You are here

This is the golden age of computing, not the 1970s

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2010-11-19 10:55

1977 - Love at First Sight - The PC That I used first - A Commodore Pet at Family friends somewhere in PA

As I said in my interesting Vancouver 2010 talk, this is the golden age of computing NOT the 70s and 80s like lots of folks seem to think. Write an awesome Javascript app (or just a fun proof of concept like my flickr Average Geo Tagged real time photos from 18 cities hack) and it works on millions of desktops and mobiles e.g.:Android, iPhone, Meego, Maemo, Mac, Windows and soon Symbian once Symbian gets a modern web browser. Share the code on github and make a video on YouTube and you can get recognition you could never get in the Internet less days of Creative Computing and Byte in the 1970s. Sure there are compatibility problems but nothing like the differences between Applesoft Basic, Commodore Pet Basic, Basic on the IBM PC (what was it called)?


Roland, thanks for this. I get so frustrated when I hear (err, read) people whining about how there is nothing like Basic universally available now. Javascript is a powerful language that is far more widespread and available than Basic ever was, Mac and Linux come with languages like Python and Ruby built in, and pretty much any language for any platform is a click away. My 10-year-old can write a game or animation in visual languages like Scratch or GameSalad and upload them to the web for feedback, or even publish to the iPhone AppStore. Kids can program devices to interact with the real world using Arduino or Lego Mindstorms. We're not only in the golden age for computing, but we're just at the beginning of it, and it's accellerating.

It's a good time to be a programmer, and easy enough to get started that anyone who is even curious about their computer can try it out.

Happy hacking!

"It's a good time to be a programmer, and easy enough to get started that anyone who is even curious about their computer can try it out." - AMEN !

"GW Basic" was what a PC booted up in if you didn't insert a disk.  Not to be confused by your old "George W Groovy" jeans. Yeah, we liked it that way.

i forgot because i never had a pc and never really programmed in BASIC on a PC, all my BASIC coding was on Commodore PETs and Commodore 64s(oh i forgot i wrote some spagetti code in GW-BASIC for HP when I was a co-op)

i used borland pascal on a PC


I agree with you. This is the golden age of software, but the 70s and 80s are the golden age of computers.Today anyone could develop easily multi-platform software, with software frameworks (e.g. Java or Microsoft .NET framework) and/or with web applications. But, nowadays, it is really difficult to put your hands inside a PC. Isn't it?