Science and Technology : Stepping Back to Work Forward

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by anAfrican, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Feb 1, 2005
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    The Meek !Shall! Inherit the Earth.
    StreetNationEarth: Seattle
    +745 / -0
    folks are always getting trapped into the "need" of upgrading their hardware to fit the "requirements" of software upgrades.

    a) has the stuff that people do actually changed sufficiently that those software upgrades are actually even necessary?

    b) are they really doing anything all that new that those older apps can no longer put words on paper, or do the analyses that the spreadsheets help with, or do email?

    c) does all the fancy graphics/video capabilities change the fact that people are still communicating with each other?

    d) are all those "social networking" spaces really all that "safe"? (malware, predators, forcing upgrades of hardware/software.)

    who actually benefits from all of this? you're spending more money on service calls, replacing functional hardware, and increased complexity. they are making more money on the service calls, more expensive hardware and increasing software licensing fees. who wins?

    a non profit organization, (and in lots of cases, individuals), can get all kinds of hardware! sure, it might be nicer to be able to do video chatting, but how often is that feature actually used around here? and how does the javascript actually enhance what is being said? were it not for the "desire" for all those bouncy little graphics, this site could well be accessed by "antique" hardware: a 100 mhz pentium 1 can still get to the forums and contribute. there are still the MOOs, MUDs and MUSHes that allow for community interaction similar to the chat room. it's like reading; sure, maybe pictures convey something in some "broader" manner than text alone, but has the ability to read the printed word fallen so much into disfavor?

    there are quite a few organizations refurbishing cast off hardware and shipping it off to "3rd world" countries. the stuff still works. it can still surf, do email, do word processing, do spreadsheets. it ain't fancy, but it still works! so why not use it here? <grin>

    one does not have to use the CDs that accompany cable/dsl modems; one can configure the network information (dynamic or static IP numbers, DNS server IP, email server IP, etc.) by hand. (added benefit of not having the "phone home" stuff installed! as well, one is also then free to use one's preferred browser and email app.)

    before the internet went public, there existed (and it is still alive) "store and forward" environments that spanned the globe. these BBSes had games, chat rooms, forums and email .. and ran on 80386 systems! one could get to these communities using 8086s!

    of course, using all that old stuff won't allow the usage of all this scripting so the poor advertising community will not be as easily able to get their advertisements in front of everybody (which is the biggest backer of all this fancy stuff, eh?). poor dears might not be able to make as much money. and the mean, spiteful users might not have to put up with so much pop-up, pop-under, flashing, dancing advertisements.

    toss out the "requirement" for all the "flash flash bling bling" of the internet and it is possible to get puters into the hands of everybody! granted, there is a lot of the internet that might not be as accessible, but is it really necessary to have all that stuff just to communicate? (this post was edited from another thread using firefox on a 233Mhz K6 running win98. i'll even try the chat room, and i think i'll try reporting back on that effort on the 200Mhz pentium 1 running win95!)

    all that to say that it might be possible to lower the cost of globe wide access to discussion of moving forward with a bit of creative thinking.
  2. nibs

    nibs Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jun 18, 2006
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    +22 / -0
    the last round of hardware upgrades (past 2 years) was driven my the trend of mac os x and now windows vista to offload more and more 2D and video graphics processing onto the gpu. now desktop machines need graphics cards like gamers.
    a 233 k6 running win98 simply cannot playback hd video, and would struggle with dvd in a software decoder mode.

    a 450 k6 ii must cost $10 now if that. upgrade the cpu already. noone feels better if you are torturing yourself. old computers should be used for file servers or donated to charity, imho.