Re: John-ny! John-ny! John-ny! (LONG)

  • From: Steve Baker <ice@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001 11:44:09 -0500

  I'm going to have to agree with Mike here (as much as I hate too :-) and
agree that basically John Dvorak is on to something here. Computers aren't
fun anymore and while I don't necessarily agree that it's the cause of the
downturn in tech stocks and computer sales, there may be some kernel of
truth to it all.

  I also agree that the Mac did largely lead the way in making computers
less fun, at least for hacker types like myself. One might think that the
Amiga and Macs would be simular environments, but you'd be very wrong.  The
Mac was a proprietary mystery that had very little in the way of programming
tools, while the Amiga on the other hand came with a circuit diagram of the
mainboard in the owners manual, had full documentation on every single
aspect of the OS and had quite some competition amung compiler makers.
Anyone could hack the Amiga, and is probably the single biggest reason why
programs are still be written for it, even to this day.  I doubt the Mac
would have had such longevity if it had suffered the same fate as the Amiga.
The Amiga was a very fun computer, and the Mac was decidedly not.

  One thing I do dissagree with JD about is that GUI's inherently lead to
less fun computers.  I don't find them all that useful mind you, but they
don't in of themselves make computers less fun, not as long as a xterm or
its equivalent is available.

  He's also right on the money as far as games go.  I really haven't seen an
orginal game idea since, well, wolfen3d probably.  The games look better,
but I'm not convinced they are better.  Replay value of some of these games
is about zero anymore, if I can even be bothered to get all the way through

  You know the more I think about it, the more I think he may actually be
right about the less fun we have with computers leading to reduced computer
buying.  It seems that in recent years, what I do with a computer has
shrunk, not grown.  If I wasn't a sys-admin, and being online all the time
wasn't practically a part of my job, probably the only thing I'd do with my
computer is read e-mail perhaps once a day, and browse the few specialty
sites I do every day to keep up on things.  Certainly doesn't seem worth
having a GHz processor and tons of memory and such for just that.  Unless
something happens to my computer, I don't imagine I'll need or even want to
upgrade anything about it for at least another year or two.  That's not
always been the case I assure you.

                                                        - Steve

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