This November will mark the 10th anniversary of this blog. While I normally prefer to mock pointless anniversary celebrations, I will gladly
seize on any excuse to write a self-aggrandizing post. I have therefore decided to start off our 10th anniversary year with an exclusive
interview with none other than The Tech Curmudgeon himself.
(Please note that you are always welcome to submit questions for our long-neglected Tuesday feature, WTF, in which we bravely attempt to
scrape together some kind of humorous response to whatever questions you pose. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
So, without further ado, here are our questions and The Tech Curmudgeon’s responses.
So why did you start The Tech Curmudgeon blog?
No idea. Next.
You started this blog ten years ago. What’s changed?
With the blog? Well, it was originally all text, but we added a graphite feed early on, so there are pictures now. Beside that, I
guess we’ve gotten so desparate for ideas we’ve broadened the scope to include … well, anything.
So do you have any particular goals for your writing?
Writing? I don’t think of this as writing. I just think about stuff, and jot down anything that strikes me as interesting or funny.
We noticed you use ellipses alot. Why is that?
I … don’t … know.
Why Tech Curmudgeon?
Although the technology industry keeps coming up with exciting breakthroughs, I’m very judgemental about some of the practices I
see. I think companies race to get gadgets and software out the door without adequately testing. And consumers jump on the
bandwagon for any trendy product, regardless of what it does to their lives. I see families in restaurants where everyone, adults
and kits, is riveted by some glowing screen. Nobody talks.
Besides, I sometimes think of myself as a curmudgeon. You know, like the old guy yelling out his front window, “Hey, you kids! Get
off of my Wi-Fi!!”
When computers first came into use, we spoke of computer functions by referring to the real life tools or functions they seemed to
mimic, often prefaced with “e-”. Thus we had chats and chatrooms, bulletin boards, e-mail, e-commerce, e-tc. Even such common
terms as window, desktop, file and folder and cloud were appropriated from natural language.
Later, we reversed that trend by dragging computer terminology out to refer to real life things: interface, overload, stack dump, off
And, of course, some words have made the complete round-trip … spam.
Recently, Apple has bucked its own “i” trend, giving its products names that simply put “Apple” in front of some traditional object name:
Apple Watch, Apple Pencil. It’s as if they were saying “This is Apple’s ultimate take on the very ideas of watch-ness and pencil-ness.”
So at what point does computer become a generic term, so that Mac is replaced by Apple Computer?