Recently I was waiting for files to be migrated to a new hard drive and couldn't escape a sense of ennui. Buying a new computer or upgrading an old one just doesn't induce the same excitement it once did, what was once fun now feels largely tedious. Curious about the nature of the problem, the reason for the shift in my perception, I began to jot down a list of the computers I've owned. And within a few minutes I had compiled a list of just over 30 computers... These were my personal, daily-use computers; I didn't include in that count any servers, computers I bought for others, etc. And this number also didn't include personal devices, which can require equal amounts of fuss and bother (between smartphones, tablets, and Android sticks I'm sure there have been at least 15).
No wonder I sometimes feel bored with it all, tired of migrating, fixing, backing up, restoring, worrying about...
Still, it was fun to remember some of the good old days, and some of the more exotic computers. From my earliest days on my Vic-20 and tape drives, up through the Commodore 64, 64c, and 128 and 5 1/4" floppy disks, the Tandy PC-6 (a pocket computer), then into the Amiga 2000 and it's 3.5" drive and ultimately 20 MB hard drive, then through the Amiga's Bridgeboard into the world of IBM clones, to an early Sager laptop, a custom machine I built to be rackmounted in an SKB music case, the brilliantly small Toshiba Libretto, a fantastic custom lunchbox computer, the Sharp Zaurus, the OQO Model 02, and on... I wonder what it would take for a new computer to blow me away as so many of the aforementioned did. I wonder if it's even possible, computers don't seem to make leaps and bounds as they once did, they are now just a pleasantly dull churn of improvements.