GEC-2050 Minicomputer

GEC-2050 Minicomputer (1979)

In a mere thirty years, technology has changed dramatically. We have  gone from computers the size of rooms to ones that will fit on our laps and run incomparably faster. My father feels that his life would be significantly different had he grown up with the technology we have today…

Image from Chilton-Computing.org.uk

More information on the GEC-2050 Minicomputer

The Past

My father began his technological lifestyle in 1979 in college. He was introduced to his first computer on which he reprogrammed templates of military aircraft software for practice. From this point forward he knew computers were his comfort. As technology progressed my dad kept up to date with it and has since. As predicted, he did path his career as a programmer but frequently had conflicts with the popular Microsoft Operating System.

To elaborate on this I asked some other related questions finding that the GEC-2050 was a typical school computer. My dad shared one in the school in 1979 during college. Using this somewhat modern computer with under a 1mb RAM and painfully slow 8-bit processor.

The Present

During the discussion of the present questions, I realised that jobs that involve computers are not necessarily heavily administered as long as what is asked is being done. My dad also pointed out that these days a single application can perform multiple tasks as needed. Therefore, few applications are required to complete tasks.

The Future

What skills do you think your student will need to succeed in 5-10 years?

Technology aptitude (using machines and programming); being aware of technology and knowing how to use it”

I agree with my father’s view on technology updating faster than he can keep up; I also find this issue. It is, however, interesting that a typical company does not comply with this by training new software to employees. This is expected to be done separately by the employee.

Another interesting observation in these questions is that the two predicted most pressing concerns are two of the eleven ethical issues. Both concerns have already been compromised in recent changes. As computers are able to do more they become less reliable. Privacy is also at risk as the ability to obtain personal information becomes easier. Based similarly, the following question as to what changes there would be for my father in the next few years also relates to prior changes.

My father’s idea as to what is needed to succeed in relation to technology in the future is also well evidenced. Technology aptitude is a very important skill to have in order to be comfortable with changes in computers. Since it is updating so rapidly, it would not be worth mastering how to use software before the end of college because there will soon be a more efficient replacement.

The technology that brings my dad the most fear is the recording and use of personal information. I somewhat agree with this but feel that there are greater concerns out there. The ability to track people using biometric technology can make some feel uncomfortable but has been proven to aid in criminal investigations. I believe that the concept that these tracking abilities are being misused is only a rumour. The exceeding control available with these systems, however, does concern me.

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