Cell Phones - The Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything!

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    Nov 22, 2012
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Computers, a new phenomenon... or are they. The Abacus was invented thousands of years ago by the Chinese. It allowed them to count large or small numbers by using a machine.

Electronic computers have been around since the 1930’s. Indeed, in 1936 a smart German fellow called Konrad Zuse designed a device known fetchingly as the Z1, although it was 1941 and the Z3 before it was actually of any material use, driven on by the Nazi war effort. Alan Turing, a British Mathematician, Cryptanalyst and generally believed to be the father of Computing Science used his Computing Theories and postulations to help crack the Nazi Enigma Codes during the latter half of the Second World War.

Fast forward a number of decades plus a few billion dollars of research and development and we had many logical programming languages and Operating Systems, and a raft of platforms to run them on, mostly carrying out very high level mathematical functions, such as how many decimal points can Pi be taken to. This was probably Very Useful Stuff for some, but not really any good for making a shopping list.
By the ‘80’s IBM, Olivetti, Apple etc. were producing machines that for a few thousand dollars, you could sit on a table and do some work at home, as long as you understood, Binary, Hexadecimal Code or Assembler Language.

Nowadays computers are everywhere. Almost every school, home, library, car etc. has computing devices that allow you to manage your engine settings, carry out research, write, count and perform many tasks without an advanced degree in Computing Science.

One of the biggest uses of computer based technology is Cell Phones. Cell Phones are a ubiquitous device. Even my father has one, and he was one of the original Luddites! Cell Phones, nowadays, make and receive calls almost as a by-product of their reason for living. I remember the first SMS Text Message I ever sent. It took me 20 minutes to create, on a Nokia cell phone and as soon as I sent it I called the guy to see if he had received it. Unbridled joy followed when he said “yes”!

When you buy a Cell Phone these days you accept that it will make and receive calls. You want to know how many megapixels the camera has, will it take videos, how much music it can store, will it talk to other devices you may have, can it surf the ‘net at decent speeds. The list is endless.

I am a gadget man and proud of it. I have a collection of devices that over the years have cost me a figure roughly equivalent to the Gross National Debt of a small third-world country. Each one has been an improvement on its predecessor, either because it plays more music, takes better photographs, has better games or whatever. My current device of choice, an iPhone 5 has more processing power than NASA used to land Armstrong et al on the moon….and all this for a few bucks.

As an experiment I am penning this article on my iPhone, and whilst it is hard going on the thumbs, it saves me firing up a laptop. Energy Efficient as well!

There are a plethora of good Cell Phones on the market that carry out tasks hitherto unknown by a telephone. I remember the days, not too long ago, when my cell phone battery lasted about 20 minutes, and was only portable as long as I wasn't taking it too far. Nowadays all this power is fitted into a handbag or pocket sized form factor, which weighs next to nothing. I can pretty much carry my life on my clever Cell Phone, and by using some of the Cloud-type facilities that are available, I can store and retrieve documents, music, applications and contacts as I need, and transport them from device to device. Oh, and I can make calls too.

Cell Phone technology will continue to improve over the next few years. More and more applications will become useful. Theater tickets, Fast Food, Grocery orders, TV Catch-Up are all available today via your Cell Phone. I can even see where my daughters or at least their cell phones are using the tracking applications that are readily available, much to their disdain.

I see the ‘next big thing’ being the ability to control your household, i.e. TV Recordings, Central Heating, Home Security and Grocery Management from anywhere in the world via a Cell Phone. I can scan bar-codes with mine. In future I will get an alert to tell me that something is nearing its use by date, or that I am running out of coffee or whatever, and that as the external temperature is unseasonably warm, do I really want to switch on the central heating at 5 pm.

Deep Thought, the computer in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy took seven and a half million years to come up with the ‘Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything. The answer surprisingly was 42! My Cell Phone could give that answer in seconds nowadays.

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Rick Samson loves working out and playing sports. He currently writes articles on Interesting Articles.

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