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The Haus: Be Thankful

Nov 23, 2000, 12:37 (4 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Dent Arthur Dent for this link. ]

"So it's November, and (in the US, at least) time to be thankful."

"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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