WARNING: This entry relies entirely on my memory, and as such I make no guarantee of its authenticity.

I recently read an article in NZ consumer magazine about  LCD televisions. What ones are worth the price etc. That prompted a memory from years ago (I think end of 1992 but I might be mistaken) when, as a PhD student, I attended a physics conference in Sheffield, UK.  Conferences usually have displays from industry – and this was no exception. I remember seeing there an LCD display screen; I marvelled at how big the screen was (maybe the size of a lap top screen), how clearly it showed its full range of colours (black and white) and how thin the display was (twenty centimetres or so). The guy proudly showing it off did concede that applications for TV were a long long way off, if, in fact, not impossible. Too much wiring, and they would be prohibitively expensive.

How technology can rocket forward.

I recall, in about 2001, a slightly drunk work colleague of mine commenting that in the 1980s a major business consultancy firm carried out a study on the size of the potential market for mobile phones. Its conclusion: About ten thousand. Worldwide.

My memory may of course be faulty, but, even so,  I think it is true that pace of technological achievement can really take us by surprise. Even the people developing it.

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