The glorious inelegance of the 1990s family computer


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/05/01/the-glorious-inelegance-of-the.html


#2

#3

Back then, installing Windows 95 required loading and running dozens of hard disks

I was pulled right out of the narrative at this point and could not continue.

Floppy Disks!


#4

While I will come around to read the whole thing in time, but around the time of Windows 95, Macs sucked.

In fact, while the media seems to look at the history of the brand with rose tinted glasses, but the before OSX Macs were universally shit. They didn’t even have a CLI. The first truly successful Mac was the iMac and it remains the worst computer I have ever used.


#5

Couldn’t drudge through more than four paragraphs of this slog. Not sure if this is supposed to be a poor attempt at satire - in which case, please go get a real job - or if you just need to lay off the drugs.


#6

I wouldn’t go that far, but the mid to late 1990s were indeed not the Mac’s finest hour – it really looked like the platform was going to die like the Amiga. But the Mac did have a CLI at the time, although one only used by programmers – the Macintosh Programmer’s Workshop (MPW). It had a UNIX-like shell.


#7

I made it as far as “I miss Bill Gates”.

Yeah, yeah, the vast majority of PCs run Windows, but only Mac users conflate the hardware with the operating system.

This is Macwash. Any article that concludes PCs are inferior simply because they’re not Macs (“brittle hardware”? Seriously?) doesn’t have much of an argument.

And the whole thing about the Dell wrecking the decor (please), what, is their bedroom too tasteful to have drawers and cupboards in it?


#8

I remember when I discovered the video of Weezer’s Buddy Holly that came with Windows 95, and I could watch it as many times as I wanted. And I remember thinking that it was so cool. How could I have known that in a mere 20 years, I would have the ability to watch anything I could possibly want with a push of a button?


#9

And you joined us just to gripe about too. Well welcome to Boing Boing perhaps you might find more enjoyment doing some counting or asking some questions?


#10

I can’t listen to “Start Me Up” without thinking of Windows 95.


#11

I dunno, I welcome our new @TOS overlord, and agree with his gripe. Anybody got the tl;dr on this?


#12

I can identify with a lot of that. I spent a lot of time setting up a home network of 4 PCs to play Doom and Warcraft2. Installing 10/100 cards in each, along with the software, and making sure the cables were connected…even today, I’m always shocked when something I buy works the first time.


#13

I can appreciate the author’s intent, but this was definitely a bit too rambling for my tastes.

[quote=“muddi900, post:4, topic:100219, full:true”]While I will come around to read the whole thing in time, but around the time of Windows 95, Macs sucked.

In fact, while the media seems to look at the history of the brand with rose tinted glasses, but the before OSX Macs were universally shit. They didn’t even have a CLI. The first truly successful Mac was the iMac and it remains the worst computer I have ever used.[/quote]It probably varied from one region to another, but it’s my understanding Apple nailed a lot of school boards with the Apple ][, and kept them on the hook with a lot of Macs. I suppose it could be debated at length whether that was for the best or not; I understand that if you happened to get a floppy disk shutter jammed in a Mac floppy drive, there could be a mighty expensive repair bill.


#14

Sure. “These days, I have a mac, my wife has a PC. While I on one level dismiss her old tower as a mess, I also miss the days when running games and generally having a working PC was an involved process - one I could bond with my dad and siblings over, and one where you incidentally learned about how things worked. My mac is a sleek, polished black box, and I sometimes miss the magic of tinkering with the nuts and bolts to make it work (again)”. With a few anecdotes of growing up with PC games in the 90s mixed in.

I rather liked the article; I’ve felt much the same way. There’s a trend towards hiding as much as possible from as many as possible, and that’s a balance between “dumbing down” and “getting out of the way” that I’m still ambivalent about.


#15

Not for nothing, but you definitely didn’t get Carmen Sandiego if you didn’t know she was the villian, not the protagonist of the game


#16

i took home 10 workstations from a goodwill drop off spot then took them apart, reassembled the parts many times each time installing and re-installing operating systems. i think i have been online almost daily since at least 15 years ago. call it an obsession, a passion, or a hobby but my conclusion is that computers can be the greatest time wasting labor saving device ever conceived. now i have a pc screen in front of my tv screen both on from when i first wake up until when i go to sleep. i probably have enough movies on hard drives to watch for the rest of my life.
i’ve read video games might delay dementia and Alzheimer’s. i might try playing someday which would again open up the possibility of wasting even more time.:grinning:


#17

Sure, we can all make fun of it, but… ya gotta start somewhere!


#18

i remember downloading pirate copies of both W95 CDs and floppy disk ISOs which were absolutely baffling to me until i figured out how to write them using a special application. unfortunately i didn’t have enough floppies to ever install the OS.
i also installed W3.1 and said to myself, WTF?, seeing such a minimal GUI and wondering what it was good for at all.


#19


#20

Then you really should have refrained from guessing at what the rest of the article was going to say.