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      /  Was that even possible back then !!!
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Franko 
Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 10-Apr-2012 23:35:03
#1 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Jun-2010
Posts: 2809
From: Unknown

This comment/ question (the threads title) posted on an old C64 advert I put on YouTube, has just brought it home to me how erm... uneducated (for the sake of being generous & kind) some of today's younger generation of computer users are...

Commodore 64 Advert 10...

While I'm not quite sure just what it is he/ she thinks was not possible "back then" (heck it was only 30 years ago not 300 or 3000) all I can hope is the inquiring mind replies again where I can hopefully answer his/her questions and point him/ her in right direction on the path to knowledge...

I hope this will enable he/ she to discover more about these amazing things called computers that he/ she has obviously taken for granted until now, when he/ she has just discovered via this advert, that way back in the midst of time some 30 incredible years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth ago and the C64 ruled the world, that computers could do things that were indeed possible even way back then...

Must be getting soft in me old age as I managed to resist the temptation to rip the poor sod to shreds (so far)...

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jingof 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 1:42:11
#2 ]
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Joined: 8-May-2007
Posts: 497
From: Jingo Fet is from "A Galaxy Far, Far Away"

@Franko

This one is kind of a soap box issue for me as well. Despite all the advances in computing technology, the current generation of teens is (usually) growing up having less understanding of how computers work than we did. It's all magic that they can push buttons on, but the value of computers to teach logic and thinking skills is mostly gone, as I see it.

I wrote a post about why I think this is happening a couple years back here on AmigaWorld. One respondent told a story of a teen thinking they had shutdown a computer by pressing the monitor power button -- just to illustrate what a mystery computers are for many teens now. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions people could cite. But as a general rule, I think most kids are enamored with "what" and not "why", when it comes to today's computers and gadgets.

To be fair, it's not really their fault. Currently licensing models are desirous of carpel tunnel victims, not bedroom coders or even thinkers. So, you end up with a 13 year feeling superior because he can press buttons on newer, better technology that he doesn't understand.

Maybe this is more an American problem, than elsewhere. I haven't collected any statistics or surveys here, but just observing that so many American kids are totally obsessed and distracted with the latest gadgets and other vices and pre-occupations. Much more so than 30 years ago. Meanwhile, enrollment by American kids in the engineering and science schools is way down. I get the impression the problem is not as pronounced outside the US.

Last edited by jingof on 11-Apr-2012 at 01:54 AM.
Last edited by jingof on 11-Apr-2012 at 01:44 AM.

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SpaceDruid 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 3:22:37
#3 ]
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Joined: 12-Jan-2007
Posts: 1748
From: Inside the mind of a cow on a planet that's flying through space at 242.334765 miles per second.

@jingof

No, not an American thing.

A young family member (20ish) recently went to university and I helped build a computer for her. Only when trying to problem solve via the phone did I realise how little basic computer comprehension she had. I'd always just made the assumption that young folks having grown up in a world where computers exist all around, would know how to do simple things like install programs, how to figure out system specifications, etc.

I had to explain what the desktop was. What a tool bar was, what a shortcut was... I got to the point where I considered living in a cave where nobody could find me, or phone me. I was mere seconds away from gouging my own eyes out when she suddenly realised things worked roughly the same as they do on her iPhone. A short education for myself via Google on how iPhones worked allowed me to roughly translate what she needed to do.

One day, people like her will be running this world. I don't want to live on this planet when that happens...

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Belxjander 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 4:36:54
#4 ]
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Joined: 4-Jan-2005
Posts: 557
From: Chiba prefecture Japan

@SpaceDruid

Yup, Ive been in that situation too many times, and Ive even dealt with several "University Graduate"s who simply were incapable of answering some basic interview questions.

4 years of University (various) and none of them were able to partition a computer,
then I simply asked which Operating System and named a tool for each.

I wasn't there for the job but sometimes you have to wonder how divorced from what is actually needed to be known Business and University information has really become.

there was also a recent story on "The Register" with regards to this as well...
the story is about making yourself "shown" and displaying that you "get things done" regardless of how little work is actually done.

Is this the world today? the people who shout the loudest take credit for those who are quiet and simply get things done with what they have?

I no longer wonder about the basis of "celebrity" and the whole sense of "fake" that I get from that.

does anything more need be said?

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realize 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 5:32:17
#5 ]
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Joined: 14-Apr-2003
Posts: 1797
From: nyc

@jingof

I have to agree with most of what you posted (Must be a first lulz)

Whats interesting is my GF who is 27 said that in jr high and hs they had a mandatory computer class where they even built x86 boxes. Its funny she loves the amigas thinks they are cool.

Whats weird now is they are brainwashing very young children here with computers. They barely read and write with paper and pen now. I was at a coffee shop the other day this guy was in there with his 7-10 year old kids and they were doing all their homework on a laptop.

I mean these kids arent even neurologically developed enough to be staring at 130hz screens all day!

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resle 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 7:51:17
#6 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 28-Nov-2005
Posts: 500
From: shanghai

Although I've been fiddling with the internals of computing devices since I was 10 years old, I don't agree with the thread. Having been a tweaker and a coder since the days of the Commodore 64, I admit I can't feel a real sympathy for the latest couple generations - and I still roll my eyes when someone doesn't know how to format a partition.

But the point is that, for the vast majority of people, things should just work, and you shouldn't need fine grain control over a device: simplification is welcomed. And if you think twice, it's welcomed at more than just one level - even the coders and the IT professionals should be happy that we're progressively ushering in an era of big colorful buttons and several layers separating the everyday user from the technician.

Why?

A separation between simple users and "wizards" must exist. It's good. A salesperson shouldn't care about fixing a shortcut, formatting a partition, defragging, tweaking a registry entry, knowing where a certain system directory is, unhiding hidden files. A salesperson should do his job, aided by a computing device, which to him/her should be nothing but a tool, just like a car is a tool to move faster from point A to point B - not something you must be able to unassemble and rebuild if something happens. There are professional figures for that. Separation of professionalities means more quality and more jobs for everyone.

I clearly remember the days when "visual" programming was exploding: suddenly everyone was a coder, because you didn't need anymore to know arcane artso to build a gui, and under the windows environment - comfortably separated by a virtualization layer - you didn't even have to know any machine code (assembly) as well. The monetary value of coders halved, and the quality of software took a dive.

So, when I start rolling my eyes because someone doesn't understand the difference between a file and a shortcut to it, I stop for a second, and I think that I may know the OS, I also know how a computer works and how to program, heck - I know assembly! But do I have the palest idea of how a chip works internally? What do I know of transistors? Could I repair/modify any hardware? What's really happening in the GPU when I make OpenGL calls? There's always someone who would laugh at your ignorance of a certain "level" of computing, I think. There's always something that you just unconsciously accept as "magic" without inspecting further. Be open :)

Last edited by resle on 11-Apr-2012 at 07:53 AM.
Last edited by resle on 11-Apr-2012 at 07:52 AM.

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itix 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 7:53:34
#7 ]
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Joined: 22-Dec-2004
Posts: 3398
From: Freedom world

Quote:

I mean these kids arent even neurologically developed enough to be staring at 130hz screens all day!


Like we used to be staring at that flickery 50 Hz screen all day? :) The thing is we are dinosaurs.

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Trixie 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 8:02:00
#8 ]
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Joined: 1-Sep-2003
Posts: 1948
From: Czech Republic

@itix

Quote:
we used to be staring at that flickery 50 Hz screen all day

Ah, those were the days!

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Belxjander 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 8:11:22
#9 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 4-Jan-2005
Posts: 557
From: Chiba prefecture Japan

@resle

Certainly... that is why in my own example I was referring to University *Graduates* who were getting into being the Computer Wizard side of the fence... NOT general end users.

Anyone walking into the Wizard side of things needs to become aware of what is needed to deal with "under the hood",

I'm not a car person, and willingly admit to never bothering with a license ( I will most likely never own a car)

I *am* however interested in computers and wish to make a living dealing with "inside the box" to deal with these issues for others.

As for any end-users? walk them through if needed otherwise just "make it so" and make the magic box play its bells and whistles.

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OldFart 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 8:26:00
#10 ]
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Joined: 12-Sep-2004
Posts: 2928
From: Stad; en d'r is moar ain stad en da's Stad. Makkelk zat!

@SpaceDruid

Quote:
I got to the point where I considered living in a cave where nobody could find me...

And there I was, always thinking you already did...

Youngsters take it for grantedthat things 'work'. They are not much interested in HOW it works. In my childhood days I used to dismantle alarmclocks when they were no longer functioning (broken clockwork spring mostly). Lateron I moved on to dismantle clocks that were still functioning correcly, which gave me a tremendous kick under my bottom. When nowadays your alarm clock does not function anymore you throw it away without giving it a second glance: inside the apparatous there is nothing to be seen, except for some functionallitywise unknown electronic components, no 'moving' parts.
Same goes for tv sets: when broken we now throw them away. In the '80ies we took out all of the 'tubes' and replaced them one by one until the set came to life again. PL519's were very usefull to build a transmitter from as they could handle 35Watts at more then 100MHz.

OldFart

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cha05e90 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 9:04:06
#11 ]
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Joined: 18-Apr-2009
Posts: 1273
From: Germany

@Trixie
Quote:
Ah, those were the days!


Oops - here at my home this is the present! (at least TV setup-wise)

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Daedalus 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 9:38:55
#12 ]
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Joined: 14-Jul-2003
Posts: 1680
From: Glasgow - UK, Irish born

@itix

Quote:

itix wrote:

Like we used to be staring at that flickery 50 Hz screen all day? :) The thing is we are dinosaurs.


Just to think of the hours and hours I spent staring at the TV display of my Atari 800XL and later Amiga, which were both connected through the *RF* connection - not even composite! And I was coding, not just playing games, but reading fuzzy text and symbols... It's no wonder I wear glasses these days!

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OldFart 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 12:01:30
#13 ]
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Joined: 12-Sep-2004
Posts: 2928
From: Stad; en d'r is moar ain stad en da's Stad. Makkelk zat!

@Daedalus

Back in the days I professionwise used to use video units for coding and console work. Beit IBM or Wang or anyother: the cheaper, and therefore the lion's part of CRT's, had 'dancing' video, meaning that image did not stand still at the CRT. At the end of the day my eyes looked bleary and exhausted. Day after day.

We once did a test with photographic paper: put strips on the monitor to be illuminated by the CRT's image. Removal of the strips in a prearranged schedule and developing them revealed that after some 10 secs (IIRC), the image was just ablur in vertical sence mostly: dancing up and down. And my poor eyes trying to follow that image all day long, day after day... No Good!

Today's flatscreens are so much better!

OldFart

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PhantomInterrogative 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 12:21:10
#14 ]
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Joined: 10-Sep-2004
Posts: 764
From: The Interrogative Lair

@Franko

There are at least two factors that could have led to that comment about the C64 ad. First, children are now born into what I describe as a microtechnomagical society in which machines and gadgetry work by means that are invisible to the naked eye, giving the appearance that they work as if by magic. Children just assume that things work because they just do, or because of some magic inherent in the device (battery packs are magical energy don't you know?).

Second, children and even adults have been living in a world of six month technological advance. If something was made six months ago, it is obsolete. If something was made thirty years ago, it probably couldn't even run a calculator program, right? I ran into this type of thinking when talking to someone older than I. We were talking about how slow the booting time of his P4 machine was, when I brought up the memory of switching on my old C64. He immediately responded, "Wow! That must have taken ages to load the operating system!"

I replied, "No, the operating system was loaded as soon as you flipped the power switch. The operating system was in ROM (BASIC, CBM DOS 2.6, and the Kernal). Your P4 can't beat the 64 in boot speed."

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Franko 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 12:52:51
#15 ]
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Joined: 29-Jun-2010
Posts: 2809
From: Unknown

@ Jingoff

It's not just a US thing it's the same here in the UK too and I suspect in the rest of the world as well. My nephew who's 22 for example has a room full of PC's and consoles but basically other than switching them on he hasn't a clue about how they work or what they can do other than for playing games and browsing the net...

Adding an extra or replacing a hard drive to him is something that has to be done by a qualified PC engineer no matter the cost and programming to him is something only a "team of people can do"...


@ All

While most here seem to be in agreement on the general idea of this thread that today's youngsters and some not quite so young are sadly lacking in much basic knowledge of just how something works or the basic principles behind them, I would have to say we all have to take some share of the blame for this, as they are our kids in most cases...

To me though, it's more about our education systems , schools, colleges & universities and gawd knows what they teach youngsters they days but it seems to be nothing more than how to use a word processor or how to work in call centre...

Like many older folk here way back in the days before computers, mobile phones, VCR's etc... life was indeed very different and like many I tinkered as a kid with everything from radios to TV sets either trying to fix them or just figure out how they worked simply out of curiosity...

It's really since the 80's and the thing we all have in common here, our love of computers which ironically has led to this world where younger people who have now grown up with these things always being there and taking them for granted that has left us with what really can only be described as a general dumbing down of our society and is only getting worse as time progresses...

In just over 30 years we have gone from a people who where innovative & inquisitive to a people that are lazy, unable to think for themselves and with a distinct lack of imagination or innovation and where learning is seen a nothing more than a chore that interferes with their "social media time" for the vast majority...

The excuse that people "just ant things to work" doesn't wash, it's an excuse made by those who are lazy and unwilling to learn about even the most basic things in life and I'm not just talking about computers there I'm talking about all aspects of our lives and the world it's history. As this post is getting rather long (i could wrtie a book on this subject). I'll just sum it up with this...

In just over 30 years as a society we have "advanced" but not as I see it for the better, in fact for the worse in my opinion into what is becoming a bunch of mindless lazy zombies whom gawd knows what sorry state they find themselves in within another 30 years from now. All I can say to that is thank gawd I will not be here to see it as I will have either kicked the bucket or be drooling old age senile vegatable in a care home being spoon fed pudding and drugs oblivious to the fact that society has reverted back to mental capacity of an amoeba...


PS: I still only use CRT's (computers & TV) for anything from 8 to 18 hours a day and even after 30 odd years my eyesight is still perfect...

Last edited by Franko on 11-Apr-2012 at 12:55 PM.

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hotrod 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 13:25:19
#16 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 2778
From: Stockholm, Sweden

@Daedalus

Haha I was writing games off magazines in C64 basic on a TV with one hand and ofthen the game wouldn't run because of typing errors (either me or the magazine) and when it did I was disapointed over what I got from allt that writing lol. At least it makes you understand a little of what all those game coders was going through. Good old days .

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danwood 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 13:50:00
#17 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Sep-2008
Posts: 1058
From: Unknown

Depends what you lot are classing as "youngsters" a lot of people are mentioning people in their 20s, I'm 29 and have been an Amiga user and computer geek since I was around 6 years old.

I don't think it's any different today though, back when I was a kid in the 90s I had friends with Megadrives, Amigas, N64s etc. who didn't do any more than put a cart/disk in and play games, most of my Amiga owning friends copied over their Workbench disks with pirated games.

Just seems a "youngsters of today are dumb and wasn't it better in the good old days" thread, when really it's not the case. I know plenty of PC gamers in their teens/20s who build their own rigs and regularly upgrade them etc, if anything it's more popular today than it was back in the 90s.



Last edited by danwood on 11-Apr-2012 at 01:56 PM.
Last edited by danwood on 11-Apr-2012 at 01:55 PM.
Last edited by danwood on 11-Apr-2012 at 01:53 PM.
Last edited by danwood on 11-Apr-2012 at 01:53 PM.
Last edited by danwood on 11-Apr-2012 at 01:50 PM.

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resle 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 13:54:24
#18 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 28-Nov-2005
Posts: 500
From: shanghai

@Franko

Quote:
The excuse that people "just ant things to work" doesn't wash, it's an excuse made by those who are lazy and unwilling to learn about even the most basic things in life and I'm not just talking about computers there I'm talking about all aspects of our lives and the world it's history. As this post is getting rather long (i could wrtie a book on this subject). I'll just sum it up with this...


Despite my post, I agree: it's an excuse, and 99% of the people today is just lazy and unwilling to learn. The point is that as long as I am not like that and I know what side of the line I like to be on, I like the fact that such a line DOES exist.

Without that line, in a world where everyone is curious - everyone learns the inside works of every single piece of tech, from blenders to cars to computers - there would be no sense of wonder. And if you think twice, that's exactly what everyone here is always shedding bitter tears on: that feeling of awe that seems to be gone forever, left behind in the glorious eighties :)

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Daedalus 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 14:02:32
#19 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Jul-2003
Posts: 1680
From: Glasgow - UK, Irish born

@Franko

Quote:

Franko wrote:

PS: I still only use CRT's (computers & TV) for anything from 8 to 18 hours a day and even after 30 odd years my eyesight is still perfect...


Me too (apart from the eyesight bit) - I have a 21" Trinitron in work and another at home - wouldn't swap either of them! 1600x1200 desktops all round, beautiful (calibrated) colour and pixel sharp. It's not the use of a CRT that made it awful though, it was the incredibly poor image you got from using RF to transmit the picture.

And my TV is a CRT too I just wish I managed to get my hands on one of those rare full-HD CRT TVs when they were around...

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_ThEcRoW 
Re: Was that even possible back then !!!
Posted on 11-Apr-2012 14:07:49
#20 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 830
From: Murcia (Spain)

This thread is nonsense. Back in the day were people too that hadn't a clue about computers and these who had, just like today there are people who knows more that the basics and people who not. All is the same...

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