Tuesday, December 06, 2005

10 Days without windows... The Machine Stops

I read this interesting article on Flexbeta,called "10 Days as a Linux User: A GNU Perspective on things".

The author decides to use Mandriva linux exclusively for 10 days, without using anything by Microsoft.

I was amazed at how many things the author uses a computer for. I found it amusing the struggle he had to not use Microsoft for 10 days, and just use linux instead.

When I was in college, there were no personal computers. I did my term papers on an underwood manual typewritter.

I would have loved to have had a personal computer back then, but they didn't exist, and somehow we got by.

To now read about how difficult it is to just go without Microsoft products for 10 days is a little shocking.

I use my computer almost every day. But sometimes I'm too busy with other things, or I just get tired of it and give it a break for a bit.

I'm just amazed at how younger generations, who have grown up with personal computers, can have them so heavily intergrated into their lives. How much do they know about life without a computer in it?

I know, people used to say the same thing about electricity. But it's true, using electricity every day DID change the way people lived. I live in a rural area, and when you lose power for several days, things change a lot. Things get harder to do, you have to entertain yourself, you talk to your family more, you go to bed earlier. Life slows down.

I am not critisizing the author, if I had grown up with personal computers, I might be the same way. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just observing how its different from my own experiance. And I'm just wondering what the long term affects might be. I keep thinking of that short story by E. M. Forester, "The Machine Stops". Is there a point where we become too dependent on computers, or where it starts to effect the way we relate (or don't relate) to other human beings? Or am I just a totally outdated old fart?

I found a link where you can read the story on-line:

"The Machine Stops" by E.M. Forster

It's truely amazing how such an old Sci-Fi story predicts something very much like the internet, long before anything like it even existed. Don't be fooled by the date it was written; it's relevance to the world we are living in now is amazing, and even a bit creepy.

I LIKE the machine, I don't want it to stop, I just don't want it to take over either. "Machines" like personal computers and the internet are useful and fun tools, but I hope we never become so dependent on them that we can't function, literally can't live without them.

- Chas
Born in the 60's, but not THAT old yet! ;)

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