By Dan Elliott
In an age of near-fantastical advancement of technology, it is often difficult to step back and see our development in such a short amount of time. After all, we live in a society that encourages the newest and latest in trends and gadgetry. For the past few weeks, however, the Midcoast Campus has been treated to a blast from the past, as the L.L. Bean Learning Commons was filled with computers and gadgetry from days of yore.
The informal exhibit was put on by the Brunswick Campus’s own Tyler Bodeen. A Computer Science Major, Tyler came up with the idea for the display when he noticed the vacant space in the learning commons, and thought to share his trove of technology he was amassing in his dorm room with the rest of the students. The impressive collection of computers, scanners, audio equipment, and other such gear took only about 6 months to amass, according to Tyler, the bulk of which came from his mother’s house. The computers on display were refurbished by Bodeen himself, who has taken up fixing them as a hobby. As he gave a guided tour, Tyler darted between laptops, explaining certain technical specifications of each of the units as he was working on solving internet connectivity issues on some of them. One laptop in particular, an HP Mini netbook, served as an ethernet hub for the rest of the computers at the expense of its own access to the net.
Students of the Midcoast Campus took to the exhibit with a sense of awe and curiosity, with a few brave souls even mustering the courage to hop on and experience a variety of operating systems that have gone the way of the dodo, including Windows XP and Bodeen’s personal favorite, Windows 7. One student attested to the crisp 1280 dpi resolution from the Espon Scanner. “[I want students] to have more knowledge of computers and accessories not just from this generation, from other generations as well” Tyler replied, when asked what the one thing he wanted students to walk away with from visiting his retro-tech exhibit.
Tyler is looking to take the lion’s share of his required courses for his Computer Science Major at the South Portland Campus next semester. His ultimate goal once he finishes school is to become a network administrator, like his father. With his knowledge of both hardware and software, he would like to be able to fix issues that stem both internally and externally.
With how fast our computers and smartphones reinvent themselves, it is no surprise how much technology of yesterday is swept under the rug, to go unnoticed for the rest of time. With Tyler Bodeen’s interactive trip through time, we were able to pause for a moment and see just how far we have come, and ponder what sort of innovations are in store for us around the corner.