I have been quite interested in technology since I was a child. As a kid, it seemed I always knew about the latest consumer electronics innovation and was on top of every new gadget introduced into the market.
I always shook my head when adults seemed stupified at tech talk. I would cringe when people would go to an electronics store all clueless and then be at the mercy of some salesperson. I vowed never to be like that.
It dawned on me a few days ago, I was coming very close to not knowing anything about consumer electronics anymore. So let’s examine this for a second. I haven’t upgraded my computer since 2002. I’ve actually never bought a TV. I don’t own an Ipod. I’ve never owned a DVD player. Until last year, my cell phone was a Nokia brick. I’ve never owned a stereo. I’ve never owned a CD player.
Despite the fact I have post-secondary degrees in “tech” and work a “tech” job, a lot of the “tech” that was going on in the world was kinda passing me by. I first noticed this when I started my job at EA.
When I got my Xbox 360 dev kit, I realized I’d never been that close to one before. Despite working in the industry, it took me about a year after its launch to touch a 360. When I went to hook it up, I was like a 80 year-old senior citizen. It was the first time I’d hooked up component cables to an HDTV. I didn’t know where to plug the controllers in nor did I know how reset the console. Oh man and then there was HDTV itself. They gave me a $1200 HDTV to display the game on and I had no idea about all the myriad of inputs and outputs on the thing.
I managed to hook up the HDTV alright but a few days later, some guy came to my desk and asked me why the game looked like crap on my TV. It turns out that I hadn’t set it to the proper resolution. It was on 480i or something stupid and he put it on 720p. At the time, it was just a blaze of numbers and letters… 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. I had no idea what those numbers meant, I had a clue but no real answer.
Then I got my PS3 dev kit and it used an HDMI cable. I remember asking myself what the hell an HDMI cable was. It was an eye-opening experience because for the first time ever, I felt I knew what those old people in the electronic store were feeling.
It’s taken a few months but I think I’m back on track. If I were to go buy an LCD TV and a next-gen console tomorrow I’m pretty sure I would know exactly what to consider.
Speaking of which, I think my Xbox 360 arrives in the mail this week along with my new LCD monitor! Yay!