TRON: Legacy, The Evolution of Technlogy

How things have changed.

No, they have evolved.

We hear about technological revolutions every other second and in see it in every other screen; computer, movie or television.

But nothing has really changed, just improved.

A lot.

Proof of that comes in the way of a movie trailer for the new movie TRON: Legacy. Or should I say, sequel. The original TRON came at a time of true technological revolution. The computer had invaded our homes, our offices. Coin-op video games were all the rage. Millions of kids dropped hundreds of millions of coins and played for hours on end while listening to music in their earphones from Walkmans. And the internet lurked in the connections between college mainframes, office networks and dedicated services run by kids from their own home machines or monolithic companies trying to carve their own sprite filled embryonic universes out of the metaverse that would become the World Wide Web.

TRON showed us a world inside a computer (two decades before the Matrix), which a sleek design reminiscent of the future-perfect ideals of the 1930s,50s and early 60s .  The computer graphics of the time which strained the power of the then mightiest supercomputers came through in monochrome straight lines and jagged mathematical surfaces.  The plot revolved in and around concepts such as cyberspace and computer viruses that would only become common place 10 to 15 years later.

Today we still use desktops (even if they changed from IBM Clones, to XT/AT Clones, to DOS Clones, To Intel Machines). We still listen to music though portable devices (flash memory drives instead of magnetic audio tape). We still play video games, not in vast arcades, but as the movie predicted, online and we spend billions of dollars in $15, $30 and even $70 increments. The fundamental concepts remain. Kevin Flynn would recognize the world we live in. I was born in the days of Pong and the Atari 2600, now I have no problem picking up a 360 wireless controller, hooking up to Xbox Live and playing any games, including hundreds of so called retro-games that once flickered in Flynn’s arcade screens so many years ago.

And even Master Control came to being, as a ubiquitous Disc Operating System, pre-loaded into 90% of all machines on the planet.

We call it Windows.

But that is a story for another day.

One more thing, the studio that gave us TRON (and it wasn’t a big seller back then) also gave us Pixar.

Chew on that for a second.

On top you saw the before, now it is time to show you the after.

—End of Line—

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