what outdated technology will you miss?
I miss computers, real computers that is. The sort where satisfaction comes from having persuaded the machine do something… anything…
Some of you will be thinking so what?, but others will know what I mean.
Like freeing up that last impossible 2Kb of base memory so your new computer game would actually run. This could take many days of fiddling, but the sense of achievement when you finally succeeded was greater than you would ever get from actually completing the game 6 hours later. Then you probably had to change everything back when you needed to run something else, which was great! Now you had to try and free up 632Kb out of 640Kb of base memory without leaving out [I]anything[/I] (especially not that 20Kb mouse driver).
These were the days when the closest we got to ‘plug & play’ was finding a graphics card with (joy of joys) dip switches on the backplate, so you no longer had to keep opening up the case and pulling the card out just to change the jumpers. And of course all these problems had to be worked out alone, there was no internet to go to looking for help.
But best of all was actually managing to do something productive on a computer. To begin with just printing a page of text you’d spent hours typing was an achievement. With Wordwise on the BBC Micro press the wrong function key and instead of printing, you’d lose everything without warning (the two keys were conveniently placed adjacent to each other). And if, for example, this happened at ten o’clock on a Sunday night and that piece of homework was due in first thing Monday morning, you’d have to start typing all over again from the begining. The output from a 9-pin Epson RX-80 may have been hideous, but that wasn’t the point - you’d actually produced something on the computer.
Then you would go looking for new challenges every time you got your hands on a new piece of software. How about producing a piece of maths coursework in MathCAD just for the hell of it? Sure time was short and it would have been much quicker to write it by hand like everyone else, but that’s not the point. This was something you could do on the computer, which was much more fun. [I]You[/I] knew how much work it took to find a way to import those diagrams & combine everything with the text, even if nobody else did. ([I]And so what if you never actually finished it. Anyone could have handed in a completed piece of work, if they did it all by hand.[/I] )
Alas those days are gone forever.