I've mostly stopped being interested in technology as just technology - I've seen too many cycles, I guess. But once in a while it strikes how much things have progressed.
I went to an all-day meeting today, and after the meeting I went to get groceries. After the grocery store I went to a café next door for an espresso. I took out my laptop to jot down a few notes from the meeting, and that done went online to check mail. Doesn't sound like much, but though "going online" is just a click, what it actually means is having the laptop use bluetooth to connect to the cellphone in the pocket of my jacket that I threw on the chair next to me, and have the phone use the UMTS/3G network to reach the internet. Lots of wireless and mobile tech in play here.
Soon I was on Google wave, doing real-time conversation with a couple of friends on one wave, and editing up notes from the recent Copenhagen Wave Meetup on another, while also uploading a picture to facebook, etc. What was striking was how smooth all this was. The bluetooth / 3G combo had no trouble keeping up with live updates and pictures being posted to waves, and I had none of that "telegraph from the moon" sense of using the internet at too low speed. And of course none of this took a lot of hacking about - it just worked. But it did make me geek about it for a bit. The part I found striking was the dynamic, shared, realtime editing on Wave, and the fact that I could be part of that from a Café.
Well, I finished my coffee, went home to cook soup, and returned to just being a user again.