Twenty-five Years of Technological Advancement

by Justin Brown

This year, 2011, dgs will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. During this time the agency has brainstormed, created and produced accomplishments that would make other agencies marketing to technically-minded people drool with envy. We at dgs pride ourselves on being a trendsetter in marketing communications and in the technology we incorporate in our daily routine that allows us to produce the most effective work our clients demand.

Getting new gadgets is my hobby, especially Apple stuff. I have a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Apple Cinema Display, iPhones, iPad, AppleTV and Time Capsule – and this is just at my house. I also have a lot of Apple stickers… I work everyday at dgs on a MacPro with dual 23″ Cinema Displays and use an older G5 as a backup. If I could suck the smell that radiates from their packages into an everlasting air freshener, I totally would.

Apple Macintosh SE

But, keeping up-to-date with the latest and greatest technology can be extremely expensive. That’s why my wife has an approval process when I go shopping which usually results in “No, Maddux needs formula.” During the 90s and early 2000s, businesses really had no need to upgrade regularly. With the demand and availability of information greater today than it was 25 years ago, agencies are forced into upgrading more frequently than they were just ten years ago. The lifespan of equipment (in particular computer equipment) typically lasts no more than three years. In reality, however, it could be said technology doesn’t last more than six months before it’s completely antiquated. “Put it on the shelf Steve, this iPadMacPro is an antique.”

Apple PowerPC G3

Back in 1988 dgs became one of the first agencies in the country to incorporate a local area network for use in file sharing and desktop publishing. This system was a cool Macintosh SE, running somewhere in the neighborhood of an 8MHz processor, 1MB of RAM and standard 20MB hard drive. Oh, and it had a standard 3.5 floppy drive. System upgrades occurred during the next 15 years and when I started in 2004, the dgs local server comprised of an Apple PowerPC G3 that was used as the original client drive. This setup lasted for several years and because file sizes were getting larger, a really bulky external 120GB hard drive was connected and acted as the current client drive. (Remember when external hard drives were bricks? Now you can carry a 256GB flash drive for your pocket! Insane!)

Apple XServe G5

A few months later, in early 2005 dgs upgraded significantly to a shiny new Apple XServe. Sadly, Apple discontinued the XServe in late 2010 but this machine ran like a beast for the years while in production. It was a dual 2.3GHz G5 processor with 1GB of RAM and a serial raid of 500GB. This was a ridiculously huge deal back in 2005. XServe’s were expensive and not too many companies integrated one.This machine would crunch large files faster than you could wipe the drool off your face. We sang songs of praises and danced around like little kids in a ballet recital. We thought we would never run out of space.

Boy, were we wrong.

Come late 2008, early 2009 our beefy XServe started showing signs of old age. His muscles were sagging and internal organs were showing weakness. He beeped and grumbled but he held on – his fate soon coming in January of this year, 2011. RIP XServe 2005-2011. You’ll become a nice piece of artwork on the wall some day.

Apple MacPro Server

But wait, this tear-jerker-blog-post has a happy ending (at least for now). Our files aren’t getting any smaller ya’ll. We needed something more juiced up than a Major League Baseball player. We needed crazy speed, ridiculous amount of storage and something that still looked sexy enough to throw dollar bills at. Allow me to introduce you to our new server, MacPro. Coming in at a lightning 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor, 8GB of RAM and a whopping 8TB of space. That’s right, 8 Terabytes of storage space! That’s 16x’s larger than the capacity of the late-XServe! Right now we can’t imagine filling this thing up but give us a couple years, I’m sure we will. Bring on the work!

It’s amazing to me how advanced computer technology becomes in a short amount of time. Coming from storing projects on floppy, zip and jazz disks, even small external hard drives to now terabyte sized drives in just 25 years is astounding. What will technology be like in another 25 years? Ten years? Or even just five years from now? Like I said, I love technology and I’m easily geeked out thinking about the possibilities. My parents use to tell me they didn’t have a money tree growing in the back yard, but boy, I sure do wish I could grow one today.

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