Technology began to truly affect my life when I began working as a carpenter—nail guns, cordless drills, fast-acting adhesives, sealants that actually worked, bituthene…I could go on and on. I experienced the industry change dramatically each time a new “disruptive” product revolutionized the jobsite. 

The changes that most affected me personally were about communication.

Technology completely altered the way in which we communicated; not just the emergence of pagers and then cellular phones, but the lightning-fast transformation of photography. 

When I started writing for Fine Homebuilding, all photographs were shot with transparency and slide film—lighting had to be spot on, so we took six or eight photos for every shot, bracketing for insurance. And we took Polaroids to check the lighting, too! Each photograph required a minimum of fifteen minutes. And then there was the terrifying wait for the film development. Digital cameras cracked that task wide open, sped the process up exponentially, and completely eliminated fear.