Not all of them were affordable, or powerful enough, or even portable, however. For example, the first-ever computer was so large it was built permanently inside a factory! The Computers that were used in the Apollo 11 & 12 missions were less powerful than some of today's high-school calculators! The same goes for GPS navigation devices.
I remember back in 2000, an 'affordable' hand-held GPS device from Garmin was as big as a 0.5ml bottle of water, and was only able to provide small monochrome screens that displayed coordinates and destination tracking. But today, right now, in fact, I own a GPS-enabled mobile phone with much more features & functions, and at approximately half the price of a standalone GPS device of 7 years ago.
Do I need it? In tiny Kuwait, of all places? Well, it's a big YES! Nowadays, GPS devices come pre-installed with localized maps that show you directions and places of interest on anything from the main highway to the smallest grocery store, with recommendations for alternatives as well! More of a 'piece of mind' kind of thing, its useful to have a GPS on board, especially if you're looking for something for the very first time, like a private medical consultant's office, or the nearest Police Station or clinic, or a camping area.
Desert navigation is where the GPS is best used. If all else fails, and you're lost somewhere in the desert at 12am, with no lights whatsoever, just consult your GPS and ask it to drive you home, that simple.
One thing is for sure, ill sure be using my brand new GPS device for some off-road navigation this winter!