11 Things Computer Users Will Never Experience Again - InformationWeek

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11 Things Computer Users Will Never Experience Again
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Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
12/17/2015 | 12:11:28 AM
Re: Seriously?
Banacek, I would just approach this article with a light heart. Whether or not you or I actually built ourselves computers with these parts is less important than the enjoyment of seeing those old ads. Great stuff, and one of the few slide shows worth clicking thru.
MichaelOFaolain
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MichaelOFaolain,
User Rank: Moderator
12/16/2015 | 5:35:50 PM
With all advances come losses
In 1980 when my Tandy Model II floppy drive heads weren't reading quite right, I could whack the computer on the side and things would settle down, usually.That's my "good old days."

I don't even know how many computers I've assembled, dozens over the decades, fighting with drivers, etc. But I'm old so I stopped, shifting to custom ordered computers about a decade ago.

And today I'm delighted with my Surface Pro 4 which, of course, I have hooked up to a variety of stuff through its dock.

Hmmm. Actually, the desk the Tandy Model II was on was much neater looking.

Oh well...
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
12/16/2015 | 5:16:26 PM
Re: Seriously?
@Banacek I bet many IW readers did this kind of things. I'm certainly one of them. Worry about cases, sound cards, CPU, memory, SCSI controller, etc. Yes, also AGP cards. BIg battle vs.. PCI cards if memory serves. Funny, I still use a PCI video card. Anyway, reading the article for me was like going back in time. Brought back nice memories. Have fun reading it too, with the modem joke, and the memory issue.
bwalker970
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bwalker970,
User Rank: Strategist
12/16/2015 | 2:16:39 PM
Good Riddance
The author neglected to mention that the dark side of the build-your-own-PC world was the utter chaos in finding drivers and fussing with system configurations.  Busses and operating system diverged leaving devices ophanned or unavailable.  There were so many options because computing devices were inherently immature and flawed.  Sometimes the drivers worked or the PC hobbyist worked into the wee hours of the night trying to find the right combinations of memory or IRQ allocations that would make his system work.  Back in the "good old days", "Plug and Pray" was the order of the day.  The PC hobbyist finds much to do in the Linux community where your particular distribution may, or may not, contain the driver versions that supports your hardware.  

The computer has become a comodity with a robust, integrated and well supported application market.  I'm glad that the Ghosts of Technology Past are well behind us.  I would rather spend my time figuring out what I can do with all of this lovely computing power and network connectivity rather that trying to figure how I need to service my computer.  Technology evolves and there was much rejoicing.
Banacek
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Banacek,
User Rank: Ninja
12/16/2015 | 12:39:39 PM
Seriously?
Seriously, most computer users never did any of these things even in way-back times. I've been using computers since 1984 (my first Mac) and I never worried about cases or CPUs. And most users didn't either, let alone worry about an AGP graphics card or the like.

And the people who did things like this are still the people who do things like this. They were and still are the hobbyist/hacker. They want to build their machine, not just buy it.
Ron_Hodges
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Ron_Hodges,
User Rank: Moderator
12/16/2015 | 12:33:31 PM
Ain't dead yet
While I don't actually do the physical assembly (because I want it done RIGHT lol), I did go to CyberpowerPC for my most recent computer, and selected the components which they then beautifully integrated and shipped to me.  Can't say enough good things about them!  I mean, this thing looks like a show model.

Why did I do this?  No PC from any major vendor came anywhere near what I was looking for, which was a platform for high-end music production.  I could have gotten a Mac but it would have cost me $6K or more for the features I wanted.  For CyberpowerPC, it was just over $2K plus another couple hundred for the top-of-the-line Creative Labs sound card.  For that I got the top level i7 CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD for boot drive, a RAID-1 array of 2 TB drives for data, and a pretty good video card.  Plus lots of pretty lights in the case.  :-)

 

 
gfish66
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gfish66,
User Rank: Strategist
12/16/2015 | 12:12:13 PM
Nostalgia
I started with PCs in 1982.  My high school had Apple IIe and TRS-80, but I was fortunate enough to get into IBM PCs at that time, complete with dual floppies and a monochrome monitor.  Remember when those came with a couple thick, well written manuals in binders?  PC Magazine was a staple back then, issues were almost as thick as phone books, and I scoured the ads in the back countless times.

But time marched on.  I remember a Compaq 386-25MHz system with a 300GB drive selling for $8,995 in 1989.  The procession of modems: 9600, 14.4, 28.8, then topping out at 56K.  I remember the first 1GB hard drive we got at work.

Now we have smartphones in our pockets that surpass all this stuff.  But I do actually miss the old days.  It was a simpler world, and we geeks were kings, ha ha.
jgeiss4p
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jgeiss4p,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2015 | 10:54:13 AM
Customization! NOT Anymore!
I still have a co-worker that insists upon 'building his own', because the off-the-shelf units don't have the best video cards, or the cpu isn't maxed out, etc... These days, he tends to custom order it and someone else does the build, but he still must have it specialized to get the most out of it.

I, on the other hand, never did build a system, although I added lots of components to my systems in the past. It has long ago gotten to the point where a modern system will now support just about everything I need it to do without having to mess around with it.
!0Ung3RL
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!0Ung3RL,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2015 | 10:40:59 AM
HARDware Days
So much fun to hear comments from people that may not be aware of, much less remember, the "program by flip switch" days, before punch tape and punch cards and then the 1st desk top computer, we had to send a command to spin down the hard drive before the shutdown command to turn the computer off or the HD would crash. How about the "biggest technical problem" being the users 20 MB HD being full and the Department would not spend $300 + for more drive space and the user wanted "IT" to disk off enough e-mail to floppys to make the system work! AHHH HA! So many stories, even building up a machine from a "bare bones" state is so much simpler these days, and so much less expensive!
Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
12/15/2015 | 6:14:56 PM
Re: A Giant leap
Well said. In a product line that is fairly mature, the economy will have many manufacturers that are producing similar products and driving its cost down. On the other side, buyers will substitute capital with their time resources and allocate their time resources on projects that deliver greater value. 
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