Friday, April 25, 2008
And for me, that was the fun of it. Making the most of the thing. Fighting and struggling and tweaking to make it do some semblance of what you wanted it to do. The process engendered creativity. The act of creating content required such creativity that I and many others were loathe to put all that effort towards something unworthy. I remember putting together a computer newsletter when I was about 12. Most of the time was spent laying out the pages and banging my head against the wall to make the 2 columns stay as two columns. Fonts and font sizes were chosen meticulously, as was clip art. Articles were trimmed or expanded to make them fit into their allotted space because it was simply easier to take out or add a few worlds than it was to reformat the ENTIRE thing to fit the world "incredible" when "amazing" had three fewer letters and would therefore fit the whole article on the page where it just had to squeeze into. In short, the barrier to entry was high. There were little victories and defeats that one experienced in the act of trying to accomplish most anything on these machines. I had a copy of "Beach Head II" that really didn't like the C128's 1571 drive. It simply wouldn't load up. Of course This had to be figured out. I remember borrowing a friends 1541, hooking it up and before I knew it (4 minutes later), I was lobbing grenades at the cannon and engaging in the boomerang match of death - look the game up. The sense of victory was twofold. Firstly, I was able to play the game and secondly, I had succeeded in ascertaining and dealing with the problem myself. This is of course a minor example of such an occurrence but it is the first that springs to mind. I really loved "Beach Head II".
Now everything is all so easy. Now, that is surely a good thing, no hell, a great thing, but a certain vibe is gone. That could of course be because these modern times are no longer wrapped in that warm glow of youth and all its wonder. Perhaps the youth of today will look back fondly on their Youtube video discussions with a similar fondness and remember the effort and time it took to edit their videos the way they wanted them and so on. They probably will. In twenty years we will inevitably look back at today's quad-cores with something akin to a snicker as well.
In short, the old systems have a feel of still being of the analog age to me. I have further thoughts on this in regards to audio equipment and media that I will get to in a post soon. Until then, go read some Garfield minus Garfield. posted by Kermit at 4/25/2008 09:28:00 AM |