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Technology - A Boon in Modern Life

Today the word “technology” has become an inevitable part of everybody’s vocabulary.   What does technology really mean? It is described as – “The science of the application of knowledge to practical purposes”, and also “the totality of the means employed by a people to provide itself with the object of material culture”.

If that flew over your head, let’s just say technology is closely related to science.   Science and technology, in fact, come into force with discovery and the greatest discovery ever made by man is of the “wheel”.

An ancient man learnt how to make wheeled carts, wagons and coaches, which eventually led to the invention of the steam locomotives. The first passenger train service began in England in 1825. James Watt’s invention of the steam engine has made travel convenient and fast. Some “steam locomotives” used steam pressure from boiling water to turn their wheels. In days gone by, coal was used in steam engines. Now, with the advancement of science and technology, electricity is used.

In the late 1890’s, the first motor cars were built; though they looked much like carts with fancy wheels. It was in 1899 that Henry Ford experimented with his first vehicle, though before that cars had been built in Europe. When Ford started the Ford Motor Company, his idea of making cars was predicted to change history. In 1908, he introduced the Model T car and by 1918, all cars in the United States were Model T’s. Ford had revolutionized the process of manufacturing. Today, the car-market world-wide is flooded with different types of cars ranging from the Limo to the Audi and the Nano, all thanks to the progress of technology.

Next in line come the airplanes, jet engines, Concordes and even sophisticated machines to explore space; all thanks to the ingenuity and tenacity of the Wright Brothers and technology does the rest.

When it comes to water transport, the world has come a long way from the raft and the canoe, sails and oars are things of the past. Today, ships and boats use many different types of engines. Most ships use oil to generate power. Some submarines run on nuclear power, the “Nautilus” is the first nuclear submarine. Then there are the ever so tempting luxury cruise liners that one doesn’t need any introduction to.

With regard to communication, things started rolling with the knowledge of turning trees and plants to paper followed by the invention of the printing machine.   Just when staying in touch through letter writing became rather time-consuming, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, the most popular communication device today.

Today, mobile phones are in vogue and since 1990 they have become hugely popular worldwide. Technology has advanced leaving no one deprived. The hearing impaired can use telephone-like devices, like TTY (Tele Types) and TDD (Tele Communications Device).

The most important modern machine invented - The computer, a machine, a revolution and a saviour. The first computers made were rather big and unaffordable, today, however, most computers are smaller and almost anyone can afford one. These PCs first appeared in the mid-1970s. Today we have laptops, notebooks and palmtops. The pen drive is another computer-related device which can be considered as a wonder find of modern technology.

Speaking of computers, one cannot but be thankful to the Internet and the World Wide Web through which one can communicate with friends and family even when they are thousands of miles away simply by sitting at one’s computer. The Internet has come a long way since1969, when it all began in the U.S Defence Department.

By early 1990 the Internet and the World Wide Web had entered homes. Although it began as a luxury and could be afforded only by a few, today its more a necessity and is a feature in every household. It is something of a wonder when one considers the fact that Radio took about 38 years to reach 50 million listeners, TV took about 13 years to have 50 million viewers; the Internet took only 4 years to attain 50 million users.

Technology has done a lot more than improve transportation and communication. Energy like electricity, wind power, thermal power, water power, nuclear energy oil and pollution are made better and more effective through technology with every passing day. Daily life and professions depend so much on technology, right from weaving to telescopes.

We are in a day and age when the world would literally come to a stand still without technology.

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