05 October 2011

Computer nerds

For some years (with a break while we lived in Perth), I've belonged to the Melbourne PC User Group.  My theory is that development of computers has been a bit like the development of cars, albeit on a compressed time scale.   When cars were first developed, in the early 20th Century, a car owner had to know how the car worked (or employ a chauffeur who knew all about the car).    However, that stage passed, and now it's almost got to the point where a car owner doesn't really need to know even how to lift the bonnet to look at the engine.  Likewise with computers, in that when personal computers were first available, you had to understand what was going on inside (remember DOS commands?).   However matters have now progressed to the point where no-one needs to know very much about how the computer is operating in order to get results.
I think this shows at monthly meetings of the PC User Group.    Yes, they can be quite interesting (the main agenda item this week was a presentation about the NBN (I'm even less convinced)), but many of the attendees were the same people who went to these meetings 15+ years ago so as to keep informed as to the workings of their computer - and now of course, they're 15+ years older, and this is reflected in the average age of those present.  Hence, one of the Special Interest Groups is the "Retired and Interested Persons" group.ired and Interested Persons" group!

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