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Comment Re:CEOs are overrated (Score 1) 692

Getting on the internet on a comparable store-bought PC from the era

Step 1: remove PC, keyboard, monitor, mouse and power cable from the box.
Step 2: plug in power cable into back of PC and wall socket.
Step 3: plug in power cable into back of monitor and wall socket.
Step 4. plug in keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
Step 5. plug phone cord into phone socket in back of PC and wall.
Step 6. Turn on PC
Step 7. Launch AOL.

One extra step, $500 saved. Of course, if you bought a PowerMac, you would have to follow EXACTLY the same steps as for a PC.

Comment Re:The 'Net Generation' from Ground Zero (Score 1) 435

You're not alone. I'm the same way. I'm seventeen, and I grew up with an 80486 clone with 8MB of RAM and DOS 6/Windows 3.11. My family was a few years behind in technology for a while, so we had 28.8k dialup until about 2005. We got broadband right around the time the web started shifting to "Web 2.0".

The late 90s internet was great, for it seemed to have more "personality", and people were forced to learn a little bit about computers. Instead of Facebook pages that lock people into a very specific design, people had Geocities, Maxpages, Angelfire, and Tripod pages, which could be coded with HTML, albeit with ads. Flash movies and games were starting to take off, people would make crap in VB6 and release it on their shitty webpages. People would chat in IRC, and Usenet was still in heavy use. Everything was new and cool. Eventually, the dot-com bubble burst, Napster came and went, and Web 2.0 began to rise. The internet started to become a place for professionals (other than IT) and the general population, however, and the "cool" and "new" thing started to wear off, for the nerds who were its primary users for years were starting to become outnumbered by average people, who wanted it to "just work".

The same thing happened with computers, as well. Just like the internet, they became simpler and easier to use. No longer did one have to mess with AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS to get games working. DOS disappeared, and the average user never looks at a CLI. Computers no longer come with a programming IDE, even one as simple as QBASIC. Even though computers have become simpler to use, Windows is still a complex beast under the hood, which makes it so that people who do try to get started in programming find it much harder to write seemingly "simple" programs, compared to QBASIC and its simplicity. Computers started to become a much larger business in the early 00s. Most people are not at all comfortable about fixing their own computer problems, for they believe it is just a box of magic; the inner workings have been abstracted so much from them, they don't wonder for a second about how computers work.

I think it is borderline offensive to people like myself that people call my generation the "Net Generation", and act like we all know what we are doing with computers. The average person in my age group knows how to turn a computer on and go on MySpace/Facebook, and that's it. Ask them what a CLI is and they'll stare at you, then tell you that their computer has "320GB of RAM". Bring Linux up in a conversation and you'll be told "isn't that like really old and from the 80s or something?". People will tell you that they program, you'll ask "what language?", and they will respond with "HTML, lol, are there any others?".

I can't take it. I seriously think I should have been born in 1983 rather than 1993. So, sometimes I pretend I was. I like to work with a Commodore 128, my old 486 clone (kept it in running condition), a 1997 computer that I restored, and a computer from 2000. I go on IRC, Usenet, and Telnet BBSes. I watch demos from the demoscene (which amazes me), while learning x86 assembly and C in my spare time. Sometimes I wish that "Web 2.0" would die and the non-techies would get off the internet.

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