‘One giant leap’ for technology


It is amazing how much better the Apollo 11 landing looks in its thirty-fifth anniversary packaging on a home computer than it did on our black and white television sets. (This second link, ironically, is even slow to load because it is an “MPEG” file.)

Computers, these marvels we could not function without nowadays, have changed so much that what used to require entire air conditioned rooms to be built can now sit on our laps or, in the case of the “Blackberry”, slip into our pockets. I wonder how out-of-date even these devices will be when my niece and nephew are on their way to university in 2020 and beyond.

I will always remember that night, July 20, 1969, the way people just a little older than me remember where they were when JFK was shot. I was a few months shy of ten years old and was spending some time at “the lake”, the cottage of Auntie Dot and Uncle Homer near Portland, Ontario. I remember sitting in front of Homer’s old TV set (he had probably needed to go out to the back to adjust the antenna beforehand). I remember Auntie Dot being amazed that we could hear the astronauts that far away, let alone see them. I am not sure the significance had completely sunk in for me.

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