Frames of Reference

Just before Christmas an order of 20 or so Raspberry Pi 3 kits arrived at work and I had spent some time clipping boards into cases and inserting Micro SD cards.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  As I completed each kit I stacked the boxes into a pyramid of sorts.  Job done, I sat back and admired the construction.

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A minute later and I was still staring at the Pi mountain, with an uneasy feeling washing over me.  I was struggling to process the scene.  Something didn’t quite make sense.  The problem?  It’s probably an age thing, or certainly an experience thing.  I’ve been using PCs for over 25 years (and computers for longer if you include the household Sinclair Spectrum).  If, 25 years ago, someone had told me that in 2016 I would neatly stack more than 20 unfathomably powerful (compared to PCs of that time) computer base units on my desk, not have a hernia, still have room to work on my desk and that all this brand new kit would cost less than £1000 (even in 1991 terms) then I’d have laughed out loud.  It seems that computing technology has moved on so far and so quickly since my formative years that my technological frame of reference has become outdated to comical levels.

To help deal with the situation and regain my (technological) centre, I wrote this post on a reassuringly old school computer.

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