OldProgrammersNeverDieWith the advent of tiny computers in your hand, it seems the world is abandoning the desktop. How does this change the way developers look at things?
Well, it changes everything:

  • Printer? naa, just save it to DropBox or Google Drive. Really, there is nothing else, Apple’s icloud, Microsoft’s cloud.. forget it..
  • Display Monitor?  nope.  Screen size, it’s the only thing that matters..  Common sizes will almost never be something you can count on.  It used to be a big deal thinking 640×480 vs 800×600 vs 1024×768..  Nope, pixels and standards are gone..  Build it dynamic, and TEST TEST TEST!
  • Web Cam?  well yes, but not like you think..  It’s just THERE and it just works!  oh and times 2 in most cases…
  • 101 Keyboard?  Same as above..
  • Ram/Storage/Processor/Graphics?  Well, these things have a place still, but mostly regulated by the OS and made available thru libs..

I know using libraries for hardware access has been around for a while, but I remember the days when an interrupt was NOT a person or TV show..  We had to know these things.. or else we were relegated to simple menus that ran other people’s programs (that knew the hardware).  I know of some great folks that still do these things, but your typical developer only knows his IDE or how to point and click or drag and drop himself (or herself <– another more recent thing!) into becoming a “programmer”.  Now, I am not trying to beat up the high level programmers, because they are the reason my industry is so respected..  I mean look at the vast numbers of “cool” programs at any of the app stores!  My point is just that it really was exciting, in the days past, when it was natural to start up the ole’ text editor and begin writing instructions to access the actual CPU registers and then assemble it into binary code.. Even as far back, for me, as the peeking and poking in BASICA on an old TANDY 1000.  Them were good times.

What does it take, for an old hacker to port something like Android or just plain Linux over to a piece of hardware that comes with a screen and a few hardware interfaces?  For me, way too much! Why?  because for about $500.00 I can buy the device that I wanna make, and only I will get the joy from making it myself..  It seems selfish to build it, when no one else can see the awesomeness in building it.  So, here we are, delusions of grandeur reduced to just buying it.

So now I am off the rant, but I still wanna build a Quadcopter, port Android Auto to my Clarion VX-401, build a Raspberry Pi Cluster of interconnected weather stations, automate my entire workshop, etc. etc. etc..