All this is true...
Posted by paul on Tue, 06/08/2004 - 3:31am.
and I do have a lot of the skills to run the old systems, painfully gained during the 80s when I was our office's tech support department. I remember having to mess with the config.sys file, and writing batch files to start programs without having to type in a lot of cd\autocad\autocad.exe type of gibberish. I remember too well hunting down driver disks for monitors, printers, plotters and other devices and having to install them and modify the config.sys file again.

For that matter, I've had to deal with a mainframe running a variant on FORTH (The University of Rochester had, in the 70s, a CRAY-1 which supplied the needs of the whole campus, including the laser fusion lab, and used URTH). I also remember too well using cards to program a minicomputer which was the size of my bookcase.

If I had to, I could do all of these things still, I'm sure- in fact, a year or two ago I had to dust off my old DOS skills to ressurect an old 8088 which was hooked up to a piece of lab equipment, because no one else in the whole plant had any idea of what to do with it- including the engineers who were my age or older. But ya know? I really don't miss that shit at all.

See, there's a reason that technology progresses. People are inherently lazy. They see something and try to come up with an easier way of doing it. This is why we have such things as electric drills and mixers, because people in our grandparents' generation hated doing things by muscle. We have Bisquick because they hated having to mix things from scratch every time. We have loaves of bread in the supermarket wrapped in plastic bags because they hated having to constantly bake.

I would be willing to bet that if you had taken your furniture-making grandfather to Sears and showed him a table and chairs there, he would have been more than happy to buy it rather than have to make it himself- that is, unless furniture was his hobby, in which case all bets are off. I too like to do a lot of stuff by hand even now, such as bake bread from scratch, but to have to always do it? NO.

Technology is here to stay, for a very good reason. And it will continue to improve- for the very same reason. And as it does, I will ride along with it and do my best to forget the old stuff- for the very same reason.

It's well we cannot hear the screams
we make in other peoples' dreams.
--Edward Gorey
Your name:
Anne Onymous
Allowed HTML tags: <a> <b> <dd> <dl> <dt> <i> <li> <ol> <u> <ul> <em> <blockquote> <br> <hr> <br/>