Daily Archives: 2021-01-25

Remembering Windows 3.1 themes and user empowerment

Source: OSNews

Article note: Oh the promise of computing environments that people shaped around themselves instead of technology designed to shape its users, how I miss you. Gone in favor of profit motives, complexity fetishists, and not seeing to public education.

The rise of OSX (remember, when it came along Apple had a single-digit slice of the computer market) meant that people eventually got used to the idea of a life with no desktop personalization. Nowadays most people don’t even change their wallpapers anymore.

In the old days of Windows 3.1, it was common to walk into an office and see each person’s desktop colors, fonts and wallpapers tuned to their personalities, just like their physical desk, with one’s family portrait or plants.

It’s a big loss. Android and Linux desktops still offer massive amounts of personalisation options – thank god – but the the other major platforms have all individuality stamped out of them. It’s boring.

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Let’s Not Dumb Down the History of Computer Science (2014)

Source: Hacker News

Article note: Beyond not "dumbing it down," let's just preserve and teach it. Most people in computing have _no_ historical context, and it's a big part of why, as a field, we're so bad at our jobs.
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