"So it's November, and (in the US, at least) time to be
"That's what you'd think. But doesn't it seem that we're often
quick to complain and forget to say thanks?"
"That's true in every area of life. Since this space usually
covers geek computer stuff, let's talk about that. Consider the
feast we enjoy these days. (WARNING: obligatory nostalgia section
ahead) I was thinking the other day about the cool job I have (Unix
administrator/Perl|Python|Ruby hacker/webmaster/developer) and
realized how different the computing world is today from the time I
got started. In those days, "computers" meant PCs--I didn't have
access to anything else. They were slow, they were clunky, and we
were glad to have them. In 1987, when I first learned C
programming, I searched far and wide for a cheap or free MS-DOS C
compiler to use for practicing my programming skills. In Grand
Rapids, Michigan, the only C compiler you could buy off the shelf
was Microsoft C, if you could afford it. I couldn't. I finally took
the plunge when Borland released Turbo C, spending $100 for version
1.0 and more for the updates."
"I'd have given my left arm (the relatively worthless one) to
have access to the software I get for free these days--complete
Unix/Unixlike operating environments with not just an operating
system, but every imaginable type of tool, language, application
and game, all available for a few bucks to cover the cost of media.
Even free C compilers."
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