Understanding the Digital Revolution
The definition of the digital revolution is the change in technology from mechanical and analog electronic technology which began in the 1950s until the 1970s where there was a lot of adoption and development of digital recording technology and digital computers that have continued until now.
Implicitly, the term digital revolution also refers to the massive technological shift to digital communication and computing technology during half a century in the 20th century. If it is analogous to the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution, the beginning of the digital revolution is the starting point of the information age, which is around the 1970s.
The digital revolution has become the point of view of many people in this information age in living a life that is sophisticated and closely related to information technology. A technology called computer is making a big change all over the world. The digital revolution brings positive and negative impacts together, like a double-edged sword, computers have helped a lot in human work and all its affairs to cause interpersonal problems to complex financial problems in large companies.
A Brief History of the Development of the Digital Revolution
Based on timeline the development of industrial technology, the starting point of the digital revolution began between the 1970s and 1980s, at the same time as the Industrial Revolution entered its third stage (Industrial Revolution 3.0). If Industrial Revolution 1.0 fueled by steam engine, Industrial Revolution 2.0 triggered by conveyor belts and electricity, Industrial Revolution 3.0 triggered by moving machines that are able to operate automatically, such as computer technology and robotics.
At the end of the Industrial Revolution 2.0 era, which was at the end of World War II, computers were a luxury item. The well-known computer technology at that time was a German machine whose function was to encrypt the code known as Enigma and the first programmable computer named Colossus.
The Colossus machine was very large, about the size of a bedroom and had a number of limitations such as not having RAM, and not being able to receive commands from humans via keyboard but through paper tape. Very different from today’s computers that can receive input from keyboard, mouse, or touch screen, and its physical size is much smaller, even as small as the grip of a human hand.
The seeds of the development of the digital revolution began in the 1940s, in 1947, at Bell Labs under the leadership of William Shockley, two inventors named John Barden and Walter Houser made the world’s first transistor. The transistor is made from germanium, the transistor is included in the type of point-contact transistor. From there computer technology began.
Jumping into the 1970s, the home computer (personal computer or PC) was first introduced. At the same time, computer technology is also developing time sharing, console video games, video games coins, and the golden era arcade video games (starts with Space Invaders). Home computer technology is growing again since the competition between the two giants of home computer technology is getting worse.heat up‘ in the mid-1980s, namely Microsoft and Macintosh. Microsoft puts forward its flagship software Microsoft Windows while Macintosh with MacOS.
Not many know that the digital revolution is actually the 3.0 Industrial Revolution itself. The idea of the Industrial Revolution 2.0 and the Industrial Revolution 3.0 itself only appeared at the Hannover Messe industrial exhibition in the city of Hannover, Germany in 2011 when the terminology of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 was put forward. Before the term Industrial Revolution 4.0 appeared, it was only known as the Technological Revolution (which refers to the 2.0 Industrial Revolution) and the Digital Revolution (which refers to the 3.0 Industrial Revolution).
The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is a situation in the 21st century when there are massive changes in various fields of technology that reduce the barriers between the digital world, the physical world, and biology. This revolution emerged after technological advances in the Industrial Revolution 3.0 were growing and advancing rapidly. The Industrial Revolution 4.0 is marked by advances in information technology that is more sophisticated than during the Industrial Revolution 3.0, robotic technology, blockchain, 3D printing, and unmanned vehicles.
Impact of the Digital Revolution (Industrial Revolution 3.0)
The earliest impact of the Industrial Revolution 3.0 was the diminishing role of humans as brainware in solving industrial problems. Various jobs that were previously used to be done manually by humans are starting to be taken over by computers and robotic machines. Globally, the Industrial Revolution 3.0 is seen with the emergence of various devices that support the development of information technology such as the invention of semi-conductors, transistors, and integrated chip (IC), then followed by the development of personal computers (PCs), world wide web (internet), cell phones, and social media.
The impact of other digital revolutions, including in the field of education. In middle and high school computers began to be taught, starting with the introduction of its basic functions as a home computer instead of a typewriter. The thing that the generation of the 1990s felt the most was the shift in the function of the typewriter, being replaced by the typewriter keyboard on personal computers and word processing application windows.
Viewed from this perspective, the concept of documentation in institutions that handle public data collection has begun to change. The data that was previously typed on a typewriter is then started to be typed using a word processing application, besides that, the concept of databases is also widely used both on a local network and connected to the internet network.
The impact of the digital revolution on the multimedia field is the conversion of technology, including the conversion of Compact Disc to MP3, VHS tape recorder to CD-R/DVD-R, analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting, mail to email, analog photography to digital photography, and so on.
In fact, the digital revolution has brought many positive impacts for humans in the fields of industry, education, and information systems. The technology developed during the digital revolution made it easier for humans to complete their work and facilitated communication access. However, in addition to its large positive impact on humanity, it also has a potential negative impact that is no less large, namely the birth of a new type of crime called cyber-crime which is a challenge for the generation of the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
Thus a brief description of the digital revolution. Hopefully this article is easy to understand, useful, and adds to the reader’s insight about what the digital revolution is.