Sunday, July 15, 2007

On computers: Hobby, obsession, or psychosis?

I've been pondering my hobby lately.

I've been re-prioritizing my projects, trying to eliminate those with no intrinsic value. You know, where there's no functional or practical reason to the upgrade, or no fun/fuck-up factor involved...

For those of you who don't know, I'm participating in the Retrochallenge this month. It's been an interesting but frustrating experience. I've had plans fail repeatedly, hardware literally catch fire, and STILL cannot dial into my UNIX shell account two weeks in. In order to do the things that I wanted, I had to buy a couple of upgrades for my 1986 vintage Tandy Colour Computer 3. I shelled out nearly a hundred bucks on a 512K RAM upgrade and monitor cable... and of course, the 512K upgrade card was damaged in transit. I COULD send it back for a replacement, but by the time I received the replacement, the Retrochallenge will be over. So I'm "stuck" using my stock 128K machine...

It's been a pain in the ass, and I've been questioning whether it's really worth the effort. I enjoy working with my old machines, and I love pushing them to do "modern" things, but when all is said and done, what have I done?

Have I shown the world what older hardware can do?
Have I shown the world what I can MAKE the hardware do?
Have I shown the world what others have made the hardware do, and that I'm an end-user of their work?

In a word, yes. But then "the world" really only refers to other retrocomputer enthusiasts. Frankly, I think the exercise would be lost on most people who only know how to point-and-click on their Windows machines. But I digress. People are sheep and only use what's put in front of them out of ignorance, laziness, or because they've been conditioned by the mass media and their brainwashed peers to believe there's only one true path and all others are laughably wrong and should be mocked at any given opportunity.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Well, I seem to have strayed from my original topic of reprioritizing my projects and allowed this post to denigrate into an attack on idiots, 'scuse me, society. I'm going to end this little tirade now while I'm still relatively calm and will try to get myself back on topic at a later date.

No comments:

Post a Comment