Pieces of silicon – old tech

Recently I did some clear up in my house and found these old things:


From top left clockwise: AMD K6-2 366AFR (1998, manufactured in Malaysia), Intel Pentium 75 MHz (ICOMP 610, 1993), Intel Pentium 133 MHz (ICOMP 2 111, 1993), Intel Pentium MMX (1995) – all Intel CPUs made in Philippines.

Looks like I already get rid of 386/486, and things like Slot 1 Pentium III, but not throw away these yet… Looking at this makes me think about many things. First how quickly it all becomes obsolete and worthless, apart from maybe historical or sentimental value. But on the other hand this old hardware stuff looks nice, it’s kind of sturdy and robust and I do remember how much of experiments 386/486 CPUs were capable to survive by contrast with fragile latest CPUs some of them dying quickly without cooling… Older hardware looks powerful in the same way as american muscle cars from the cheap petroleum era… I think this stuff has it’s own beauty (look also at something like Diamond Monster 3D cards or Turtle Beach Systems Tropez audio cards these are nice things to see)…. OK maybe it’s a beauty for tech geek only but anyway 🙂

On the other hand when I wasted couple of hours sorting CD/DVD discs before throwing most of them away I was really amazed how unusable or let’s say unwieldy (insert-eject procedure is slow, drive is noisy and medium is unreliable) this technology is and how not so long ago it was cool and interesting, and I used it without any complaints even with excitement… It makes me think that we people have remarkable ingratitude for what we have and too much preoccupied with new and shiny stuff. As I’m listening lectures on industrial revolution now (The Industrial Revolution with the Smithsonian by Patrick N. Allit) this is one of the ideas proposed there (and one of the reasons of why most of the people never excited about past developments/stuff we have): the idea that we take for granted technology we have and never give it enough recognition unless we get deprived of it (think of electricity cut off, or water supply disruption or maybe when you lost your mobile phone – only then you maybe recognize how important these things to you) whereas it more than deserves it if you think carefully or learn a bit more about it.

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