, possibly holographic video.

Of course, the network we access the Internet over will continue to develop and evolve beyond fourth generation and into some type of ultra-broadband wireless networking technology available anywhere on the planet, or in orbit around it.

The computers, home appliances, mobile gadgets, electrical devices, even our cars and more may be coded with next generation IPv6 addresses. We will have access to these devices from anywhere and be able to collect their information and program them.

By the end of this new decade, amazing new personal computer devices and robotics will become capable of demonstrating basic understanding and learning. They may even be considered what we would call “intelligent.” We humans will be interacting with them more and more in our daily lives.

Hang on everyone, the new adventure is only beginning.