Welcome to the 21st century –rws -jcr -dlh

Paul Karner

My first realization came in early November while I was busy typing an article for ******The Lawrentian******* and my computer started talking to me. When I had finished scratching my head and inspecting the wires attached to me computer, feeling a little bit like the puzzled apes in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” I realized it was actually my friend Tim from Chicago talking to me on AOL iChat, a program that allows you to literally chat over instant messenger with any computer equipped with a microphone.
So that was it for me; it wasn’t flat screen TVs, camera phones, or even the buy-and-sell-your-life-on-eBay craze. It took a conversation with my computer for me to realize we had arrived. The elusive “Future” is here, and now that it’s 2005 let’s take a look at the fruits of our technological age.
First on the list is the T-Mobile Sidekick. It’s essentially a phone equipped with wireless web access, instant messenger, calendar/day planner, camera, and a kick-ass game of asteroids. The asteroids game is pretty much the same as it’s always been, except it’s souped up with Sega-esque 32-bit graphics. Speaking as the high score holder on my friend’s Sidekick, I suggest you only use the thrust when absolutely necessary because once you start moving you can’t stop, which opens a can of worms of keeping steady while shooting the asteroids. The uses of this mini-computer are limitless, clearly enough to change the way we view computers.
Another technological wonder of the 21st century is the DVD boxed set. Thanks to brilliant digital video technology, I now don’t have to rearrange my schedule to accommodate the 24-hour “Law and Order” marathons. I can catch the first five minutes anytime I want. It’s such an inconvenience when you miss the initial murder and you’re trying to piece together what happened based on the smartass comments the detectives make.
Who knows, perhaps one day these box sets will serve as a digital testament to the long-lost riches of our TV nation, sort of like an attractively packaged Rosetta stone. If anything, it’s just nice to know that the first season of “The Swan” will never be forgotten.
As far as video games go, a good deal of my Christmas season was spent running over police officers to evade arrest, killing prostitutes to get my money back, and sportin’ my cullas to earn respect with my posse. Thousands of kids each year major in computer engineering, and games like “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” show that they are putting all that scholarship money to good use. My biggest qualm with this real-life game of the so-called criminal underground is that the bazooka takes too much time to lock onto cop cars when they’re driving at you. I got busted so many times because of that.
Overall 2005 is looking promising, full of more technological wonders to enhance our daily lives, but for now I’m going to go check out the new iPod. I hear it holds over 10******[add superscript 69 here, as in 10 to the 69th power]****** songs.