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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With a Fear of Technological Change? 429

An anonymous reader writes "Despite the fact that I am fairly young at twenty-four years old, people see me as rather 'old school.' I regularly use Lynx, IRC, Pine, have many consoles open, and am currently typing this on an older plain black laptop that has a matte 4:3 display and no chiclet keys. As the days progress, I am coming to the realization that the 'old school' computing world that I grew up in is slowly fading away and a new world of Windows 8, Web 3.0, tablets, smart televisions, and social networking is starting to become fairly common. If there is anything I have learned, it is that most humans have a desire to throw out the old and accept the new without any sort of hesitation. Like many Slashdot users (I am sure you know who you are), I do not accept the new as easily as I probably should. How have you learned to adapt and accept things that are new and different in the world of technology and computers? If not, what are some effective strategies to utilize to keep these kids off my lawn?"
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With a Fear of Technological Change?

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  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:39PM (#43745997) Journal

    Stay cool, don't be a fool.

    • Re:Old School B-) (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jhoegl ( 638955 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:13PM (#43746443)
      As utterly useless as this saying is, because it is so general I would say at least keep your wits. Because a moron reacts to changes moronically.
      Such as buying a gadget without anyone fully understanding its usage or potential (tablet), or perhaps buying something because others have it (rasberry pi).
      The Tablet is a niche market that exploded, because the niche is pretty large (all sales people and children under 12). it will settle down, and will not take away the desktop or laptop. It wont take away servers or networking, and it wont do anything to programming.
      Evaluate items based on what they are and what they bring. Fearing technology? no... fearing things that lock you down or keep you walled in some sort of garden preventing you from reaching your potential or the devices potential... yes, very much yes.
      • Re:Old School B-) (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hendrikboom ( 1001110 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:16PM (#43746485)

        Tablets won't take away servers or networking -- tablets need the servers and the network.

      • Re:Old School B-) (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:33PM (#43746675)

        "Because a moron reacts to changes moronically."


        In recent years I have seen so much change for the sake of change, it sometimes disgusts me.

        Let's get something straight, folks: Change is only good if it's an improvement. Otherwise, change is BAD, even if it's just as good as the old thing. There are a number of reasons for this.

        First among those reasons is that change has definite costs involved. Whenever you change something, people have to learn new ways, use something differently, etc., etc. If anybody can find some kind of major change that doesn't have a cost associated with it, I'd be delighted to hear about it.

        Second, things are usually the way they are for good reasons. There are generations of people who came before who tried different things and arrived at their ways via hard-won trial and error. Changing something "just because" probably means you don't know your history and, as they say, will likely be doomed to repeat it.

        When I think a change is GOOD, on its own merit, I am happy to jump on the bandwagon. But I don't drool over things just because they are new or in fashion.

        • by unimacs ( 597299 )
          When it comes to specifics we probably agree. I will add some caveats though. Technology moves quickly and career wise if we want to be relevant in our 40's and 50's we need to move with it. It's not only good for your career, learning new skills is good for your brain.

          There's been plenty of times in my career where I've chosen to use a particular technology for a given project primarily because I wanted to learn it or I wanted a member of my staff to learn it. Yes, it costs more, but it pays off down th
      • The Tablet is a niche market that exploded [...] it will settle down, and will not take away the desktop or laptop. It wont take away servers or networking, and it wont do anything to programming.

        While desktops and laptops will continue to be necessary for work tasks, and will always have that niche, the overwhelming bulk of computers sold today are being used as little more than glorified web browser and Facebook kiosks in people's homes. The tablet and smartphone market is completely devouring that. I bou

  • by neye_eve ( 212185 ) * on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:41PM (#43746037)

    Having gone through some of the same things, the best advice I can say is to ignore those feelings publicly. At work I'm riding the wave with the rest of them. At home I'm back on my happy train. The last thing I want is to be marginalized at work because I'm "that guy" who is a roadblock instead of a guy that moves things forward.

    In the tech industry, you do NOT want to be the enemy of the executives.

    Definitely point out real problems when they're there, and nix projects that are bad, but try not to let your bias lead you to make irrationally bad arguments. And who knows, you might learn to like some of the stuff, which will help you in the future as well both because you know more, and also because your attitude will be more open. It's worked for me so far at least - I just bought an iPad and a Surface Pro today for testing, will be getting a Nexus to validate very soon as well. It's actually pretty fun.

    In any case, good luck, and long live lynx!

    • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:57PM (#43746287)
      I've found that very little is actually new. There have been tablet computers for some time. There have been wearable computers. There has been "social media" since the days of Fidonet. We had "SMS" fifteen years ago with bidirectional alphanumeric pagers and TAP.

      Very little is new, it's just reinvented again and again and again. And again, and again. Accept this and just do what you need to do. Eventually you'll come to understand it and won't be stuck with some weird, antiquated version of Firefox running on your Debian 2.4 box because you refuse to change. It doesn't friggin' matter.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Desler ( 1608317 )

        We had "SMS" fifteen years ago with bidirectional alphanumeric pagers and TAP.

        The SMS specification was completed in 1990 and the first commercial implementation came out in 1993 which is 5 years before your "fifteen years ago".

      • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:18PM (#43747107)

        The problem with the OP is the attitude that there's something wrong. There isn't. It isn't "fear" of new stuff, but the logical realization that new stuff is not necessarily better, and in many cases is worse. In other words, do not be worried that you're not embracing all the stuff that the masses embrace.

        Most humans don't embrace the new and throw out the old, it only appears that way because marketing has control of what you see and hear. Very often there is a fad that dies out because the masses realize that the new wasn't actually worth switching to. New ideas that do take hold are often old ideas that are scaled up or made more practical.

        • do not be worried that you're not embracing all the stuff that the masses embrace.

          True, argumentum ad populum is usually a fallacy. But sometimes it isn't. Economies of scale in manufacturing is one case. As the masses have moved from "netbooks" (10" laptops) to tablets, it has become more difficult for a happy netbook user to find a new replacement for failed hardware. Communication platforms are another case. If people aren't willing to make their writing available through an open technoloby such as an Atom feed but instead prefer to lock their communication inside the closed systems o

    • by Ghaoth ( 1196241 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:22PM (#43747143)
      I'm 64 years old (shock horror!) I began with vacuum tubes, discrete transistors, etc. I learned UNIX on an IBM1130 and went through many incarnations of many OS's. I now use Linux and reluctantly Scumsoft Windows (in a VM) have Android phones and tablets. Don't stop learning and evolving. If you can't beat them with code, beat them with experience but never give up.
    • You do NOT want to be the enemy of the executives.

      Pretend you are like a super-hero, maybe LinuxMan, EmacsMan, LambdaMan, etc.

      During the day you are Windows Kent, but at night you put on your EmacsMan suit and save the day from the unsuspecting clueless minions below you without thanks or recognition except for a handful of fans who realize you have kept Joker Ballmer from ruling the entire world.

  • 24 yo? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cornwallis ( 1188489 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:43PM (#43746061)

    I've got socks older than you. What are you gonna do when you really get old?

    • Re:24 yo? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Mitchell314 ( 1576581 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:49PM (#43746161)
      Get a bigger 'get off my lawn' sign?
    • Become indistinguishable from all his peers, who are hip young technofetishists today, but will be fellow crotchety luddites complaining about the new kids on the lawn (and their pointless faddish brain implants and stupid music) in another 30 years?

    • Re:24 yo? (Score:5, Funny)

      by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:52PM (#43746211)
      Let me just say, and I think I speak for everyone on Slashdot, change your damn socks already!
    • Re:24 yo? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ModernGeek ( 601932 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:53PM (#43746223)
      Don't listen to him. Stick to your ways and keep contributing to F/OSS. If the "old school" tools are used and maintained, then they are still alive. Keep coding, and keep using your computer.

      One day when all those iDevices are obsolete, and can't be upgraded or used because of their proprietary lock in mechanisms, you'll be laughing from your throne as you did not allow yourself or your utilities to become useless.

      The best advise I can give to you is to not give into proprietary hardware just because it is shiny and new. You'll find yourself replacing everything every two years, and pouring money into the coughers of corporations. You'll become more dependent on the grace of other companies, and at the mercy of others.

      Don't try to be hip, and don't run with the crowd just because it's there.
      • by rnturn ( 11092 )

        ``The best advise I can give to you is to not give into proprietary hardware just because it is shiny and new. You'll find yourself replacing everything every two years, and pouring money into the coughers (sic) of corporations. You'll become more dependent on the grace of other companies, and at the mercy of others.

        All I can say is: Spot F**kin' On. If it isn't broken why am I constantly being reminded that I need to replace it. Are these hipsters who always have the latest technological doodad going to

        • Re:24 yo? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:38PM (#43746721)

          I agree that if something is not broken, you don't need to fix it. Using terminals and lynx and other stuff is completely valid, although using a text browser is starting to have more and more limited applications once you start seeing more and more functionality where Javascript manipulates a bunch of icons to get functionality. I'd almost say that for anything you can still use lynx for reliably, you should probably just use curl or wget for.

          On the other hand, whether he likes to use older stuff or not, it is in his best interests to at least understand how some of the new-fangled stuff operates. Someday, people will stop supporting what he is using, and he'll need to know what the alternatives are and be able to use them.

          I remember being just fine with Microsoft Word 5.1a on my toaster Mac, and liking it much better than a lot of what Word turned into with later versions. Presumably, if I still had my toaster Mac and a printer, I could still use it today. The problem is that, eventually, the toaster Mac breaks, or they finally add a feature that 5.1a doesn't have, which you absolutely MUST have, and it's all over. You better hope that when that day comes around, you figure out how the dreaded "ribbon" works.

          Also, while a lot of this stuff is a fad, sometimes, the new stuff you can't think of a use for actually has a use that you just hadn't thought of. I wouldn't have bought my tablet unless there were things I could do with it usefully, and I've found even more useful things to do with it now that I have it.

          Don't get the new toys just to have new toys, but don't scorn new things just because they are new either. That's one way to find yourself in trouble and your skills suddenly obsolete.

          • Re:24 yo? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by lennier ( 44736 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:05PM (#43746957) Homepage

            Using terminals and lynx and other stuff is completely valid

            And don't forget that in the Microsoft enterprise-backend administration world (which appears to be following a tech trajectory diametrically opposed to the shiny-flashy-broken all-Surface-no-substance Windows 8 world), there is a very strong trend back toward the console, via Powershell.

            Things go round and round and round again, but even on Windows, the command line endures and conquers.

            By the way, Powershell does some things much, much better than any current command shell on Linux. When are we going to get a bash-alike that is based on piping arbitrary objects? (And Powershell objects are pretty neat, they're not just raw .NET objects - they're dynamically reconfigureable-at-runtime things much more in the old Smalltalk spirit than anything that came after C++). Ruby would probably do it, if someone could add piping support to it and hack up the libraries to make it interface with all the various incompatble object OS and object systems under the Linux/X hood.

    • Re:24 yo? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by verifine ( 685231 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:55PM (#43746253)

      I just spent 3 days at a HP-sponsored event. Can you say Windows? I happened to mention I use Emacs as my editor. Everything was fine up until then, using Linux is "geeky/cool," but for a couple of listeners, using Emacs equated with being ancient. Bizarre. I don't GAF (think about that) what people use to create files. The created file and what it does in the grand scheme of things has always seemed to me to be the more important aspect of it all, and if you like vi, yay for you. I've used Emacs since before many IT people today were born.

      People are mostly awed when they enter my office, get behind the "wall o-monitors" and see just how many xterm windows I'm running. More disturbing for them, since several are running tails, they move. My visitors are intimidated, though that is never my intent. I imagine them thinking, "How does he manage so much information at one time!!!"

      When command line is history, I hope to be history

      • by rnturn ( 11092 )

        ``I've used Emacs since before many IT people today were born.''

        I learned by accident. My first IBM-clone (Columbia 1600) shipped with a software suite that used the Emacs keyboard mappings. Later when I wound up using a Tektronix workstation, the standard editor was Emacs and I was right at home.

        (Remember: We hide because we use Emacs and they use vi.)

      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

        I just spent 3 days at a HP-sponsored event. Can you say Windows? I happened to mention I use Emacs as my editor. Everything was fine up until then, using Linux is "geeky/cool," but for a couple of listeners, using Emacs equated with being ancient. Bizarre.

        To be fair, at least Windows has a decent text editor.

    • Re:24 yo? (Score:4, Funny)

      by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:10PM (#43746423)

      I've got socks older than you. What are you gonna do when you really get old?

      Considering how fast new things come (and go) in this field, anyone with more than five years of industry experience can claim to be "old". Anyway... Can I just say -- you need to update your wardrobe if you have 24 year old socks. My car isn't even that old, and it's falling apart; If I kept socks for that long, they'd be like... sock molecules, held together only by determination and a fierce desire to not be trendy.

      • by sphealey ( 2855 )

        Assuming the parent is (1) not kidding (2) referring to wool socks, it is quite possible. Wool clothing was far better made 25 years ago than it is today, and far more durable than almost anything on the apparel market now. Not all change is "progress".


    • Re:24 yo? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @10:30PM (#43747967) Homepage

      I've got socks older than you. What are you gonna do when you really get old?

      I'm going to guess he's going to look back on his life and realize that he was dumb to think he'd seen it all at age 24. He talks as though the Third Age of Middle Earth is ending -- and you wanna know why? Think about it. When the original iPhone came out, he was 18 years old. For his entire adult life, there have been iPhones, and the iPhone was the first real major technology shift he'd ever seen. For those of us who have been through all sorts of booms and busts and cycles and trends in the computing industry, things look a lot different -- as they will for him, when he really gets old.

      His whole submission reminds me of those things that pop up on Buzzfeed every now and again -- "Twenty things that will make you feel old" -- and half of them are photos of the all-grown-up-now former child actor from some kids' show on Nickelodeon that you've never heard of because the first episode aired in 1994.

      • Re:24 yo? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @11:29PM (#43748291) Homepage Journal

        I'm going to guess he's going to look back on his life and realize that he was dumb to think he'd seen it all at age 24. He talks as though the Third Age of Middle Earth is ending

        In some important ways, it is. The process isn't complete, but there is a fundamental change happening, and it will discomfit some of us.

        The days of 'Homesteading the Noosphere [catb.org]' (as ESR put it), are coming to a close. Scale, network topologies, business models and legal encroachment on the principles of individual online freedom are all conspiring to make the technological world we live in substantially more constrained than it's been since the internet became part of our lives.

        The land rush is over, the cowboys are gone (either buried or rich) and the homesteaders are being bought out by the speculators and tycoons. Community-based governance is under siege by national and international interests.

        And this is being reflected in the tech world. The craftsman's approach to software (always greater in repute than in reality) is decidedly more difficult to practice as a trade than it was. Toolkits are giving way to frameworks and apps replace applications. Backyard-mechanic roadsters and dirt-track races are swallowed up by Nascar - VCs get us excited by the prospect of building only big enough to sell out to someone bigger.

        The physical networks themselves are being taken back by the telcos and proffered to governments for surveillance in exchange for ever more egregious rent-seeking behaviour. What we used to call sharing is now piracy. The word 'copyright' now means 'don't copy at all, ever.'

        And in the midst of it all, we're grateful to lockin-vendors who make Free software difficult, if not impossible, to use. We rent what we used to own. Even our identities are no longer our own.

        I grieve to say it, but unless there's a sudden and immense resurgence of the DIY spirit, especially in peer networking and distributed data, we're going to fall back into the bad old days of the dumb terminal and the smart network. And that network's smarts will not exist for our benefit.

        I'm pushing 50 now, and do I fear change? Not really. I just regret the lost freedom, the creative anarchy of the '90s, the ability to hack something cool and new, the chance to achieve things never before possible. It's not gone yet. We could still turn things around. But every day we don't brings us a day closer to the day when we can't any longer.

  • Do you need to? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Galaga88 ( 148206 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:43PM (#43746069)

    If the current tools you have are getting the job done, I don't see a need to change.

    If you want to force yourself into getting started with new technology, I'd start with a rootable Android smartphone, or a Nexus 7 if you don't want to spring for a phone plan. Then just jump right in to exploring it.

    You'll learn a lot of the new interface tricks that are shared with tablets/phones, there's a lot of devices and web services they can integrate with, and you can still get your hack on and put SSH and all that other fun stuff on the device.

    • Hear hear.

      It's good to focus on what works.

      But explore at the edges if you can spare the attention and time. Treating it as play is a good approach for this. Like Galaga88 said, a rootable Android toy is a good start. It'll get you used to touch interfaces and show you some of the power of portability. (To use an example.)

      I always made a point of getting a slider keyboard phone. SSHing into a server is pretty sweet with a physical keyboard, even if the teensy tiny on-screen font makes me take my glasses off

    • by n1ywb ( 555767 )
      Seriously. Do what works for you. I mostly do my email in gmail. But I do all of my real paying work at a shell prompt or in VIM. Because it works. When I have to use a windows box for whatever reason I install cygwin so I can keep doing my work in bash & VIM.

      The thing is more and more people are using computers every day. As computing becomes commoditized it moves towards the lowest common denominator. This is to be expected. Don't feel like you have to stoop down to that level, but don't be all hig
    • If the current tools you have are getting the job done, I don't see a need to change.

      This, and I might add there are plenty of lines of work that are still growing and in need of people, where you can work and never have to change. Most forms of hardware design (except, unfortunately, PCB), systems and device level software...

      Smartphones really are a boon to the world and add value in spite of their oversold trendiness. In addition to SSH, there's also VNC and IRC. The smartphone has increased my productiv

    • by DrCode ( 95839 )

      Yes, true. I'm *really* old at almost 60. And I've found that you can't keep up with everything; but you don't have to. Some things go away before you get a chance to feel foolish for not using them (like MySpace, and just about anything that Microsoft makes:-)).

      In my case, I'm still using Emacs/gcc/gdb to write C code where I work. But I've ported my old open-source project to Android using Eclipse with Java, and my Android phone is my main internet and entertainment device when I travel. And I'm an a

  • Umm, no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:43PM (#43746073)

    If there is anything I have learned, it is that most humans have a desire to throw out the old and accept the new without any sort of hesitation.

    Umm, no. That is the exact opposite of what most humans have a desire to do. We hang on to things that we know. Why do you think Windows 8.1 will have a "Start" button? By and large, people hate change.

    • Out of mod points so posting this to support parent. I am jealous of the submitter anyway, he clearly didn't have to deal with too many conservatives in his life.
    • Are you the sort of person who changes your toothpaste every time some new whiz-bang marketing feature is invented? Or do you stick with a working basic toothpaste because it really makes no difference (brushing does most of the work anyway). What has changed in computing at the core level in the last few years? More parallelism, a few newer languages and technologies ... not much else. The rest is just the interface. If you want to work on interfaces, you need to be up to speed on this. The rest can be man

    • by rnturn ( 11092 )

      ``By and large, people hate change.''

      Technology corporations love change, though. That's why they have such big marketing budgets: to convince us that we need their latest and greatest toy and to be parted from our cash for the privilege of owning it.

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        People love certain types of change. They love cool new features. People hate when existing functionality that they’re used to using goes away, or when those new features get in the way of doing what they’ve been doing, forcing them to do something different right now. For a consumer, an ideal app upgrade does exactly what the old version does in exactly the same way, but lets them try new things at their leisure. They like new features and new technology, so long as they are free to adopt

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:44PM (#43746077)
    it's not about the tools, but how well you use them. If you're more productive with old tools than your peers are with new ones, why worry? It's easier to move forward than backward, so you'll always have a bigger tool belt than those who didn't bother learning/understanding the capabilities of "old school."
  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:45PM (#43746099) Homepage Journal

    You're actively regressing when you stick with a text mode browser in the modern world. You aren't "old school" -- you're stubborn. Old school would be sticking with what you learned to start with, not specifically choosing something from the late '70s or early '80s to work with.

    Your big problem is you need to grow up.

    • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:50PM (#43746171) Homepage Journal

      Let me rephrase that:

      Using the command line tools does not make you "L33t". It does not make you "cool".

      Using archaic tools for modern jobs is just flat out asinine. You didn't grow up with those tools -- those tools are from my university days. And I'm 49, not 24.

      Stop fooling yourself that you're special and use the right tool for the job instead of being stubborn.

      • by plover ( 150551 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:06PM (#43746365) Homepage Journal

        And what, in your expert opinion, is the right tool for the job? Back in the day I never bothered moving to pine, because I figured elm was good enough for me. (And it was.) Now I seem to spend half my workday in Outlook, and it makes me exactly every bit as productive as elm did. It's worse, actually, because these days everyone has email and it's now far too easy for the unwashed masses to cc: a status report to a hundred people who simply don't care.

        If a newer tool doesn't provide a demonstrable or measurable improvement, what makes that new tool "right"? What makes the old tool "wrong"?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:06PM (#43746383)

        That's a bit unfair... some of the older tools are actually better for the job. The Linux CLI is usually faster than a GUI filemanager (because of globbing and tab-completion). Pine may not be pretty, but again, it's faster than Thunderbird. And 16:12 is definitely better than 16:8 for a laptop, even if the movie-tail is wagging the productivity-dog. Use the best tool there is, for you.

        • by ZeroPly ( 881915 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @12:10AM (#43748465)
          There is nothing wrong with choosing an older tool because it does the better job. But claiming to have an emotional attachment to it is attention mongering. This guy is just a technological hipster - he's using Lynx to be different. He probably can' t bear to be separated from his straight razor or manual typewriter either.

          It is insane to think that a 24 year old somehow grew up with Lynx and just doesn't want to change, unless this narrative involves a village in Somalia or something. We're supposed to be in awe of how special he is, but as someone who actually used Lynx when it was the only game in town, all I have to say is "get a fucking life".
      • by Aguazul2 ( 2591049 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:14PM (#43746459)

        Who says the console isn't the right tool for the job? Even Windows has PowerShell, and Windows 2012 can be installed without any GUI at all, relying on remote shell access for maintenance. If you do this all day long, the shell is often the best tool for the job. Point and click and GUIs are for getting things done when you have little previous experience with that task (or for things that obviously require graphics).

      • Using the command line tools does not make you "L33t". It does not make you "cool".

        No, but in many cases, they make you more productive and more effective.

        Using archaic tools for modern jobs is just flat out asinine.


        You didn't grow up with those tools -


        those tools are from my university days. And I'm 49, not 24.

        You know it's an interesting fact: open source tools that were started 20 or 30 years ago actually haven't received any updates in the meantime. It's quite incredible really.

        I'll stick with L

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:46PM (#43746101)

    "If there is anything I have learned, it is that most humans have a desire to throw out the old and accept the new without any sort of hesitation."

    When did Slashdot start accepting submissions from Bizarro Earth? Or in Bizzaro Speak, When did orgDotSlash start rejecting admissions from Normal Earth?

  • Uh, no. (Score:5, Funny)

    by seebs ( 15766 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:48PM (#43746129) Homepage

    "If there is anything I have learned, it is that most humans have a desire to throw out the old and accept the new without any sort of hesitation."

    I guess you haven't learned anything, then.

    Maybe try again?

    • That sentence totally cracked me up, as well, and prevented me from taking anything else he said seriously.

      "Dude, come back when you understand how funny that was."

  • by RajivSLK ( 398494 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:48PM (#43746131)

    If you don't have a desire to change and accept the inevitable progression of technology switch careers. I hear the amish are making wonderful fireplaces.

  • If there is anything I have learned, it is that most humans have a desire to throw out the old and accept the new without any sort of hesitation.

    In what alternate universe did you encounter alleged humans behaving like this? I don't think that your problem is a fear of technological change,I think your problem is that you're smoking too much dope.

  • by Wee ( 17189 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:51PM (#43746179)
    I use pine (well, alpine) daily. I'm typing this with an IBM Model M keyboard made in 1988, hooked up to an old, re-purposed Dell with parts from all sorts of sources. I don't keep a lot of xterms open, but I do love xfce's tabbed Terminal Emulator app. I still use things like job control and screen, even though I could have 100 ssh sessions going if I wanted to. When I need to make some quick-and-dirty HTML, I probably use tables more often than not. I still look at usenet. I write (gasp!) perl scripts from time to time.

    So why use all those "old" things? Because they work. Why not switch to something new, or stop using screen when I can hit shift+ctrl+t and get a new session? Because there's no compelling reason not to use screen. It still works. Sure, you don't see things like rlogin, rsh and (maybe) ftp anymore, because those things no longer work sufficiently well. Why don't I bother with things like a "semantic desktop" that can sync all manner of social media and such right there in my WM? There's no compelling reason to do so. I just don't have a need for any of that. Why not carry a tablet around? Because a laptop is far mroe flexible for my needs. It still works for me, and that's my primary concern.

    But the bottom line is this: If it's ugly and it works, it's not ugly. Keep your eyes out for new stuff, but just keep using what both appeals to and works for you.

  • by QilessQi ( 2044624 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:51PM (#43746193)

    When I was young we had to telnet to port 80 and format the HTML stream in our heads.

    • by sphealey ( 2855 )

      I was too busy reading the RFC drafts via Gopher to bother with "formatting".


    • by Pop69 ( 700500 )
      Luxury !

      In my day I had to whistle into my phone at 1200bps and do the encoding in my head. I can decode audio and video files in real-time now, but decrypting PGP files slows me down a bit...

      Paraphrased from Guy M
  • A 24 year old thinks he's an old timer on the internet because he likes text-based tech? Moronic.

    However, the bigger question of "fear of technological change?" That's one for business everywhere -- Especially the media industries.

  • Girls (Score:5, Funny)

    by egcagrac0 ( 1410377 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:52PM (#43746217)

    How have you learned to adapt and accept things that are new and different in the world of technology and computers?

    The girls I talk to want the new features. If I want to keep talking to the girls, I stay reasonably current on features.

    If you want to, you can replace "girls" with "users", "customers", etc. Really, though, this is nothing new, since about Windows 95 and AOL.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:54PM (#43746231)

    you tell them! i am on a pdp-11 terminal and i have to run my data stream trough a translation code that puts everything into lower case so that slashdot's filter doesn't tel me that im yelling or somethng- so iguess i'm whispering now? i have 12k of ram and a hole kilobyte of disk space. my factorite game is star trek in basic. I don't have any spiel chk ither. my power bill is about $1,000/ mo for the computer and ac. sometimes - aside from marketing hybole - technology imporovments are a good thing, sonny.

  • by buddyglass ( 925859 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:56PM (#43746259)
    Keep using what whatever tech you want to use and stop obsessing over what you "should" be using. If a compelling reason to start using something new develops then...start using something new. This isn't rocket science.
  • by melchoir55 ( 218842 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:57PM (#43746269)

    " If there is anything I have learned, it is that most humans have a desire to throw out the old and accept the new without any sort of hesitation"

    The above quote is in stark contrast to my own experience in life. I'm not much older than you (29) and I have found that people often require extremely powerful motivators in order to accept "the new" otherwise known as "change". There are different personalities of course, but the personality "I want to learn it once and be an expert forever" is pretty common in my own workplace. A lot of people don't push themselves to learn. I don't mean outside the workplace, either. I just mean learning the proprietary in-house tech we have. Folks learn it as much as they absolutely need to then kind of check out when it comes to the more in depth stuff. Not all people of course, but not an insignificant part of the population either.

    Other examples abound. How many 60 year olds were texting a decade ago? It certainly isn't that they are too stupid, because a lot of them do it now. Old people are just as smart (smarter?) as young people with the unfortunate disadvantage of poor reaction time. It's that they had methods of approaching the world which were well worn and change is scary.

    The tech crowd is not plagued with the "change is scary" mantra to the same degree as other crowds. I've found that it accepts change faster than most other demographics I've been a part of.

    • actually old people and texting I think is a different beast. that, i think, is down to them simply not understanding the benefits of the technology.

      all the old people i've heard poo-poo texting really have the same argument. they don't want to be bothered with a thousand text messages, what's wrong with just calling?

      Yeah, but not ALL old people think like that. Some of them realized that, hey, if PersonFriend wants to get a hold of them, they can CALL, or TEXT. Either way is going to be a 'bother', but

  • by Garion911 ( 10618 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:57PM (#43746281) Homepage

    If you're into programming, think about moving into the embedded. I work for an embedded company, and I recently got the company to realize that remote gdb works pretty well.

    When your connection is only over ssh, telnet, or *gasp* serial, your old school will be very handy.

  • Keep adapting... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:58PM (#43746297)

    Me. I'm "old school", I manage, architect, support storage subsystems...

    Parallel SCSI ... done that...
    ESCON then FICON... yep.
    NFS/SMB... yep
    SSA (IBM's Serial Storage Architecture) yep.
    Tape... LTO is "new" compared to the stuff I've done.
    FibreChannel.. now FC over Ethernet... yep...
    Object Storage... yep
    Hadoop/MapR... here today...

    I still manage and architect storage environments for customers...

    I just adapted to what was coming... the requirements for my clients or employers didn't change. They wanted high performance, easy to manage, cheaper than the previous solution and most of all reliable..

    Just keep adapting, keep educating yourself on what is here today and what various vendors are working on... All this server virtualization that people are deploying now... nothing new... I did LPARs on mainframes in the 90s. Dumb terminals... The "cloud" today is nothing more than a 1000 cheap x86 servers with software running over them to enable you to dynamically configure VMs on the fly. I did that with OS/360 years ago on a Parallel Sysplex on the mainframe. Concepts are the same, implementation is different. Requirements haven't changed that much.

    Don't be afraid to evolve. Keeps you young, interesting and relevant. Plus you can apply all that you've learned to what's coming...

  • This is the most ridiculous post i read in a long time, you are a fucking hipster, no more, no less.

  • I thought the web has already been upgraded to HTML 3.2, hasn't it?
  • 1. Pick a Tablet (I suggest notApple unless you need Apple for work... well, or if you are rich and don't mind being a wastrel.)

    2. Make sure the tablet has the following things:
    Mini-HDMI Out (For when you have access to a decent sized monitor.)
    Ability to connect Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse
    Ghost commander
    Remote Desktop
    Some kind of case that doubles as a stand
    bigger bag to carry tablet and accessories

    3. Suggest buying 16gb and rigging up personal server for external storage.

    4. Buy the tablet

    5. set up

  • Approaching 60

    I have seen many technologies come and go

    I look at something new and ask, can I use it? do I need it?

    If so, I learn it or buy it

    If not, I ignore it

    ...Haven't found a need for a smartphone yet

  • by multiben ( 1916126 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:06PM (#43746379)
    I am so much cooler than you. I am currently typing this email by manually creating punch cards which are hooked to a morse code machine which then relays the electrical signals into a decoder I built from weet-bix and leeches and straight into the copper cables which connect my phone.
  • real computers running real operating systems are command administered. It's how I make my living. You'll make more money if you can administer a computer by command line rather than just clicking and pointing

  • I'm 33 years old (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twistofsin ( 718250 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:28PM (#43746617)
    And everything you claim to have learned on was outdated when I was a fucking teenager. I have a really hard time believing that this "old school" computing world is what you grew up with.

    You just sound like a computer "hipster" to me. Come crack open a PBR with me and relax .. you don't have to try this hard to be different. As someone who has done production in many industries, please let me reassure you that we wouldn't have adopted today's tools if they weren't better than yesterdays.

    Your mashup of what would also be considered old (social networking) and new (Win 8) .. oh fuck I just convinced myself this was a troll submission, fuck off.
  • Try to adapt what is available and economical to accomplish what is needed.

    It's that you were able to do the job well and efficiently that counts.

    Whether you do it with the newest raddest paid-too-much-for-that is of a lot less consequence.

    There are times when the newest and best is what's needed, either due to performance constraints or user desire. But often the way to tell compulsive pioneers is the arrows in their backs.

    That said, make sure you're up to date on being able to use the new. Knowing how to,

  • by Above ( 100351 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:40PM (#43746739)

    It's obvious from your post that you suffer from a sort of bigotry that the technologies you have chosen are somehow better than other technologies because they are "old school", for your own definition of "old school". It will not serve your professional or social life well.

    Things like IRC, console windows, and a plain black laptop can all be used to do quite cutting edge things. They are not old school the way most people would define the term. Browsing using lynx in a console when you have a perfectly good GUI and graphical web browser? That's just being a technological hipster, trying to show off to people that you're different. What you're doing isn't new either, back in the early 1990's I remember people complaining that X terminals were killing vt100 terminals, that the new squishing DEC keyboards were worse than IBM's mechanical ones, and that those new fangled web browsers were a total waste of resources, after all gopher and archie worked just fine.

    What you'll find is that people trust the opinion of those who have actually used different systems far more than those who have simply developed a prejudice against anything that isn't their supposedly superior choice. The systems engineers I respect the most can sit down and just get work done on a Windows, OS X, FreeBSD, or Linux box. The great ones can also work on a VMS box, or a System/360 box, and tell you what was cool about OS/2 and BeOS. They can work in a GUI, or at the command line. They can do basic editing in both vi and emacs. They understand the right tool for the job depends on the job and is not an absolute. Most importantly they will tell you the areas in which their favorite technology needs improvement , usually by pointing out areas in which tools they don't prefer surpass the ones they do prefer. They are open minded enough to understand other peoples situations, understand their use cases, and test the tools in ways that make their recommendations meaningful.

    The most important though is what others have pointed out. The technology industry is all about face paced change. I remember when pine did not exist. Seriously, if you wanted to be old school you need to ditch that new junk and use elm, or mh, or mailx. You're destined to be eternally grumpy if your reaction to every new technology is "the old thing works just fine", and you should get out of the industry right now. It's fine to chose to work on technologies you love, but it's not fine to think other technologies and the people who use them are beneath you. It's bigotry. It's nearly the same as looking down on people because of their race or religion. It's arbitrary, capricious, rude, and uninformed.

  • Of the things you mentioned, very little of it has made our lives better (arguably, they've made our lives worse)

    Chiclet keyboards? Godawful, malformed, unworkable, cheap pieces of shit. My keyboard's not a fashion statement, it's for typing, damn it. They might not be so bad if the layout wasn't a literal clusterfuck.

    Tablets? One-way consumption devices that pacify us, make us dumber and spy on us by default. Basically cable TV for the 21st century.

    16:9 screens? My laptop used to be something I could

    • Windows 8 ... do I even need to explain?

      20 years from today

      Back in my day, we didn't have these fancy operating systems that would give you a hint on what to do next. We had to click anywhere and everywhere until it did something. And we LIKED it that way.

  • When I was younger, I adopted new technology as soon as I could save up the pennies to buy it. It was exciting to be using the latest tech and there were often big advancements with each iteration (early sound and graphics cards spring to mind). Twenty years or so on, I wouldn't say I'm reluctant to change, but I move forward at a much steadier pace. Maybe it's just seeing things through an older and more cynical pair of eyes, but I do not think there are as big advancements in new products today as markete

  • ...but not much about the shape of the bones, OP.

    If you use old school tech for its own sake and it's really a cultural affectation then there's no real reason not to switch.

    However, if you use them because you're interested in the raw stuff that makes the modern world work and you're not content to just accept that every new toy is a magical box controlled by Apple or Microsoft or Samsung... you should probably both stick to the old stuff and branch out into finding out how the new technologies do what they do.

  • It's much easier than you think to adopt new platforms. PUTTY runs on Windows, and so does Git and CURL.
    The interface doesn't matter -- The guts haven't really changed all that much, and where they have it's been abstracted to provide the same interface again. I used to just LOVE programming a PDP-11, it was Cool, had spinning tape drives and a noisy paper terminal, you could really mess things up big-time! (I'm not that old, it was my step-dad's hand-me-down, but I loved learning to program on old tech as a kid). Then I fell in love with x86 ASM, and now I love ARM.

    With each advancement comes limitations and platform growing pains, so we've been limited and had to go back to doing things the old way, until the platforms get fast enough that I don't need machine level optimization, then I write in C, and soon after it's scripting and interpreted languages and VM languages. About that time another platform comes out that does some crazy new thing, like multi-threading, multi-core processors, or the Playstation 3's cell processor, or GPU shading languages.

    With the hardware GPU acceleration we initially started off doing pixel overlay math to pull off tricks with the fixed function pipeline -- I used the pixel blending math as my ASM, and colors as my variables -- Reminded me of flipping switches to load accumulators and playing bitwise games with adds to pull off different mathematic operations like multiply and divide on the limited interface, just like in the old days, but now with pixel buffers... Then came pixel shaders, and we got back some more control, it was back to a more ASM like interface, then vertex shaders. Now we're now set to have integrated 'heterogeneous' computing with shared memory architectures to drop the RAM latency back down to where it's like having one big block of RAM again. I still write algorithms in make-shift assembly with pixel values and carve logic and datasets out of a huge slab of RAM, just like in the 16 bit era, before OSs had virtual memory... Although there's languages like OpenCL, you can still be very low level. Soon that'll be high level and we'll have Perl and JavaScript running around inside GPUs. Soon we'll have quantum computers and affordable ASIC -- I'll be programming in NAND gates again, and multiplying by 5 by shifting left two and adding it back to the original number, just like when I used to 'write' programs with a wire twister.

    All the while the new tech comes out, goes through its paces, I still have my trusty text editor and multiple terminals. Hell, with GNU screen I have many terminals within terminal tabs within terminal windows -- All color coded, and searchable, with speaker sounds for alerts, spread across multiple monitors all running different OSs with one keyboard and mouse (cross platform or bust [synergy-foss.org]). Just like in the good old days with KVM switches and terminal servers. The point is, everything that's old is new again, so there's no reason not to keep reliving the good old days today. If you haven't been keeping up, then you've been missing out -- At the bleeding edge, It's just like way back when!

    If you're talking about adopting gadgets like tablets and phones and stuff like that, Well, my phone and tablet have video out and blue..teeth? I use a rechargeable wireless keyboard and mouse with them, and use *nix no matter what OS is in the way of the UI I like... For all the advancement we've done in computing, you still program the damn things by compiling text files. I even twisted a wire on a post the other day to get LIRC talking to my home theater setup. :-)

  • by Master Moose ( 1243274 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:38PM (#43747267) Homepage

    I am still wating on the Amiga to make a meaningful comeback

  • by DigitalSorceress ( 156609 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @09:01PM (#43747413)

    In my (old phart) opinion, change for the sake of change is what sucks.

    For instance, I really hate the MS ribbon, it actually gets in my way... There was nothing wrong with classic menus. They're efficient - especially for "I don't know what I want, but I'll know it when I see it"... the Ribbon makes me have to hunt for everything. That was change for the sake of change. It was MS trying to make Office seem like it was somehow new and exciting... because, let's face it, their flagship product has been feature complete since Office 97 - sure, there have been a few improvements here and there, but Office XP wasn't that big of an improvement worth shelling out big bucks for the upgrade from 97... and 2003 - well, in retrospect, it was MS Office's finest hour, but it was an incremental improvement...... 2007 added the ribbon to some stuff, and 2010 completely replaced the menus. Yeah, it works just as good and has a few nice features, but I fight with the UI so much that my general perception is that it stinks. I use it cuz I have to (at work).

    Be careful not to get labeled as a stick in the mud. Work with the stuff that you get stuck with, but always keep an eye out for actual good change - accept those good changes wholeheartedly, and laugh as others spin their wheels on the thing of the moment... but only to yourself - when nobody's looking. :p

  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @09:19PM (#43747521) Homepage

    If there is anything I have learned, it is that most humans have a desire to throw out the old and accept the new without any sort of hesitation.

    Then you have not learned anything, padawan. It may be commonly true of your peers, but it is not true of most humans in middle age or later, especially those of less tech-friendly varieties.

  • by Art3x ( 973401 ) on Friday May 17, 2013 @01:31AM (#43748869)

    I am trying to move to your set-up, from my Web 3.0 fanciness.

    The 1984 Mac was my first computer, with all its GUI wizardry. I got into programming from the top down, HTML first, then PHP and SQL. My strength is user interface design (although I'm mastering databases more and more and loving it).

    The command line is text. But what you forget is that most GUI's are also text, just with a fancy box around it.

    The GUI's for n00bs, the command line for l33ts. Seriously. The whole attraction of the GUI is that you can discover how it works by clicking around, by reading the menu choices, etc. You can't do that with the command line. Your chances of happening upon the right command by trying different key combinations are practically zero. There's simply no substitute for reading --- either the man page or googling it.

    But the advantage of the command line is that, once you've learned it, you work faster. You have great power at your fingertips. Chances are you can do more things, faster, than even a power user of a GUI.

    To ram home the idea that I was not predisposed to favor the command line, before I even did HTML I was into graphic arts. My college major was film production. But I can draw a parallel between the command line and professional cameras. At first blush, professional video equipment is a step back. It's bulkier, with fewer niceties. There is no professional camera with autofocus. They all prefer manual-focus lenses. Why? Because after a few weeks of practice you can manually focus faster and more accurately (and more artistically) than any autofocus system.

    This is kind of a bad example because digital photography has made everyone, even professionals, buy new equipment. But back, say, in the 90's, when your choices were film or film, professional photographers often held onto --- and preferred --- a Hasselblad from the 1960s. Little more than a box that pulled film. But it did it reliably and simply, and everyone knows that the difference is in the operator (and great lenses don't hurt, manual focus of course).

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.