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O/T: FUNNY I think I have a computer bug.

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Fastane Legend. RIP.
Aug 2, 2007
Palm Beach, FL

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running dogg

Aug 23, 2007
Sacramento, California
Around 1975, at the dawn of the computer age, a horror novel called "Bugs" was published. In the novel, a massive mainframe installation called The Brain is installed in the desert. One of the schoolchildren who tours the exhibit is a little girl with Carrie-like powers. Upon hearing about computer bugs, she conjures up real bugs, who eat computers-and people. After several close encounters with the horror novel perfect Bugs, the little girl and her bugs are encased in concrete in the desert along with The Brain and every other computer that has ever existed, and humanity turns its back on the digital age. The novel sounds strange today, but in the 70s considerable fear existed surrounding computers, and pop culture responded by conjuring up computers run amok.

Another example was a movie called Colossus: The Forbin Project, released in 1971. In Colossus, the USA and the USSR bring similar supercomputer systems online at the same time, with total control over nuclear weapons systems. The two computers discover each other and hook up, and eventually take over the world, using their nukes as leverage. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, was reportedly terrified of modern technology, refusing to even drive a car. His bombs were an effort to reverse history and force the abandonment of technology. As late as 1983 the hair rock band Styx released an album called Kilroy Was Here, which was devoted to bashing modern technology. Try getting your hands on an MP3 of the album's main hit, Mr. Roboto. It's all about machines dehumanizing people.

The march of progress eventually overcame fears about humans being conquered by computers. Today, even the very old use the internet. In the 1970s, a global computer network would have had a lot of baggage, and talk about Orwellianism. Today, teenage internet entrepreneurs are celebrated as True Americans. This change has occurred in my lifetime (look at my age). I was a baby when Bugs was printed. I was 20 when I got my first modem, which transmitted at the hair curling speed of 14.4k, although my little Mac could only handle 9600. Today, I'm planning an internet business, although I'm light years behind that 17 year old girl in Michigan who is raking in millions with her own website.

I remember using Unix to navigate the internet. Today, the people who still use text based user interfaces use Linux, a form of Unix that can be given away since it doesn't use the old Bell Labs and UC Berkeley code, which costs a pretty penny. Everybody else uses Windows. I was taught how to control Windows with text interfaces when I was in tech school, and if you do that you can see why GUI is so popular. My teacher was a grizzled old buzzard who had cut his teeth on mainframes, and he vowed from day one to break us young whippersnappers of our mouse addiction. He failed. When he wasn't looking, we used the mouse. He taught applications too, and he pulled the same thing on them, only they were business administration majors and they didn't buy it.

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