Originally posted by Twistin'Ghost
Good thread...a lot of good ideas here.
My first machine...I can't even remember. Pinball, probably. And Amiga was way late in my retro past. Yet it was the one that made the impact. Nothing before it or since it has become as entrenched...my computer soulmate, if you will. But most of the systems interest and often fascinate me. The ones that get me going the most outside the Amiga are C64, MSX, X68000 and Amstrad. Speccy, to an extent. I also enjoy the 80's/90's 8 & 16-bit consoles, I just don't get as excited over them. But my point is that it's not neccesarily going back to our first system.
As for programming to the hardware, it seems to me that the only thing hardware-wise on the PC that's any different from the old days is the faster processor (needed to deal with the bloatware) and external cards. Not much to compare with the custom co-processors offered by the old school machines, namely the Amiga. Everybody these days programs in high-level or object-oriented languages and everything relies on the system. And that system is simply poor, buggy and limited for programmers with so many undocumented API's. A programmer's hands are tied, both by design and by choice. The attitude is nowhere to be found. Creativity is a long lost concept.
And that's the fault of your analogy. Today's computers can't basically do anything. They have a lot of horsepower and a lot of apps - most of which claim they can do this and that in their blurbs, but in actual usage, fall way short. Sound packages swear they can deliver this effect and that effect, but they are buggy and the end product is nothing like described. Same thing with gfx plug-ins in image software. If you believe all the press releases, then yes, modern PC's can do almost anything. I still find graphic-intensive software on the PC to be jerky (except maybe on the very fastest machines of today and even then, I doubt it). Yet an A500 could display stunning demos from a floppy on a 1-meg machine. No bloat, no system overhead doing God-knows-what - just an advanced machine doing what it was created to do: multimedia. The PC cannot make this claim.
I don't believe new PC hardware makes most anything possible, just some things. Stability and compatibility would impress me.
I don't worry about the Pee Cee world, I own an iBook
Creativity is the hallmark of Apple.
Anyway,although you may have a point about the PC not being able to do most anything, I shudder to think what a bad situation we would be in, in the medical field, if we did not have blazing speed of the chips now and the superb imaging of the graphics cards that my office's machines need. Graphic intensive software is best on the Apple platform, as it is very popular with the creative field. But we are discussing PC's here anyway.