Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Everything Old Is New Again

I was in a convenience store today, and got to thinking about something ironic. See, I'm old enough to remember when neighborhoods had corner grocery stores. They were usually small stores with a few aisles and I vaguely remember a shopkeeper giving me some of the sugar circus peanuts to munch because I was a little kid. And later, when we lived in a rural area, we had a general store that carried both groceries and gasoline.

It wasn't long and those kinds of stores were gone, replaced by giant grocery chains like Safeway and King Soopers. Back then the only "convenience store" that I remember was 7-11. My dad worked in one for a time when I was little. Back then, they only stayed open from 7 am to 11 pm (hence the name).

So I'm standing in the store today, and it suddenly occurred to me we had gone from neighborhood stores, general stores, to supermarkets and back to convenience stores, which are basically neighborhood general stores. Ironic.

That would have been the end of it, but for a thought I had this evening, sitting at the computer. Now, I'm old enough to remember the Apple II, the Commodore 64 and Vic 20, and the Atari 400 through 2600 computers. Back then, we hooked our computers up to a television to use it as a monitor. It wasn't long, though, before dedicated monitors were produced, first monochrome and then later, color monitors.

As the technology progressed, the resolution of the monitors increased while the number of colors a computer could produce went from 8 to 16 to 256 to 65,000 and then to millions. Meanwhile, we developed the ability to view first GIF's and JPG's on our screen, then came MPEG's and AVI's and MOV's.

This month, Apple announced that we could download movies from iTunes. But who wants to watch them on a 15-inch computer monitor? So (conveniently) they introduced a new gadget, the iTV. Guess what? Now they want us to connect our computers to the television again!

Mom was right. She used to tell me, "Everything old is new again." I should have listened...

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