Monday, July 16, 2018

There You Go Again

Once again, here we are. A little glowing touchscreen blasting photons at tiring eyes. Why?

The first entry on this blog was written on a big ole' 15" cathode ray tube monitor. The first 'Tonewah' page was written on a Compaq Presario with a tiny processor, probably around 25Mhz. It cost around $700.

The next machine was a 500Mhz no-name home-built box. It cost $500 to build and utilized the same CRT monitor until it got a video capture card. People's minds were blown when they'd see the 32" Sony displaying Windows and internet videos... long before Youtube or even Google Video and way before wide-screen aspect ratio flat panel displays. It was recording live TV like a VCR long before TiVo or any other dedicated DVRs existed.


The Tonewah page was hosted on a local server. It was a lot of fun. FTP programs, dial-up, memory upgrades... Half the time was spent fixing or figuring out. Good times.

Everything is so easy, now. There is software to make your html/CSS. Software to make images... no MS Paint required. Uploads are all done automatically via the web. The local connection, considered slow now and soon to be upgraded to 200, is 100 Megs a second. To say it beats the crap out of the 9600 kbps modem on the Compaq would be like comparing a tricycle to SpaceX. The old external 56k US Robotics modem got a lot more use but would still be a Vespa in comparison.

Maybe that's why it's hard to get excited, anymore. All of the complex, varied, time-consuming techniques and skills you had to learn to make things happen are now obsolete. Anyone can sign up to Wordpress, Blogger or one of the myriad new services and instantly do stuff way more visually stunning than the mid-90s wanna-be webmaster could imagine... and they can do it for free.

So why are we here, again? That may be a question better answered by a psychiatrist. Or a preacher. Or the devil.

Do you know?