Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

Tech And Me

My first exposure to computers and technology came at a very early age. My mum was convinced that I needed a computer to do my school work, and for reasons only known to her, bought me a ‘486’. I would later learn that this was a description of the processor in the machine, but all I could take in at the time was how massive it was and that I had to type everything to get it going. I wouldn’t begin to use anything resembling a modern computer until much later with Windows 3.1.

Even then, technology wasn’t really in my life. It was just a tool to use when needed, and that wasn’t very often. You would have to fast forward more than a decade until I became remotely interested in what these things could do for me, and this all happened by complete accident. With an iPhone that I purchased simply because I had an iPod. I’d had computers to do my college and school work, bought phones to text my friends, but this gadget entered my life and put just the right amount of restrictions in the way that I wanted to get around them.

I discovered that I could enable my primitive iPhone 3G to do more than Apple allowed. With a few lines of code, I could enable copy and paste, and MMS - as shocking as it seems now that an iPhone didn’t have these things. I installed beta software downloaded over peer-to-peer networks and network unlocked them for friends. This interesting world filled a hole in me that had been empty since my dreams of professional football were taken away from me in my late teens. The excitement, skills to learn, and ever-changing landscape was addictive and I can pretty much plot a course from iPhone purchase day to my working life now.

This course went through years of hacking Palm tablets, working with custom ROMs on Android, and writing for technology websites about anything and everything I could. Learning HTML and CSS to build my own blog and gaining the skills to go along with producing content for the web. Because of my love of technology, the people I met, and the skills I picked up along the way, I am where I am today. I am pretty confident to say that had I not bought that iPhone, my life would be a very different place.

Which brings me to today. My world is not as exciting as it once was. The technology that I love is now in a very different spot. It no longer sits idle until called upon like any other tool, it muscles its way into every corner of our lives. There is a lot to be excited about, but also a lot to be wary of. Modern life is a hard place to navigate, and if you’ve had to have this conversation with your children, you will appreciate that it seems to be getting worse. In many ways, we are the tools that technology companies use. To make more and more money while improving less and less about the world.

I cannot get excited about new iPads, task list apps, and camera specs as I used to, but I think that is because I am too jaded by the past. There are others out there that are as excited as past me was about OS updates and new phones, but for AI advancements and wearable technology. I didn’t worry about what these new smartphones would do to the world, and neither will they about LLM’s and image generators.

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