The Latest Technology — Through the Years

I’m a sucker for the technology, even when it’s analog. Here’s a look at the latest technology through the years.

1980s: DayTimer

I was one of DayTimer’s best customers. It started in the mid-80s. It was the calendar/organizer I’d been looking for all my life. I started with the pocket size, then progressed to a desk size, which I carried with me everywhere I went. I constantly changed the format, ordering new refills and always a high-quality leather cover with my initials or name on the front.


My first DayTimer. I got it in 1984, when I started my sales job. The leather still looks great, although the monogram plate is a bit worn.

When I discovered technology, sometime in the 90s, I began to crave the latest and sought an electronic version of my DayTimer.

So I got this portable electronic address book. About the size of a small calculator, I carried it in my purse in case I needed someone’s phone number while I was away from home. It still didn’t take the place of my beloved DayTimer, as the data entry was clunky and slow, so I didn’t keep up with it as well. I ultimately went back to the DayTimer.

The Palm Pilot Years

Then I discovered the Palm Pilot, specifically the Palm V. It was the cutting edge, and I was the only one I knew who had one. The lone technology pioneer in my peer group.

Until I was in a meeting at church and one of the younger pastors whipped a Palm V out of his pocket. I remember both of us laughing about who was the bigger geek, looking at one another with those knowing smiles and talking about apps after the meeting. I don’t think we called them apps at that time, though.

Remember it? The fact that it would sync with contacts and calendar on your computer was a huge deal. And I’m convinced that this was the beginning of my App Store addiction. I had Solitaire, a crossword app, a Bible app, and dozens of others I can’t remember. There was even a special handwriting shorthand, so you could quickly take notes with your stylus on screen. I got really good at that.


The Palm V

The Early 2000s: Razr Phone

Then in 2004 came the Razr phone. First released in black, it was the sleekest, slimmest cell phone yet and all the cool kids had a Razr. I waited until they came out with a silver one to take the plunge and it was a very cool phone — I could text like the wind on the Razr.

It had a camera and you could actually change your wallpaper. When I started on Twitter, that was the phone I tweeted from — via text message — when I was away from home. Again … I thought I was quite the trailblazer.


Silver Razr. I’d probably still have this phone if the iPhone hadn’t come along.

2007: The iPhone

Then, in January of 2007, our entire family gathered around my G4 Minitower to watch Steve Jobs present the keynote that changed everything. Apple had created a phone.


Click the pic to watch the keynote.

Though I laugh now about my Palm Pilot, my Razr phone and how advanced we thought we were, in 10 years, we’ll laugh about our primitive iPhones, Android phones and tablets.

I wonder what we’ll all be doing tech-wise in 2023. Will Google Glass be something we laugh about, or is it the start of the next decade of personal technology, that will find us all wearing digital lifelines?

Either way, I’m going to save my devices. I wish I’d saved my original iPhone, though I still have the boxes of every model. And I do still have the Palm, and the stand it plugged into to sync.

Oh, and … one more thing … 

I’m pretty sure that this was our first cell phone. Yours?


What’s your favorite old device?

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  1. Jim Snyder

    My dad, an engineer, used the pocket spiral bound refillable daytimer for as long as I can remember. Of course each month was a different mini book for that specific year. Each year had a Daytimer custom “recipe type” box to store them for reference for say a few years. When my dad passed away about 5 years ago, we found his daytimer boxes stowed away including every month for decades. From what I remember,I think they went back to the late ’40’s shortly after he was out of school.

    Oh and my favorite analog device from years back – the sand box. Spent way more time there than on facebook today.

  2. beth g sanders

    That’s great, Jim! I still have all of my old ones as well. I even found the month that Jim proposed to me, and all of the stuff leading up to our wedding. I’ll never throw them away, even though I’m trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to declutter.


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