Thursday, April 06, 2006

Reminiscing on a 286

I got to work yesterday morning and found that my mouse wasn't working.The day before I had to switch offices and I took my CPU with me in order to maintain my Outlook settings, keep the stuff I had on my hard drive, etc. However, I decided to use the other computer components left to me by the previous occupant of my new desk; among other things, he left me an optical mouse. I'm no techie, but I do enjoy the smooth glide of a mouse sans ball. No cleaning, no jerky motion, no troubles.

No troubles, that is, until the day after you get it hooked up and your computer decides that it doesn't remember having the hardware installed. To make matters worse, I don't have the administrative authority on my computer to perform the simple task of installing a mouse. Add to that the fact that our IT guy doesn't get in until 10:00, and you come out with the fact that I spent three hours yesterday operating my computer by keyboard. It took a while for it to come back to me, but slowly I began to remember my family's old 286, which gave the luxury of a mouse only on certain programs. "Alt+F+S = Save! Of course!" Pretty soon I was whizzing around Windows and having a jolly time of it. I felt sort of like a deacon on a youth conference pioneer trek: I was reliving the days of the desktop pioneers! My eyes welled up a little as I thought back even further to the Commodore 64 that used to occupy my brother's room.

Things are all right now. Todd the tech came in around 10:00, failed to negotiate the installation of hardware with my computer, and gave me the consolation prize of a brand-new Dell ball-based mouse, fresh from its wrappings. It may not be an optical mouse, but somehow I'm more grateful for it.

-Jared

2 comments:

Nick said...

Oh, that brings back memories- I learned how to program in basic on my brother's commodore 64. I remember spending weeks trying to code the framework for a role playing game (yeah, I was a big nerd back then......oh wait...) I ended up quitting after I discovered coding graphics was really hard for a twelve year old, but I still managed to write enough of a program to let you create a party of 7 characters, getting to choose from several different classes and races, and then go out and fight monsters, earn experience points, and go up in levels- basically the core of most RPG games back in the early 90's but without the plot, though compared to some games popular at the time my nonexistent plot was almost as good. I'd still play it today if I had the old C64 up and running...

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