Discussion in 'The Meadow' started by Hornet3d, Nov 16, 2018.
Two words: FORCED OBSOLESCENCE!
Trash it all and move on!
That will probably work for my lifetime but there must be a point where that is not sustainable.
That's probably true, but that kind of mindset only works in places where you can buy another item whenever you want to, but in my case it's not even sold over here. Even if I had the money to buy a new one, I still couldn't get it. We have to make do with what we have.
Another Speccy user! That was my first computer and it took me about a year to save up for. Having said that, you must have had dodgy tapes, as the longest load time was nine minutes, mind you, it probably felt like 20 minutes.
Speaking of retired formats, I started doing graphics on the Speccy and had several tapes with my doodles. When I got an Atari ST, I managed to port them across with a rigged up cable and a little program which loaded the picture format and saved them as a GIF. These were saved into a new archive format called ZIP and that's where it all falls down, as the current version of ZIP can't read them, it can only load the later version. So there's quite a few discs with Spectrum pictures and Atari MOD music files which it can't extract. It's not the discs, as there's a few files sitting in the root directory which it can see, including a few DOC and RTF files. Word can load them, but the formatting is totally messed up.
Other than that, I actually met my wife via the Spectrum. She wrote to one of the many Spectrum magazines saying that she was stuck on The Hobbit adventure game and I replied, as I'd finished it.
Actually, I saw a ZX Spectrum and a ZX81 in the Science Museum in London. They also had a Raleigh Chopper bike.
Ohh I have very fond memories of playing The Hobbit on the ZX Spectrum 48K! That was the reason I've got myself an emulator, because I wanted to play that game again so bad! I remember the ZX-81, which had no colors and was a little slower. I have never owned one, but I remember a game for the Spectrum that came from it - "3D Monster Maze"! Yes, a 3D game that was made for the older and slower ZX-81. Those were the golden years of the so many Z80 processor computers, to include the glorious MSX that had the best games of that time, to include the original "Metal Gear" series.
Though I doubt people would remember the MSX in America, since it was sold mostly in Japan, where I was living at the time. The MSX also came with 2 things I had never seen before - the DOS operating system, and a floppy disk drive! Those would later become the standard with the not-yet-invented IBM PCs.
It is not just formats that are an issue. I have a Yamaha keyboard which, while very old, still plays well and has a good sound and I remember way back (probably 20 years or more) it cost me over £1000 pounds (probably around $2000 at the time but that was way before Breix and modern day exchange rates) . Problem is, loading voices or backing tracks was done by a 3.5 inch floppy, a few years after I purchased it there was a conversion kit to turn it into a CD drive but it was expensive as the wiring for the keyboard drive was so say non standard. I didn't buy is at the time as I was short of money so I am stuck with the old floppy drive. I have moved all the data I had at the time to CD which is also backed up but have to transfer it back to a floppy disc to load it into the keyboard. Luckily I have a collection of floppy discs and a computer with s suitable drive to do this, at least for now. I suspect I will loose my access to the hardware long before I loose the data.
I know the feeling. I have perfectly working older keyboards from the time they were built like tanks to last forever, but they were before USB, using the now obsolete PS-2 connectors that no modern computer supports. There is also the entire line of Microsoft game controllers with "Force Feedback", that remain to this date the BEST ever made, but Microsoft has dropped support for ALL of them in favor of the XBOX gamepad. I have the Sidewinder FB2 joystick, and the Sidewinder FB2 driving wheel, but Force Feedback support was dropped since Windows XP. These high quality, expensive controllers have become unsupported by their own maker, and are now fancy paperweights that ironically still retain the highest scores in nowadays game controller reviews.
Another example was the 3DConnexion's Space Pilot 3D mouse, where they stopped making drivers for it with the release of Windows 8, making it an unrecognizable device ever since. Mine still looks brand new, in perfect working conditions, but they want us to buy the newer models, where they used the driver trap like Microsoft did with their entire game controllers line up. Those are perfect examples of planned obsolescence. There are many ways to force devices to become unusable. Changing connection plugs and denying drivers are just the most common.
As for floppy disks, they are just a continuation of magnetic tapes in disc format. They share the same advantages and weaknesses, to include suffering physical damage every time they are used, even when just being read. I have a Sony Mavica digital camera that uses a 3.5" disk drive, and takes forever to record or retrieve photos from diskettes. On its own time, that was a revolutionary idea, in a time where flash cards still weren't invented.
Ironically, Flash cards are as bad as magnetic tapes, in the sense that it causes physical damage to itself whenever we write to them. And consider modern Solid State Drives are based on Flash memory, making them a time-bomb. You bet this has its days counted, and some new media is being developed that will avoid those pitfalls. In that sense, we can say that Flash cards and SSDs are already obsolete, even when they represent our newest media type. Maybe in a couple of years nobody will ever have heard they existed.,
I remember the Sidewinder Joystick and mourned it's passing, strange thing is that when they stopped producing Microsoft Money, which I had purchased and used for many years, they made a free version available. I use the same program today although I do also have a backup program in case it suddenly stops working and that works in Unix. I also have a very expensive HP scanner that worked on XP but they never did drivers for Windows 7, the last product I ever purchased from HP as is now a very expensive picture frame.
I presently use a 3DConnexion's Space Navigator which I would be lost without so I hope the do not repeat history too soon.
As for SSDs, yes I am aware there is damage done with every write but I sort of accept that with the prices they have reached and the speed they have over the conventional drives they are acceptable particularly as the majority I use have a five year warranty. Of course it does mean a strong back up routine is even more important. The same is true with flash cards although the warranty is rarely as long but cheap enough to have duplicates. I think I also accept, to some degree, that they have come to a end of their working life which is not true of your joystick and steering wheel or my scanner.
Yes, I was forced to buy a Space Navigator, which is not as good as the old Space Pilot when it comes to precision, but it could as well be the new drivers for Windows 10 that is the culprit. For example, if I am running DAZ Studio, and put the computer in sleep mode, when I come back the 3D mouse settings get reset to defaults, which in DS means the slightest touch can spin the model a few hundred times. Once this happens, there is no way to get the settings to the correct values without restarting the 3DConnexion driver. Not to mention the old Space Pilot had plenty of buttons and was way more ergonomic. I just can't use it anymore because the drivers won't work with Windows 10. Bummer!
Intel and Samsung came up with the idea of spreading the writing on SSDs across the entire surface, which I think they call it "data provisioning", but the less space you have left on the drive, the more often data will be written over the same places, meaning shorter life span. The larger the drive capacity, the longer it will last - assuming you never use too much space with your data, which is what you bought it for. With SSD disk space at premium costs comparing to mechanical drives, they still ask us to always leave 30% of the drive empty. It was a very bad idea to start with, and we are just living with it, still paying premium price per gigabyte on SSD's utterly flawed design. The price per gigabyte has increased even more with the new M.2 SSDs, while still suffering from physical damage with every bit we write on them. Nonetheless, my PC still cold boots in 15 seconds, so I can't go back, no matter how much this technology sucks. ;p
I recall The Hobbit as the longest tape loading program I met: it was around 5 minutes, I think
Good for everyone, then. But .DOC (which I referred to and was proprietary) was just an example to explain the concept. From your description, even if .DOCX sounds like a more open format, properly opening it looks like it would be quite cumbersome. Maybe its openness can be supported by various Open Source applications, but I will always prefer a .ODT (or stuff like that) over it.
If you rename a DOCX file to ZIP, you can open it and see what's inside. It's mostly made of standard XML files. Embedded images are whatever in the format they were embedded with. It's all open formats, and Windows ships with ZIP support by default. That happened because people were complaining about companies like Microsoft and Adobe using proprietary file formats, so they changed to open formats.
I had quite a few PS-2 to USB adaptors, as I had mice and keyboards which came with them. I had them in a bag with all the other odds and sods from when I upgraded my system.
Yeah, at the time it was the longest. I think it was beaten in the end by one that took NINE, but I forget the name of it. I'm sure that it was an adventure game as well though.
I forgot to add that I bought a ZX81 for a tenner from a computer fair many moons ago. It lives in my loft in mint condition, as it's still in its box.
I am still using Money 2004 Deluxe! It still works for me. I don't need some of the bells and whistles, but I use the reminders, different accounts, categories (yes, I categorize all my expenditures). I have considered writing a more basic thing to work with MS SQL Server lite (desktop version - used for many desktop applications). I have the specs on the file format for import/export. It's just not a project I want to dive into right now. there is a product called MoneySpire that I think will import Money files. I don't want to spend the money on it, though. Like I said, it still works for me. I've made sure that I have backups of the data file stored on another drive. I've had a couple of failures and Windows reinstalls over the years, and the backup strategy has saved it for me. I don't just upgrade everything because there's a new version. Most of the new features were of no interest to me.
It is still a great program and there is a lot of budget planning I can do with Money that is either difficult or impossible in other programs, I used to upgrade on a regular basis but I had a problem with an install on a new computer and there was no new version available. Data saved on the newest version I had would not load with the earlier versions of Money, which you can understand. For a while I had to use the old computer to run the program but later I found the free version on the Microsoft web site. I know have it running on Windows 7 without difficulty. Not only do I use it for day to day expenses I have also entered a rolling 3 year forecast, as much as you can plan that far ahead but at least it does highlight the months spending could be very tight. It also is a good way of understanding what level of insurance cover I need to make sure my wife is well taken care of if anything happens to me.
There is a very similar program that runs in Linux which is a free download so I use that as a back up for the day to day and month to month expenses but no long term planning so at least I will not lose it all if Microsoft Money finally dies. The down side is the import is not perfect but it does give you a running start.
I know how that is. I am still using the ancient ULead GIF Animator, because it's the only one that gives me the features I need to make my animated GIFs. In every Windows update I fear that something will make it stop working. ULead System was sold in 2005 and no longer exists, so I have to make this program last forever.
With the drive to progress there is always something that risks being left behind for which there is no replacement. I have the same fears with the database I use to catalog my Poser content, and it looked for a while as though it would not work in Windows 10 but after a little play around I now have it working so it looks like I could have it for a while longer. I still dread every Windows update mind but then I always will.