Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th May 2010 19:23 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes There's one complaint we here at OSNews get thrown in our faces quite often: what's up with the lack of, you know, operating system news on OSNews? Why so much mobile phone news? Why so much talk of H264, HTML5, and Flash? Where's the juicy news on tomorrow's operating systems? Since it's weekend, I might as well explain why things are the way they are. Hint: it has nothing to do with a lack of willingness.
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while back in my day (yes, I'm only 25, but still)

Yes, I'm nitpicking.

Yes, I know other techs talk in ageist tones, such as Bill Gates saying this to Steven Levy (author of "Hackers"): “When I was young, I didn’t know any old people. When we did the microprocessor revolution, there was nobody old, nobody. It’s weird how old this industry has become.”

But it's still pretty damned arrogant. I've got 10 years on you, Thom, so I remember about that much more, and how things changed drastically even since my own time, such as the death of the bulletin board system, and the death of do-it-yourself hardware at the electronics level. These were the days when computer enthusiasts were simply called "nerds" with all the derision that was implied, and not "geeks".

So really, that phrase could have been struck from the article, IMHO. There are already plenty of reminders about the seeming lack of social ineptness that grows the further people delve into engineering and science; the more they deal with things and not people. Gary Trudeau is suggesting MIT students still stink in his recent comic strips (yes, within the past few days), and it was Levy who wrote in "Hackers" that Richard Greenblatt was the inspiration for the term "milliblatt" (by Greenblatt's colleagues) to measure such stink. That was back in 1984!

Reading the rest of Levy's article, the gist seems to say that the successful hackers basically grew up, took a bath, got some image consulting (and I've heard stories from a MS employee about how it's likely Melinda that dresses Bill for success) and put on some good clothes, and basically sold out. And if not, well, they either decided to just have fun (like Steve Wozniak) or they went bitter. And I doubt it's as old as my parents and the hippie generation becoming yippies and yuppies-- I'm sure the pattern has been kicking around all of human history for centuries.

Right now society at large is settling and doing a lot of nostalgia. It will pass, eventually, as it always has.

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