Thursday, April 17, 2008

And as We Bid a Fond Farewell

It was in the business section of today's NYTimes, or someplace, so it must be true.

Come July you can kiss Windows-XP goodbye.

Well, not totally, of course. They'll still support it (for somebody) until about 2014. But they'll stop selling new copies of it then.

That means that sometime in the next 6 years or so you'll probably have to upgrade your PC to accomodate the Vista operating system. From what I understand these are the minimum hardware requirements for Vista:

A water-cooled quad-core CPU which operates at Warp Factor 7.
A Googolbyte of RAM.
10-Blu-Ray DVD burner/players (to hold all the installation disks at once).
A 42" HDTV monitor with a native resolution of 4800 x 2400.
At least 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Terabytes of hard-disk storage.
Another $3,000 worth of expensive accessories/toys.

The OS should set you back around a hundred thousand bucks.

Was there really a time when I had a pc on my desk which cost the company six grand, that had 512Kbytes of RAM and a 20Mbyte hard drive? Did it really whiz at the blazing speed of 6Mhz (which I violated the warranty of by juicing that baby up to a whopping 8Mhz)? Was the monitor really in living Green and White?

And did it run something called "DOS 3.1?" And did it have files called "config dot sys" and "autoexec dot bat", which told the computer everything it needed to know in order to run? And did I actually know what those files contained and what each line in them did?


Yes, Virginia, there was such a time. 24 years ago.

Oh, and I had a word processing program called "WordPerfect" which was wonderful. And a spreadsheet program called "Lotus 1-2-3" which also ruled. And I created my own database program using something called "dBase III" which, eventually, became the application in which a giant Wall Street brokerage house actually did the recordkeeping for a +$30 million dollar a year business. And I wrote it.

But that's before we all got lazy and stupid. It's also before Microsoft deliberately engineered software so complicated that only a Microsoft Engineer (or a MicroSoft trained engineer) could possibly understand it. For a series of escalating fees, of course.

Over the years personal computing got lost by the wayside as once again the end-users became nothing more than corporate tools of the all-powerful IT department.

Goodbye personal computing! Hello, Dronehood!


Kelly said...

I miss DOS. I miss WordPerfect for DOS. My new computer has Vista. Meh. Yep, you need some pretty amazing hardware to get it to run... but I don't see how it's all that much better than XP (which wasn't really all that much better than Win2K or NT).

I wrote some kickass programs in C (for DOS, Windows 3.1 and Windows 95). Now, because I don't know C# (WTF??), I'm obsolete. Frack it. I need to start selling more of my art, because this computer industry is making my hair fall out.

(Blogger id, open id, blogger id, open id... so hard to decide...)

Bev Sykes said...

The first laptop I bought last year had Vista. I hated it. I was glad when the machine screwed up and I had to return it. I bought a reconditioned laptop just because it was the only way I could get XP.

Maybe when we all have to use Vista, I'll give up computers.

Yeah--Like THAT's going to happen!