Yes, this might have been a better THROWBACK THURSDAY but cut a guy a break.
I was a teenage geek. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to some of you. I could often be found in my bedroom trying to push every single bit of performance from the 8MHz Atari 800 computer I treasured. (Today’s computers are roughly 3,000 times faster I am not kidding.) But I will tell you that as fond as I was of that thing, I very rarely sat open-mouthed in awe of it, as many computer advertisements of the day suggested I would.
Don’t believe me? Check out Flashbak’s gallery entitled, “Getting WAY Too Excited About Computers: Open-Mouthed Wonderment in 80s Tech Adverts.” Here you’ll see a representative set of feather-haired youngsters (today, most likely balding oldsters) utterly astonished at the capabilities of the computers in front of them.
Yes, it certainly was an interesting time. It was a time we had no preconceived notions of what a computer would do, and so we patiently waited as letters slowly popped up in monochrome green or pictures slowly assembled themselves out of blocky, dime-sized pixels. This was not a time when computers responded quickly and intuitively to your every need… this was a time when you were just happy to interact with the machine even though you didn’t quite know why.
Of course, today I have more computing power in my microwave than I had in that first computer, and if I looked at all the computing power around me, it’s probably more than existed in the entire state of Michigan in 1981. And what do I do with it? Blog, play games, and look at cat videos. See, society has advanced in 35 years!