Back in the late 1980's the world of Personal Computers really started to open up. I remember my first "biggie", was the IBM XT with 512Ram and a whopping 10meg harddrive! With that, we could do everything. We maintained spreadsheets, do employee performance plans and evaluations and ran many many other applications.
They were personal. You turned the machine on and off you went. They were still pretty much DOS based with some full screen applications. Windows 3.1 came out and everything started to change. It became easier to use your computer.
Being with IBM, not to be outdone, we came out with OS/2. A powerful very stable, easy to use operating system. It ran circles around Windows and could do so much more... That so much more was for the technical programs needed by IIBM. But as far a end user programs, hold on, end user - Nope didnt exist. After several years of OS/2, it died and IBM went over 100% to Windows.
The Pentium processor came out, fast, blazing fast with some of them 110Meg hard drives! Unbelievable, how much could they put into that PC that weight 7,000 pounds! Fast forward a number of years and the machines were getting smaller in footprint but larger with everything else. Gig harddrives - WOW, a Gig of RAM, super WOW! And there were tons of applications, both business and end user to run.
But then slowly, the word Personal was drifting away, to me for others, it became the DC, Dependent Computer. That was you needed to either have a Masters in Computer Science or new someone that did. Each year after wards, the personal computer became more and more difficult to use. You no longer could open the box, plug it in , power it up and away you go!
Instead, you needed to configure this, set that, enter that option, what option, no one told me about that! The birth of the Geek Squads. Stores that sold the computers now had teams that would set you up for a fee! So, they have everything working, so what now? Where do I start? What do I click on? When do I left click or right click? When do I double click, oh forget this. But then one day, the screen went totally blue... You then heard about the Blue screen of Death. You had no idea what this meant, but it wasnt good. You had to call a 1-800 number , have to go through 10 minutes of automated prompts, you finally get to someone you can talk to and they say "Wait a second while I put you on hold:" Before you can scream out No, No, dont do that, click you realize you just got disconnected. So, you go back dial the number again, but this time at each of the automated props, you start screaming into the phone I want to speak to a customer rep, a customer rep, a customer rep We all know about road rage, this became phone rage.
So, when you calm down and start talking again, the customer rep says, Sorry, this sounds like a big problem, you need to reformat your hardrive and reinstall your operating system using the 3 installation CDs you got in package 1, which was in box 2, but if you purchased this online, then there were only 2 CDs and they came in box 9. But the customer rep also said, for $199.00 we can send out Geek Squad1 to do all this work for you. You hang up and cry a bit.
I should go into Laptops at this point, but I cant, cause I will start to cry. I love them to death and hate them to death at the same time. You cant FIX them, each model has its own set of hardware, so you cant put what is one into another. With Desktops, I have removed harddrives, memory, cards from one machine and put them into another machine without problems.
OK, now, what is this thread all about anyway?
It comes down to YOU, the members of Spine-Health. You registered for this site so that you could get more information about your spinal condition and joined the forums to discuss things with other members. Simple.... Right? Wrong (at times) Ok, its a given today, that changes happen software upgrades take place. So, while you got comfortable with one system, things changed and everything looked and behaved differently. For some, that meant the end of their time at Spine-Health, they just couldn't keep up with changes. An example of this is our CHAT room. Years ago, you clickd on CHAT in your were placed in one of the rooms so that you could chat online realtime with other members. Recently, when you went to use CHAT, it failed, saying you needed a new version of JAVA.. What the heck is JAVA, where did it come from. You follow the prompts it tells you to do to upgrade, you try and you get a message You are current, no upgrade is required
You breathe a sigh of relief. You try CHAT again, guess what! Error, you need a new version of JAVA!
Now, one of my favorites is with browsers. Years ago, there was only 1 - Internet Explorer, Today there are at least two other major browsers. Firebox Mozilla and Google Chrome. Each browser works somewhat different. What you do in one, you have to do differently in the other. BUT now its COOKIES and CACHE WHAT wait a second, what are those things? I tell members to clean out their CACHE and if that fails, clean out their COOKIES. Now, put this in Judge Judy's courtroom and she would say, I am not cleaning out any CASH to get to you and I already ate all the COOKIES
I am sorry, I just felt I needed to post this today. The expectations from everyone regarding what they need to know about their computers is getting out of hand. We are a far cry from what was once the Personal Computer
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences