I would like to tell you a story but I am afraid it does not end well. This is the story of the PC and the dream that is not but almost dead. A sad story you may ask - I don't want to listen to that!
Well sometimes you must listen because as the saying goes... "those that do not know history are doomed to repeat it." Now there are many things wrong with the world these days, hunger, famine, war, corruption, but if we were to focus on all of these at once... we would go completely batshit crazy. This need to focus one's anger and motivation towards good or evil has led to what we refer to today as extremism and it is a plague to both America and the rest of the world.
In order to be right, we all have to be really right these days... you know where anything less than an A+ makes one "tear up" for the immense failure of an A-... yes that level of achievement.
Back in the Golden Age, when the digital landscape we call the Internet was new, there was less activity online and the activity that did exist did so for unique needs. There were websites to search the web like AOL, shopping sites, and even MySpace pages... but most of these things came even later on. This was also the advent of computer gaming: the escape from the console environment to intellectual challenge, the freedom to manipulate software within reasonable bounds, and the move beyond 8-bit color. (I am young so people will tell of before this era, but I come from the 16 bit color era...)
A simple CD-key, if required, was all that was needed to install a game. When one bought a game, they did not require some company to stay in business to play their game in the future. In fact, after purchasing the software, people would consider the right to run the game theirs... There was a huge problem, however, as this Internet was structured around a loose set of rules (if you could call them that) that let most users chose whatever path they wish. Illegal copying became rampant and profitability of the PC-gaming market slumped. With no check on the super motivated individuals, shit hit the fan.
My journal today is me bitching about Steam. I will not present a Tron knock-off but rather I wish for another era, that of where a damn Steam client does not need root access to whatever the hell it wants on my "Windows" box. I went to GameStop (I know but it's close by) to by a PC game. They don't sell them. After Starcraft 2 was released, they figured their sales were done in the area and closed shop on the PC-games. Yes their counterpart EB-games still sells the lonely cardboard pyramid shelf of PC games next to the used xbox 360 titles, but the empire of PC gaming to me is dying despite all the World of Warcraft and other few titles. Each year "profitability" falls as the Internet is free.
This freedom has come at a price it seems, for all the freedom we enjoy on the net... it was the downfall of many aspects of software and perhaps the Internet itself. As the steam from the wreckage rises in the distance, I vent my anger on Slashdot that has more become sadness by the end of me writing this. It's ironic I guess - the principles on which the Internet and computing were established may have been the downfall of what "it" sought to uphold.
I did warn you, this story would not end well...
There once was a dream that was "the Internet". You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile...
Now to get this damn Steam client under control and restrict the son of a bitch with a little bit of virtualization and C++...