When I started, we got 84k on an IBM 360 partition, AND WE LIKED IT!...:) Really, now I have 6 times the processing power on my desk than a room full of the big iron I started on. Back then the desktop was viewed as a solution looking for a problem. Now distributed systems and email are mission critical applications. Before we could take 24 months to write a mainframe product, because the environment would still be the same. You can't do that now in a distributed system, since 24 months means EVERYTHING has changed! I'm not playing the "old timers" game, I know where your comming from. It's been exciting watching this grow from PONG to Tomb Raiders, from 3D images that could only be done on a Cray to some of the absolutly stunning art displayed in these galleries. And from spreadsheet programs to some amazing graphics software that allow someone like me, with no artistic talent, to create something that reflects how I really feel, and get some really good feedback. I can look at this now as the greatest personal growth tool I've ever thought possible, not a solution looking for a problem!
im the yougin' around here. My first box was a 286 SX-16 with, at first, 2 megs of ram. Upgraded to a 386 SX-40 or something with I think 4 megs of ram, and then moved up to a 486 DX-100 with, -HOLY SHIT-, 8 megs of ram. It ran wolfenstein man! And I really will never forget my dual speed cd rom (80$CAN back then), and my VGA card that let me play DOOM 2. Even had the old epson ink tape printer. God, those were (definitely not) the days... -sigh-
Just another little note of history. Waaaaaaay back, I mean really waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the 1960's (yep dodging T-rex's the whole time), my mom was doing program on the then 'state-of-the-art' IBM 1401. The damn thing had a huge, gigantic, absolutely grandiose 10K of RAM, and basically just sorted punch-cards. (Are any of the rest of you ancient enough to actually remember punch cards). She started as a keypunch operator and then went away for a whole summer to learn how to program the thing. Now I sit here, currently quite behind the times as I'm stuck with an old P-II 400 w/ 256M Ram and dreaming about maybe next year being able to upgrade. Nevertheless, I'm happy to have the tools I've got, and they enable me to do things I'd never have dreamed of a decade ago. The mind positively boggles when contemplating where computing power will be a decade from now. Cowabunga!
PIZZA! ;] Nope. This is definatly a case where the "goude olde days" are not the best. The nice time to play with hardware is NOW. And the near future will be cooler. Of course... the advantage of learning on the older stuff is that you're used to figuring out tricks to maximise the capabilities of what you have, Allen. When you actually get your hands on the bleeding edge, your abilities explode as you start figuring out ways to choke a 2.6ghz system with 4gb of Ram down to a rendering standstill... ;]
The best time to upgrade is always 4 months after you do. I guess one of the most important skills a PC shopper can have is the inability to regret one's purchase. Yeah, I was working on a 350Mhz PII with 192MB of RAM. I remember how stoked I was about running Half-Life in software mode (this was before I borrowed my friends dual Voodoo 2 SLI's because I didn't have an AGP slot, because only "elite" gamers had those). This Christmas I upgraded to a 1.5Ghz Athlon XP (which I have to run at around 1.3 due to heating concerns) with 768MB of RAM, and sure enough, 7 months later, I'm already starting to feel the pinch when rendering. Do I regret my purchase? Hell no. Would I upgrade? Only if it was free or I was made out of money. C'est la vive. The mantra of the modern PC shopper.