Friday, November 04, 2011

There's nothing you forget more quickly than yesterday's technology

I'm reading The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember. It begins with the author recounting his digital history. How he spent his entire savings on a new computer. I remember that. He pointed out that this came with a piece of Apple software called HyperCard. I'd forgotten that. I can't believe I'd forgotten that.

In the 90s I was doing a music radio programme for GLR, which involved me logging each record I played. I user HyperCard to do this. I would spend hours every week creating playlists on HyperCard which I would then export, print out and send to the music library at GLR where they would be entered in some huge mainframe computer. At the time it seemed impossibly futuristic. People used to remark on it. It looked like this. Amazing.


  1. Remember the excitement when floppy disks shrunk to 3.5 inches? The had 2mb of memory?

    You do remember floppy disks?

  2. In 1990 I was shown my company's new computer. The most amazing fact about this machine was it had 1GB of storage! As we watched lights flashing on and off in an impressive manner we all agreed there was no way we would ever use all that memory.

    The week before last, The Economist sent me a 1GB memory stick as a thank you for my subscription. I picked it up and thought, what can you do with a 1GB?

  3. I'd pretty much forgotten about hypercard too but your post reminded me that there used to be a "how to use your macintosh" tutorial that was built in hypercard. It told you all you needed to know about using menus and how to click a mouse. I can remember showing it to people at the time and remarking on the fact that it included animation.

    My first Mac had 4MB of memory and a 40MB of hard disk space. At the time I was particularly lucky to have one of the few colour screens in the office.

  4. NASA sent man to the Moon with 64kb of RAM. In the 90s Nicholas Negroponte quipped that Andy made the chips bigger so that Bill could fill them. I just re-installed Windows 7 on a PC. It took up 390Gb.

  5. I remember MacAuthor.

    Unfortunately, MacAuthor often forgot to remember my work.