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Where the Coyotes Roamed: The Fall of the Scene

Nemesis [1]
December 1995

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I was recently asked to write a small article about how bad the scene was and this and that. I basically was asked to bitch. Instead I'd prefer to look beyond just how bad things are, and are going to be, and point towards the reasons.

It all begins with affordability. In 1980 a PC cost $4000+ dollars and did practically nothing. Now a high end Pentium can be purchased for $2500 and the prices fluctuate daily. Anyone can own some sort of PC. A new 386 goes for around $800 chock full of goodies. Originally only the wealthy or the truly interested could afford the computers but now anyone can get one.

Next comes ease. When DOS ruled the PC world people were dumbfounded by it's annoying syntax and errors. It was so difficult for most people to use they didn't. When windows hit the market everything was rearranged. You didn't have to do anything it was just there. Want to install a new program? Just go to filemanager and hit install. What to delete files? Just go to file manager. So anyone with an IQ of 65 or higher can now functionally operate the computer. The problem comes because if you ask them what kind of hardware they have, the won't know. Ask them if they know what a preftech cache is and they say no. Most of them won't even know what a CPU is. This ignorance of the computer is every graphical interface's downfall. When working with a shell like UNIX/DOS you learn how the memory functions because you are constantly plagued with it. You learn that you will run out of HD space and what your HD is, how fast it is, how it compares with others. With windows all of that is hidden from the end user.

Next is the so called "information superhighway". This non-existent hype from companies like AT&T helps lure people into the telcom world. When they purchase there windows pre-installed system it comes with prodigy, america online, and compuserve demos. They immediately begin racking up huge phone bills to call these services with their lowly credit cards. The little graphical world shows them that computers are simple and beautiful. Why with a few clicks of a button I have the newest pictures of sheep with women in 3D! Then comes the internet. Lovely companies like NetCom provide software like netrunner. Once on the internet, where there are no moderators to control what happens, they are flooded with profanity, pornography, hacking, warez chat, and more. They are often appalled but curious about where this stuff comes from. A simple hop into IRC gives them all they need to numbers, inet sites, www sites, and anything else inbetween.

Thusly, they reach our world. That which is not part of the information superhighway but which are lone dirt roads in the desert leading to ghost towns.

I now conclude my little article. There was no calling people morons or lamers. Just a bunch of ignorant people moving into the territory always considered sacred to the few that could roam there. It's hard to tell who's real these days and who's fake. Information usually only available to the special and few is now in the hands of everyone and anyone. Because of this, legislation may be passed prohibiting it's distribution and publication; An infringement on our basic constitutional rights.

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