The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


April 5, 2013

LEVINE: Keeping up with mobile technology

About 20 years ago, I was amazed at Zach Morris' ability to make a phone call while sitting in class.

Sure, I was only about 8 years old, but my world at home involved those archaic phone devices that plugged into the wall. Seeing Zack from "Saved by the Bell" pull out the 9-inch phone from his backpack, and proceed to order pizza from his mobile phone, was amazing.

The ability to carry a phone at all times was almost that of science fiction to me as a grade schooler in southwest Iowa.

Now, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the mobile phone this week, the future looks even more out of this world.

It's been 40 years since a Motorola employee made a mobile phone call in 1973, and the world has seen plenty of changes, especially since the time of Zack Morris in the early 1990s.

My family bought a cordless phone in the the mid '90s, but its range died out when we entered the garage. It was great to have the freedom of not being chained to the kitchen where our other phone lived, but it didn't have that freedom that accompanied cell phones.

We didn't enter the world of mobile technology until the early 2000s, when my dad got a cell phone. My parents caved later when I was a high schooler, and I got my first cell phone.

I had finally made it. My phone was a little smaller than Morris', but I now had the ability to make crank phone calls and scheme my friends all in the comfort of my desk at school. Unfortunately real life isn't quite like "Saved by the Bell," and teachers didn't allow phones in their classrooms.

But I was able to play the game Snake, a video game that makes Pac Man look modern, on my phone while I passed time waiting for a ride or for the next class. I didn't see the point of texting, and taking photos with my phone was only a pipe dream for more technologically savvy people.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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