Did you notice the rapid improvement of computers? Did you appreciate it?
I remember when I was 7 years old (some 13 years ago), when we got our first grey box. Oh the joy. I had played with computers before, mainly my fathers Packard Bell which he used at his office. Windows 3.11 with the additional Packard Bell UI. But the family computer running Windows 98 was something special. I got to play real computer games, and I got to browse the World Wide Web using a dial-up modem.
I remember the lag with, later on, newer games. Then we got another computer, slightly faster, which amazed me. Oh the joy, with every improvement. Every slight boost in computer hardware yielded awesome speed.
When I was around 13, I got my very own computer. My first one. We got it through some company deal, very cheap (those deals are not available anymore in Sweden). A year later we installed ADSL broadband. Unrestricted internet on Windows XP, that was amazing. I could play single player games with good graphics, and I could even play multiplayer games. I could play web-based flash games. I could download any multimedia I wanted (back then, it was legal to file share in Sweden, as long as you didn’t pass the files on).
Today, on the other hand, computers and internet are essential things. Everything is based on certain specs and won’t work otherwise. Some e-mail software won’t even work offline! Though, some software will nowadays work without internet because of increase in disk size. But do we appreciate this? Do we enjoy the speed boost, or do we enjoy the design and user interface more?
When 4Gb of memory is as good as 8Gb as memory, do we really appreciate the capacity? We are so spoiled with innovation.
The flip side is, unfortunately, that we can’t go back. Put a 14-year-old in front of a old computer, and watch the frustration grow. We want instant results, we want a boot time less than 3 seconds, we want to play music while downloading updates while browsing the internet while playing a game.
I’m writing this from my old laptop. A 4-5 year old MacBook White with a Core2Duo and 1Gb of RAM. It works with any one piece of software (games excluded), but not with more. With some performance penalty, I can run two apps at once. Of course OSX runs more smooth than Win7.
When you’ve finished reading this, take a moment and think about how spoiled you are. Cheers!