Monday, December 6, 2010

Sudden Short Story 5

"...All of these precautions... How did anyone ever assemble an electronic computer without breaking something?"
"Well, back then, electronic computers were consumer appliances, just like optical computers are now. Most people bought them pre-assembled off the shelf and never even cracked the case. They worked well enough for however long, and they were replaced regularly.
"It's funny, actually. You see, electronic computers had gotten to the point where they were all laptops, at least off the shelf. The only large form-factor ones were those assembled by hardcore gamers, and they ended up being the first consumer base for optical computers. Nobody else could justify the large form-factor, and most computers for personal use didn't need the speed boost at that point."
"So we have gamers to thank for modern computing, eh? How about that. So, do you like all forms of alternate computing, or just this one?"
"I think that I just like old things. You know, I'm thinking of building a mechanical computer after this. It should be even more interesting: Apparently, they never achieved commercial production before electronic computers took over.
"I dare say that it must have been a terribly interesting time, back then. Even electronic computers could fill entire rooms, and had to be serviced by large staffs...."

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