Do you really miss having to deal with old hardware?

Or do you actually enjoy the greater software freedom we had back then? (talking about proprietary software of course, but even FOSS isn't what it used to be)

When I remember device conflicts, shoddy chipsets, fake cache, the hellscape that Socket 7 became once Intel abandoned it, capacitors going bad, and unstable hardware overall... I really don't want to live through that again. Nowadays you can buy a bottom of the barrel mobo, install a cheap CPU on it and it won't be half as bad as the "top" stuff we had in the 90s, or even early 2000s. If I could choose to have the software landscape from the 90s and the hardware from today, I certainly would.


  • From where I sit, neither better nor worse, only "different".

    OS & hardware platorms for the PC had fewer avenues, and if you were building and selling boxes for the local computer shows in the mid-late 90s (as I did), once you had it sussed out, little could surprise you.

    Apple was so closed back then, and so little market share, that only a few souls dug into its innards. Very cult like.

    The boxes we built in the 90s could double for workbenches in a mechanics shop. Today, I just finished swapping out a mobo on an hP laptop built in 2018 ( my own), and one thing is certain, it was never meant to be serviced once all the plastic bits were in a single unit, leaving the factory.

    Nowadays (and I have little practical use for any vintage softs), I get a sadistic pleasure figuring out how to hack/crack some old commercial softs that I didn't have the bucks for back in the day, and used pirated, same as thousands of others - but now I'm doing in a VM with massive amounts of ram on the host machine, 4-6 cores, wireless networked to my file server (another laptop), while watching a Youtube vid on Archaeology as a distraction.

    The first movie I ever duped was "CadillacMan" and that was before DVD formats existed.
    The first digital Camera I owned was a Sony, and it used their expensive CD-Roms.
  • Hardware issues like that have been around since forever, are still around, and will be around again. I recently encountered a Windows 11 machine that just randomly started BSODing after an update, and before that there was a Windows 10 machine that just suddenly stopped working while I was using it and after that would not boot up.

    The freedom part is an issue. There are some machines that forbid booting Linux or other OSes for whatever. I don't like how Microsoft holds the keys to SecureBoot. Microsoft wants to limit people to their "app store", and applications use web-based copy protections and DRM. Updates increase enshittification, and any attempt to prevent updates results in things refusing to work or invites in the ominous "its not secure!" boogeyman.

    Back on a 286, I would run real-mode programs in a multitasker and change memory live while they were running. If some program threw up any bullshit to prevent me from doing something, I would cut right through it. Can't do that any more.

    When we get to the point where I can't even write and run a "hello world" without some third parties magic approval, then it is over.
  • Example of nanny state from this AM:

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