For too long now I have been an early adopter of new technology [funds dependent]. Sometimes this has caused me issues of new tech surpassing me and then I feel a little left out.
I think the earliest part of trend setting in which I was involved was roller-blading. I know my mum was rather unhappy that I asked for a set of rollerblades (by Bauer) for my 20th birthday. I think she would have preferred that I got an iron or something else sensible. But, I was at university and wasn’t thinking about setting up kit for real-life and houses and things. I practised on the roller-blades during the Easter break from college so I was able to GO|STOP|TURN before I went back to halls. I was one of the first students on rollerblades and one of the first people to rollerblade around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Jason and I would rollerblade around London for an afternoon trying to find the smoothest pavements. It was a good time and I felt as though we were starting something big. In the next few years rollerblading really took off.
In my fourth year at college, a sabbatical year rather than a four year degree, I bought a NICAM Stereo video cassette recorder and linked it up to my new hi-fi amplifier. Watching Star Wars on a 21″ 4:3 CRT television with two hundred watts of sound power blasting out was brilliant and an excellent investment. I remember watching Fry and Laurie on TV and they had a sketch where they played the sound of a telephone ringing. In the early-mid nineties all telephones sounded the same and were plugged into the wall. Whenever they played this effect it sounded as though my phone was ringing! To make the point they put a small picture (now called an icon) in the corner of the television picture whenever they played this sound to save us mere mortals getting up and trying to answer the phone. It was a wonderful piece of television and technology.
Coming up soon in this list of things I-have-bought-before-the-technology-was-mature are HD TV, Speaker docks, wi-fi, mobile phones, pro-logic decoder.