The definition of On Topic

From: Jay West <>
Date: Sun Jan 30 13:04:08 2005

It was written...
>> Classic: "What I grew up using."
... snip ...
> how about we say the rule is
> anything 10 years or older, unless it comes from Microsoft, in which case
> it must be 20 years or older?

There's way too many problems with defining something as classic based on
it's age. Some things (songs, cars, etc.) become virtually classic the day
they are invented. I would put forth the following dictionary definition of
the word:

'Classic: forming a tradition or linked to one, often in opposition to more
recent schools or theories'.

Since (like it or not), modern operating systems and processors/hardware are
"recent schools or theories", they are by definition not classic. The older
software and hardware are generally "in opposition to" these more recent
schools of thought. There's many examples - one would be how we used to
spend hours looking to save an instruction cycle or two bytes of code as
contrasted to the "memory and processor cycles are cheap" paradigm that is
current thought generally. In addition, the very uniqueness of each of the
old machines as opposed to the current "everything is windows-based" and all
pretty similar. So there's the distinction of many varied systems, some
better in some areas while the rest are innovative or better in the
remaining areas. These are in direct opposition to the "sameness" of current
platforms. A third example is how many of us at least try to understand the
complete system, down to the chips on the board. The recent school of
thought is you just have to know how to use word & excel. There's quite a
few more examples which I'm sure you all are cognizant of.

And because of the fact that we are all here talking about these systems,
well, that speaks for the tradition we're linked to.

Windows can't be considered "classic" because it IS the recent school of
thought/theory. When it hasn't been the prevailing school of thought for a
while, AND it is in opposition of the then current school of thought - it
may well become classic and perfect for discussing here. This is not likely
to happen in our lifetimes. A major strike against that ever happening is
that it was (is) SO pervasive so I'm not sure it ever be "classic". But in
the final analysis, this argument is one that will be decided by our
children & grandchildren, not us.

This is exactly why I'm not opposed to DOS being discussed on the list. It
comes from the days of the traditions I speak of above, before 90% of the
cpu and memory was dedicated to a pretty gui.


Jay West
Received on Sun Jan 30 2005 - 13:04:08 GMT

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