Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Disk Error

I've been spending the last few days -- when not teaching, writing, parenting cooking, doing dishes, or being ill -- copying the contents of my 3.5" disks onto the hard drive of my Power Mac 8600.

Tonight I plugged that aging beast into the prim 15" Gateway flat-panel Kim just got to use with the Windows machine she's bringing home for work. It seemed wrong, somehow, even though the results were satisfactory. Here I am, typing away in front of a Mitsubishi CRT on the G4-Dual 867, wasting all that electricity and suffering flicker, when the Clinton-era machine in the other room is conserving, unwavering.

[NEWS ALERT: The late Clinton-era ZIP disk from Kim's dad is now behaving strangely as I write this, whirring and blinking.]

My sense of what is and isn't "appropriate" for a particular computer is only magnified by the exercise of copying old Word Perfect files taken originally from my Windows-deprived 386 clone or, in some cases, First Word files -- not that they are readable, exactly -- from my Atari 1040ST onto the hard drive of the 8600, so I can later transport the worthy ones to this George W. Bush-era computer for a purpose yet to be determined, most likely blogging.

There's something strange about opening a file from 1993 in 2004, precisely because eleven years doesn't feel quite that long ago in other arenas of daily existence. My students still listen to Nirvana and Pavement, the way I listened to Zeppelin in the 80s. NCAA men's basketball still looks a good deal like it did in 1993. And, from the standpoint of food culture, Tucson has only recently arrived in the place that the hipper portions of the Bay Area achieved in the early 1990s. But a file from back then, saved onto a computer where the mouse was still an accessory? It feels like entering King Tut's tomb.
Tags: history, technology

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