What Will It Be Like
Have the Power?



Even if you've never played a video game, or used a cell phone or the Internet, it would be hard to imagine a world without them. Yet, as commonplace as these technologies are, they are barely older than their users.


Twenty-some years ago, on April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher, made the first phone call using a handheld cell phone from the corner of 56th and Lexington in New York City. Weighing almost two pounds, it was a monster by today's standards but still a huge advance over the car-mounted mobile phones that had been around since the 1940s.

Magnavox and Atari first marketed video games in 1972. By 1998, the market represented 14.2 Billion Dollars. (Toy Manufacturers of America, Inc. New York, NY)

The first personal computer appeared on the cover of Popular Electronics magazine in January of 1975. It was programmed in machine code using toggle switches. Two students, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, developed a way to program it in BASIC. In 1976, Stephen Wozniak and his friend Steve Jobs started selling Apples and in 1981, IBM introduced "The PC."

Today’s students are surrounded by electronics: from DVDs to MP3 players to PS2 controllers to digital toasters. Even the automobile, once the pinnacle of machine design, is now just more electronically controlled high technology.

Where does all the electricity come from to run these devices? And where will it come from in the future? If you’re reading this today, it is likely coming from a central generating source, a power plant far away from you. If you’re reading this the day after tomorrow, it is likely coming from all around you!

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