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50 years of Computing


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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 09:55 AM

I just realized that it will be 50 years next month that I started working with computers. A bit has changed in that time.
  • Computers have become smaller, way more powerful, more common, and more interconnected. That much is obvious.
  • Computing has gone from a batch to an always-on continuous experience.
  • Users have become way less technical and far more numerous.
  • The biggest game changer has been the Internet - particularly the Web.
  • The use one makes of a computer has changed drastically. In 1968 I was calculating ultraviolet wavelength transformations, today I'm watching YouTube.
So
  • Hardware - faster, better, more common, smaller, connected.
  • Users - more of them, dumber.
  • Uses - less technical, more trivial - although they are still useful tools in science and business.
I leave it up to you if we've made progress. :hmm:

Edited by raymac46, 06 August 2018 - 09:56 AM.

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#2 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 10:32 AM

/begin Luddite rant
  • Computers have become smaller, way more powerful, more common, and more interconnected. That much is obvious.
- Everything electronic has become smaller, way more powerful/useful, and much more common. Sadly, it's also become obsolescent while its still being assembled on the manufacturer's line. Nothing is repaired these days. The capitalist oligarchs have had their most precious dream come true... buy, buy, buy again! And sadly, it's also why I no longer have a career.
  • Computing has gone from a batch to an always-on continuous experience.
- HA! It's NOT always on in my house. ;)
  • Users have become way less technical and far more numerous.
- Again, the dream of the capitalists. PCs were initially marketed as devices just as simple and safe to use as your TV. Sadly, that was never the truth. It was marketing.
  • The biggest game changer has been the Internet - particularly the Web.
- Ah, yes, the Internets. Back when I was a kid, all the adults used to say that TV was going to be the end of the world as they knew it. Well, they were wrong; although TV did contribute to the world's downfall. The Internet has really put a dent in society's future, but the REAL game changer is a small handheld device called a "smart phone". These devices were created in Heck by demons intent on turning humanity into mindless zombies with evolved specialized thumbs. Next step? The brain/chip physical interface. Want to search Google? Just think about it and you see it in your head... Error 404 - Page not found. :teehee:
  • The use one makes of a computer has changed drastically. In 1968 I was calculating ultraviolet wavelength transformations, today I'm watching YouTube.
- In 1968, I was outside in the yard playing "war" with my neighborhood chums. And, tragically, many slightly older boys were slogging through jungles and muddy rice paddies getting their arses shot off while older men pushed toy soldiers back and forth across maps thousands of miles away from the actual battles.

===
  • Hardware - faster, better, more common, smaller, connected.
- Yes, and 100% manufactured in China for pennies by near-slave labor working for three cups of rice a day and a cot.
  • Users - more of them, dumber.
- If ignorance is bliss, then there should be a whole lot of blissful idiots in the modern world these days; most of them smiling and texting on the devices as they drive 65mph through congested city streets or Interstate exchanges.
  • Uses - less technical, more trivial - although they are still useful tools in science and business.
- Meh... personally, I could go to sleep tonight and wake up back in 1968 and I would only miss a few things about today's technology... the ability to "meet" and make good friends without ever seeing them or hearing their voices, YouTube music, streaming movies from my favorite island nation of Tonga, and eBay. ;)

/end of Luddite rant

Sorry, Ray... I couldn't resist. ~Eric

#3 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 05:56 PM

I switch off my desktops laptops and - most of the time - tablets. But my wife's smartphone is always on. 50 years ago you punched your program on cards and it ran as a batch. You then needed to debug and run another batch till it worked.
I still maintain that the ability to interconnect many PCs is a game changer. We wouldn't be having this discussion otherwise.
If you are a desktop/Linux user you are getting far more use out of your hardware today than you were in 1997 - when each new version of Windows meant a new machine.

Edited by raymac46, 06 August 2018 - 05:57 PM.

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#4 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 08:41 PM

Indeed! Linux LOVES old systems. :)




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