In 1989 we purchased our first computer, a Macintosh CXII. We borrowed the money from my business partner’s mom (thank you, Virginia!) to pay for the CPU, large monitor, and printer. Our second computer, an Apple SE/30, was used mostly to type letters and make lists—and served as our first poor-man’s laptop, as I recall taking it home on several occasions in its not-so-sleek carrying case.
We purchased our first mobile phones locally from Cellular One in 1991. They were expensive, but we bought them for half off their regular price ($450 instead of the usual $900) since they’d been used by firefighters during that year’s Fire Storm. Back then, they came with an eye-catching short- and long-form antenna.
Our firm’s first real laptop arrived in 1997. It was an Apple PowerBook G3: At 2.5″ thick and weighing a sturdy six pounds, it was much easier to transport than the SE/30. And back then, Freehand was our preferred design software.
Technology has, and will continue to have, the single greatest impact on our industry. Ironically, it has little to do with original ideas. One only has to review the great work produced prior to the mid-80s to see that creative thinking and its execution never relied on amazing tools.