February 16, 2024
No technology has advanced more rapidly than personal computers. I used to dread the appearance of the IT guys in my office with yet another upgrade to hardware and software. It seemed like each “advance” required me to discard some program I had finally mastered in exchange for features that did not seem all that necessary. I sure miss those guys today. Recently I made an overdue effort to “delouse” my desktop computer and found out my “tool kit” license had long since expired. Attempting to reactivate it resulted in a two hour plus interaction with a very knowledgeable IT professional in a far-off land. Eventually, he determined that my venerable PC was just too old to be saved. No doubt my call has become a source of much amusement for his co-workers. Perhaps they have an office pool on the oldest computer a curmudgeon still flogs. Some of my programs were older than the technician, apparently. Thanks to Black Friday specials, a new PC is on its way to me. I resisted dragging my wonderful son-in-law into the process and will be attempting to adapt my very old programs to this new operating system. Expect a bit of whining over this in future blog postings. It was very amusing to get a targeted ad today on a modern version of the famous Commodore 64 personal computer/gaming system that was once the most popular PC in the world. Believe it or not, kids, but we once had multiple magazines — actual tree-killing paper publications — devoted to a device you hooked up to your cathode ray television. Each issue offered tips on getting the most out of that 48kb processor along with the code for programs and games. Hours of fun awaited those who could manage to type in hundreds of lines of code accurately. Often the next issue would provide “corrections” to said code, but lots of people learned to code 48kb at a time. No one wants to return to those early days, yet we would not be where we are unless someone had endured it.