Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Summary:Nokia goes for a tramp at midnight, Encarta's spelling at a premium, and high tech mishaps on the Cote D'Azur. But who is Patch Handler?

Monday 6/10/2003
Kids today. Number One Son is currently engaged in AS Level activities, one of which is the dread Media Studies. He came back from college today with a spring in his step -- new girlfriend? Teachers on strike? None of the above: "We've been using the fastest desktop computers in the world," he says proudly. "The Mac G5s." That's not bad going, I say. And it isn't: state schools aren't all Chinese burns and coagulated custard these days.

"Yeah. We've been doing Photoshop, image editing, applying effects, that sort of thing." Any good? "Suppose." He pauses. "Wish they'd let us do something fun on them, though."

Pardon? I'm aware that I'm turning into Viz' Victorian Dad these days -- living with a teenager is an excellent way to bring out the hidden blackshirt in even the most Guardian-reading of chaps -- so I momentarily fight the instant response. Microseconds later, I give in.

"Fun? FUN? In my day, we had BBC Micros. That G5's probably got icons on the screen that take more memory than the Beeb's entire operating system. We dreamed of image editing. Hell, we dreamed of images! We thought a Mode 7 teletext graphics editor was the height of cool. Don't you realise you're being let loose on the culmination of twenty years of continuous development in hardware and software and being told to mess around with high resolution images to your heart's content?" And so on, and so forth.

He bears this outpouring with the stoic resignation so infuriating in the young.

"Yeah, yeah. But..."

"BUT?"

"It's a Mac, innit?"

Somewhere deep within my unworthy mind, a small devil sniggers.

"You have a point. Tell me, oh best beloved, what know you of CP/M?"

"Er, nothing."

"Time you learned. Pull up a pew and download me an eight-bit emulator. I'll show you fun..."

Topics: Tech Industry

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Editor, ZDNet UK. Ex technology/technical editor of ZDNet UK, IT Week, PC Magazine, Computer Life, Mac User, Alfa Systems, Amstrad, Sinclair. Micronet 800, Marconi Space and Defence Systems, and a dodgy TV repair shop in the back streets of Plymouth. Can still swap out a gassy PL509 with the best of 'em.Dear Reader - contact me via our m... Full Bio

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