25 years of ‘eureka’ moments

Has USA Today picked up on the Digg culture?  The newspaper lists 25 inventions that have changed our lives since 1982.  Here are the first five:

1.  Cellphones

Car phones were around in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1983 that Motorola introduced the first widely available handheld cellphone. The DynaTAC 8000x weighed almost 2 pounds, but it still cost $3,995.

  2.  Laptop computers

It was about as portable as a sewing machine. But the 28-pound Compaq Portable – Compaq Computer’s very first product – was the first portable IBM-compatible PC on the market. More than 53,000 sold in the year after its 1983 launch, despite a price usually topping $3,000.

3.  BlackBerries

An obscure Canadian pager company, Research In Motion, shortened attention spans around the world with the launch of the BlackBerry mobile e-mail device in 1999.

4.  Debit cards

Ka-ching! Who needs cash when you’ve got a debit card? They took off after Visa launched its check card in 1995. Before then, less than 2% of Americans used debit cards. Ten years later, debit card transactions exceeded those on credit cards.

5.  Caller ID

Bill collectors and your annoying Uncle Ned are easy to ignore with this invention introduced by BellSouth in 1984 in Orlando. Caller ID followed voice mail, an invention created a decade before to make up for declining secretarial employment.

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One Response to “25 years of ‘eureka’ moments”

  1. maybeeolsen Says:

    loved your list. tantalizing to imagine life without these inventions.

    but, you know, we have managed to survive without them. time to

    rethink our philosophy on how our lives should be lived. give me the

    50’s , heretell it was a glorious age.

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