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I do have a Patreon for the blog. I don't hide any of my actual blog content behind a paywall or special tiers, but I will occasionally publish stuff that is not suitable for the blog for one reason or another. I just posted such a story, so if you're interested--or just want to support writing about computer history--consider throwing me $3 a month!

slower computers, please 

I'm a computer guy, but I'm very much over fast computers. Most of your computer's resources are wasted loading ads and trackers on webpages. Video games require more and more power to deliver less interesting experiences. Don't get me started on cryptocurrency. Computers are getting increasingly complex, therefore less reliable, nearly impossible to repair, wasteful, and devastating to the environment. We need #slowcomputers and more #retrocomputing


Whenever I hear talk about reforming the U.S. Supreme Court--such as adding more seats--I feel this is treating the symptoms and not the disease.

The American legal system, particularly at the appellate level, is wildly disconnected from the general public. This isn't an exclusive problem of the "originalists." I speak from experience here, as I read probably three dozen appellate cases a week from various courts around the USA.

Really, the entire system needs to be rebuilt from scratch.

the shareware CDs that used to come with computer magazines are on and they will cure your false nostalgia for 90s computing

@chronrevisited Some of them were even very explicit about it! Jefferson, for instance!

@oldmankris @jalefkowit @chronrevisited
Oh Compuserve.
I remember in the mid 90s I was working at a Govt Dept who were still using it and paying NZ$20-30 per hour.
They'd connect once per day and ul/dl all outstanding mail. During Xmas, staff would send videos and junk and the cost would skyrocket. Compuserve constantly cut them off when the bill got to $1000, & they had to call to get it turned back on.
I moved them to a dedicated circuit and they saved $50k/yr w/ 2min turnaround in email. 😄

@jalefkowit @chronrevisited I was on CompuServe in the early 80s. I think at that time the cost was $6/hour for 300 baud and $12/hour for the new high-speed 1200 baud service.

As a kid with a $10/week allowance, I didn't get to spend much time on it. Thank goodness BBSes were free.

@chronrevisited Plus the services themselves charged you a non-trivial amount by the minute.

My first real online experiences were on CompuServe circa 1985, and it cost enough then that when I was allowed to use it my dad would set a timer to make sure I didn't go one minute longer than the 30 or 60 minutes I'd been given. Not because he didn't trust me, but because the bill he'd have gotten if he let me just noodle around aimlessly would have been backbreaking

Want to feel old? Try explaining to someone under 30 that the price of a phone call used to depend on how far away the other person was

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If you think people complaining about "too many distros" in is a new thing, here's a 1985 "Computer Chronicles" episode where Stewart Cheift asked, "Why are there so many versions of ?"

@chronrevisited I moderated the official third party vice presidential candidate debate in 1996, so I feel qualified to say: everyone who pursues a third party vice presidential run is super weird.

So here's one of the wackiest coincidences in "Computer Chronicles" history. On the October 24, 1985, episode, one of the guests was Nat Goldhaber. In 2000, Goldhaber unsuccessfully sought the vice presidential nomination of the Reform Party.

The next episode that aired, on November 5, 1985, featured an interview with Ed Zschau. In 1996, Zschau unsuccessfully sought the vice presidential nomination of the Reform Party.

@chronrevisited @natecull A big realisation of mine about five or six years ago was that changes in media have huge effects on the societies in which they emerge, and always have.

Smartphones, Broadband, Dial-up Internet, the Web, cable TV, talk radio, FM radio, television, paperbacks, radio, cinema, telephone, phonograph, mass magazine publishing, telegraph, mass literacy, printing (and multiple revolutions there), papermaking, Arabic numerals, maths, writing, trigoonometry, mapmaking ...

The first hunter-gatherer tribes which worked out speech, basic logistics, maps, and military strategy (or agriculture) had huge advantages over those which hadn't. And it's compounded since.

Marshall McLuhan and Elizabeth Eisenstein especially develop this concept.

Of all the companies I've dealt with so far for the blog, Symantec may be the most convoluted of them all. I may need to create a flowchart for this sucker.

Do you know anyone looking for a story writer (ghost or otherwise) for their upcoming work? Thinking like gamedev, Web content, etc.

DM me or (please) email me at if you know anything or anyone I should talk to.

The problem I have with the Internet today is that, in the 1980s, I thought (hoped) that massive access to a) personal computing and b) networking would be a force that (slowly, perhaps, but inevitably over time) made us all smarter and kinder.

Instead I fear that networked computing is making us all dumber and crueller. And the dumbing and the cruelling is accelerating.

That's maybe too simplistic an analysis: it probably always had the potential to do both, and it probably *is* doing both.

In researching my next blog post, I've come to the realization that "artificial intelligence" back in the 1980s meant, "Hey, we wrote something in Lisp!"

@chronrevisited looks like it topped out at 27.2GB and 110K files... I guess 20 years is enough time to create all that bloat lol

I want Linux on the desktop to grow, become easier, and welcome new users. I'm not into gatekeeping.

challenge for linux users: stop being the "well ackshually" person for one minute (impossible)

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