|Re: HP Calculator Colors|
Message #17 Posted by Thomas Okken on 30 Apr 2010, 12:24 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by bill platt
My own kids think these old calculators are sort of neat, but they are totally enamored (well, I wouldn't say unthinkingly so) of the ipod and smart cell phones.
When they are 40, are they going to look back at the iphone the way I look back to the HP 67?
I was fortunate enough to get a Sinclair Scientific when I was 11 years old, and an HP-25 about two years later. I wrote my first computer programs (in BASIC) on a friend's dad's Commodore PET, and, with a little help from my dad, on the local university's mainframe (in ALGOL-60, good times!). By the time I got to college, I was programming the Commodore 64 and the first generation Macintosh.
From that first scientific calculator to the Commodore 64 was all just one cool adventure. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I didn't have a life outside of this -- I loved spending time with friends, being outdoors, etc., just as much then as I do now. But that newfangled digital technology was just, well, really really *new*.
By the time I started programming on the Macintosh in the mid- to late '80s, the novelty was starting to wear off. I was learning GUI APIs, learning how to write "real" applications, i.e. the kind of stuff that people want to use because it helps them with their jobs, as opposed to the stuff that people run just because it's cool.
I have no regrets about making that transition; the "boring", "just useful" stuff, it pays my bills with plenty left to spare...
But the fun and excitement of those early years, that's gone. I haven't felt excited about digital technology since more than 20 years ago. Sure, stuff like the iPhone is neat, but in the end, it's just more of the same. Things keep getting smaller and faster and just generally better and easier to use... but the sense of something truly *new*... That's gone.
It seems to me that the young 'uns (as in, anyone born in the late '70s or later) never had the chance of experiencing that sense of excitement to begin with... and so they'll never have the kind of nostalgia that I sense on this forum and other places that celebrate the technology from the early days.