Advancements and Innovations of the 1990s

The Technology 90s

The 1990s marked a time of scientific and technological advancement. It also brought new innovations to the world that we now take for granted.

For example, flat screen monitors were a thing of the future back then. Instead, CRT monitors were bulky, heavy, power hogs that needed a special screen saver to prevent burn-in.

Palm Pilot

Palm became a household name in the 1990s for its PalmPilot personal digital assistant (PDA) devices. The company also made its mark with Graffiti handwriting recognition software and one of the first smartphones, the Treo.

The Pilot introduced desktop compatibility for handheld computers. A bundled software program allowed users to coordinate their calendars and address books with the desktop computer. With the push of a button, the user could sync data between systems.

The original Pilot weighed less than a pound, had a monochrome black-on-green touch screen and ran on two AAA batteries. Its hardware and software design were optimized for instant access to data. The company’s leaders realized that simple was better than complicated, especially when competing with the bulky Zoomer and overly feature-laden Newton products.

Electronic Diary

The electronic diary circuit 20 includes keyboard selector panel 21 comprising a standard arrangement of push-type selection keys, power supply 23 for the entire circuitry, message storage and control unit 25, clock and calendar unit 27, display control logic 29, time comparison logic 31, and visual display means 35. The keyboard selector keys provide registration inputs of coded or non-coded message data in association with a particular message time of day TOD selected by the user.

In order for electronic diaries to be effective, they must appeal to users. According to Crane et al [45], the attitudes of patients regarding use of an electronic diary depend on the credibility and trustworthiness of information. They also vary based on the user’s sociodemographic characteristics and psychosocial status.

USB Drive

Prior to the invention of USB flash drives, large files had to be broken up into multiple floppy disks or written on high-density disks that required special hardware. Modern flash drives have storage capacities ranging from 2 to 2 terabytes.

The USB connector has a cap to reduce the risk of damage and prevent the ingestion of dirt or debris. Most USB sticks are also designed with a hole suitable for connection to a key chain or lanyard.

Leaving a USB stick in a computer for an extended period of time can heat the drive and potentially corrupt data. It is always best to “safely eject” the drive by clicking on the green arrow icon in the task bar and choosing the option to eject hardware.

Apple eMate 300

The eMate 300 combines the most used functions of personal computers with the flexibility of mobile computing at a much lower cost than desktop computers. It allows users to do their critical learning work anywhere it’s appropriate – in classrooms, libraries, offices, labs, on trips and at home.

The computer features a powerful processor, a backlit 6.8-inch display with electroluminescent backlighting, a built-in keyboard and standard Macintosh serial and AppleTalk network ports. It also has a long battery life, an infrared port for file transfer and the ability to connect with PCs running both Mac OS and Windows-compatible software applications over TCP/IP.

Its translucent aquamarine and black “clamshell” case, a design credited to Apple’s pre-Steve Jobs experiments with colorful plastics, presaged the look of the iMac.

Cell Phone

In June of 1983 the first analog wireless mobile phones hit the market. They were the size of small ham radios and as heavy. The technology was only able to work in places where there were radio towers. Motorola was a dominant force early on and would release the MicroTAC 9800X which many consider to be the first “truly portable” cell phone. It was less than a foot long when flipped open and weighed 0.75 pounds.

It also had a battery that lasted for 35 minutes of talk and could store 30 phone numbers. While it may not seem high-tech today, this phone revolutionized mobile communication and ushered in the era of cellphones that are a staple of our modern culture. It also led to the creation of SMS (Short Messaging Service) messages.

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