more vintage computer stuff

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Sun Jul 31 19:41:31 CDT 2016

    > From: Mouse

    >> the modern 'active content' mania causes me to grind my teeth, too.

    > Oh, it doesn't make me grind my teeth.  I just ignore it. 

Well... part of the problem is that some sites that _I_ find useful really
depend of active content, and are completely unusable unless you use it.

But, above and beyond that, my anger (not too extreme a word, I think) at
active content is about more than me.

There's a quotation from a novel I once read that made an impression on me;
about how a professional marine civil engineer was ticked off at some shoddy
work, saying that if offended him because people might think that the
professionals in the field couldn't do any better; and they could, but not
all of them did. Here it is:

  "I'm in the business of building things. And I am a specialist in the ways
  of protecting structures from the sea. I guess it would be personally
  offensive to me to have the public at large think my profession is so inept
  and unaware that we would build a few hundred million dollars' worth of
  high-rise living units on a fragile sandspit without knowing what will

(It's from "Condominium", a so-so book by John D. MacDonald. Fine - in fact,
very good - for an airplane flight or the beach, but not serious literature.)

But that's a big part of it, for me - the notion that as a field, we know full
well how to do better - but instead, for complex reasons I don't want to get
diverted into now, we have inflicted this abomination on all the innocent
users, who are nowhere as well able to protect themselves as you and I are.


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