Thursday, November 6, 2014

The future is retro

♫ Make new friends, but keep the old, one is retro and the other's not ♫
One thing I've noticed about the my most fiendish Retrogeeker friends, they're some of the most cutting-edge mofos I know. If the idea of a retro computing nut makes you think of that dad–the one who spent countless evenings typing in basic programs from magazines on his C-64, to store on C-90 compact cassettes–but then stopped using computers altogether by 1986–think again; this ain't your grandfather's retro. Every true retrophile I know today is also a true technophile. (Which I guess makes them/us retro-techno-philes?)

Examples are all around me, incidentally with dudes who've been my friend for 20 - 30 years:

  • Mark, the guy who runs is already running iOS9 on an iPhone 7 (impossible, right?) but he also has a basement full of Performas and 8-bit Atari computers that he still puts to good use.

See 43 weird articles of
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  • My friend KevinO is the first person in the known universe to start geocaching, yet when asked about the upcoming release of the Apple Watch, said, "I got an Apple Watch btw. No big whoop."

  • I use my quad-core i7 Mavericks machine to automate the most menial tasks, recognize my voice commands over the telephone, and flip on and off light switches in Bangkok. Yet few would believe that I sent my first e-mail in the summer of '81, coded my first webpage in 1993, and was the first person to register back when domains could be registered at no cost. And yet, my latest purchase was a dusty old Pong machine - a chip-for-chip clone of Atari's 1972 coin-op hit released by Allied Leisure in March of 1973 called "Paddle Battle."

I've been reflecting on stuff like this a lot lately, and today stumbled upon this essay reflecting on our brief tech history and how it intersects with our humanity. Highly-recommended 23-minute read: