Friday, September 18, 2015

xkcd: Tech Loops

I know the feeling. Every now and then, I think about what I actually use computers for (outside of my job, of course,) and it's not a whole lot:

  • Spreadsheets - household budgets and a few related things
  • Database - simple databases to track all the books, music and videos I own
  • E-mail
  • Web browser - mostly for reading web-comics, buying stuff off of Amazon and logging in to my bank account
  • iTunes - mostly for ripping CDs and loading my iPods. And for making backups of what's on my phone
  • Family photos - seems like this is a write-only repository. I rarely look at any of them, but I want to keep them organized here. I would probably be better off printing the pictures and making albums, like I did before I started using digital cameras.

It's very sobering to realize that for most of what I do, my old Apple II with 128K RAM and two floppy drives would be sufficient. And that old system might even be faster, since it won't have the massively bloated overhead of every modern operating system. Maybe I should consider switching back. I just need to figure out how to print to my laser printer and where to buy a box of blank floppy disks.

More seriously, any computer from the 90's would be more than adequate for everything here, except for iTunes. And that's only because I need it to support my iPhone. 20 years of massive improvements in hardware just to do what we've always done at the same speed we've always done it. So much for progress.

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