The problem with [books].

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David Ryan

David Ryan is a boat builder and USCG licensed master captain. He is the owner of Sailing Montauk and skipper of Montauk''s charter sailing catamaran MON TIKI You can follow him on Twitter @CaptDavidRyan

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  1. Avatar Patrick Cahalan
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    says:

    Not to mention the fact that a vanishingly small number of computer purchasers actually use a computer to… compute.

    Hobbyist programming largely died out in the 80s.  Which is somewhat surprising, because compilers were almost unavailable then, and they’re ubiquitous now.

    Wired sometimes assumes that everyone in the world is the sort of cat who reads “Make”.Report

    • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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      says:

      Is hobby programming really dead? Look at the huge numbers of indie games (obligatory link to one by a friend from college), small open-source projects, personal web pages…depends on what you mean by programming, but I’d be stunned if fewer people (even per capita) were doing some form of programming now than were in the 1980s.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Dan Miller
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        says:

        Probably just me channeling grumpy old man.

        I imagine there’s plenty of PHP and higher level programming language hobbyists out there.  One of the advantages of higher level languages is that you get to “something running” a lot faster than if you’re programming in, say, C or Haskell.

        So I guess it’s more accurate to say, “Kids these days don’t know how to do any Real Programming (TM)!  Get ’em off’n my lawn!”Report

  2. Avatar wardsmith
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    says:

    Probably just me channeling grumpy old man

    Hey, no channeling me you young whippersnapper. Hell, you probably never even heard of PIP, never had an S-100 backplane and think an 8 inch floppy is an imaginary male appendage. And don’t even get me started on how you young punks today can’t figure out how to fit code into reasonable memory constraints! Two kilobytes used to cost a fortune! 😉Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to wardsmith
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      says:

      In fact, one of the first computers I used regularly was this one, Ward:

      http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/gbell/digital/timeline/1979-4.htm

      It had two 8″ boy-howdy-these-ain’t-floppies-you-could-kill-someone-with-’em drives.

      Admittedly, it was almost entirely to run this.  “You are in a twisty maze of passages, all alike.”

      You can trump that with punch cards, if you can claim punch cards, though 🙂Report

      • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Patrick Cahalan
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        says:

        Ah heck, operating the keypunch machines was how you made money to buy those overpriced 8″ drives in the first place. I’m kinda bummed they’re worth this much now, given all the trouble I had throwing them away years ago. I can’t count the hours I’ve spent in adventure games, nethack, rogue, larn, Zork, Decwar, TradeWars, on all kinds of gear. I was a CompuSeve sysop so had a free flag (thank goodness) or I’d never have been able to afford all the time I wasted there, but humans did make the best adversaries.Report

  3. Avatar dhex
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    says:

    one of my biggest complaints about oranges is that they’re terrible ballet dancers.Report

  4. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    My computer might not be a table saw, but neither is a book.Report

  5. Avatar Kyle Cupp
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    says:

    The margins are for writing in!Report

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