Once upon a time, I understood desktop terminology pretty well. My parents would be all, "Does it have a em bees? I hear that a lot of em bees make it go faster." and I'd be all "Er... the number of megabytes a computer has could refer to either hard drive capacity or to memory... " &c.
These days, though, it all just looks like an incomprehensible string of numbers. Whenever I get paid for Oleanna (and, by the way, Triton gave me a raise!!!) I'm buying a new machine. I need something that will let me play the three Coolest Games Ever: Spore, Assassin's Creed, and BioShock.
In my life, I've purchased a small percentage of the games that I've played. Games like Warcraft III, Diablo II... maybe that's it, actually, perhaps a few others. Each time, it was mostly a case of finding myself with some extra money and some free time, buying heavily-hyped sequels to blockbuster games that I had greatly enjoyed. I've certainly never planned to purchase a game months in advance, and yet here I am planning to purchase an entirely new system on which to play these games. They're that good (I hope).
Anyway, I'm wondering whether my current technical illiteracy is a generational thing, or whether there's been a fundamental change in the way computers are marketed. I look at the description Acer Power APFH-UD2160P Pentium dual-core E2160(1.80GHz) 1GB DDR2 Intel GMA 3000 and, appart from the fact that it has two processors ("dual-core") and a gig of RAM("1GB DDR2") it tells me nothing.
I mean, I know that E2160 (1.80GHz) refers to the process speeds, and I think that GMA 3000 is a type of video card, but the numbers mean nothing to me. Way back when I could tell you that Athlon chips ran more quickly than Intel chips with similar clock speeds, and that they were cheaper. These days I know that quad-cores are pretty fast.
Do you think that modern (geeky) kids around 16 or 17 would laugh at me, that I'm such an old fuddy-duddy not to know what the numbers mean? Or do 16-year-old-geeks just pick their new barebones systems at random, the way I'm doing?
Certainly there was a time in which the only way to buy a desktop was to order a kit from Steve Wozniack, and build it yourself... and certainly those 16-year-olds knew an awful lot more about their system than I did in 1993.