Before AI powered algorithms. Before the clashing interests of social media presentation. Before we all became a cluster of data sets and keywords to market to, there was a naive hope and promise to the computer world.
These were luxury items, barely able to function, clinging to the bleeding edge of technology. They were sold by men suits in perfectly lit rooms. Every section, every corner, perfect, pristine, and informative.
The computers hummed with noisy, grinding fans. The hard drives chattered and clicked. The disk drives screeched and buzzed. The monitors buzzed and crackled. The keyboards clacked and buckled.
Industrial carpet felt firm but forgiving under your feet, and there was a faint smell of cigarettes, dust, new electronics and cheap mall perfume.
At some point we taught rocks how to do math, and filled these beige boxes with our hopes and dreams. Things that were designed to save time, and make us more productive, in many ways did nothing of the sort.
I don’t miss using computers with only 8 megabytes of RAM or 66mhz of computer power.
I miss the optimism they promised. I miss the future they swore was right around the corner. I feel betrayed by the product we have today.
Things were not better then. Not even a little bit. But back then, the carrot on the end of the string seemed worth chasing.
Now I’m left wondering, “Do I even like carrots?”