Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

Retro Computers and The Art of Wasting Time

Why Bother and What Can I Do With This

When it comes to being creative and writing I came to the conclusion the internet can just be a total time sink. If not used carefully it can really ruin everything.

For me up until 2011 my output was really good. I was a year out of doing a Masters and I was getting writing done, essays and longer research. With kind of zero productivity or creative block. Then there was a slow erosion of productivity. It was hard to place how it happened. There was email, web browsers, multiple applications, smart phones and not to mention up to the second cricket scores. My time devoted to creative stuff and writing evaporated until it was almost nonexistent.

It’s hard to understand exactly what broke the spell. A few things happened. During COVID I made a few trips to the high mountains of Northern Pakistan. Being isolated with a machine that had terrible internet really struck a cord. My productivity changed. I got some great creative cuts made and wrote a few detailed and interesting articles. The juices started flowing again.

Photo by Jawad Sarwar on Unsplash

I concluded that the problem was my awesome setup…..interesting application, emails and the temptation to make spontaneous searches…perhaps in response to a news feed. I’d find myself a few hours later, at best, digesting information following link after link…having not really done anything creative whatsoever.

My Wifi connection to my 40 year old Apple //e used to SSH into Prod systems

For me the solution may be to keep working without email and web browsers. Just me, a ssh connection or a word processor and some problems I’m trying to fix or just some ideas.

My Apple IIe setup: Apple phosphorus green scn, wimodem232 and two disk drives

Its been a few months now and I’ve found I’ve been a lot more productive. I started off with a Mac Color Classic. Something about having only a screen and one real application changed a lot of things. I noticed that time seemed to have some slowed down in a bizarre sense. Literally, an hour took longer to get through. Then I quantified the amount of writing I was getting done. Things were more calm and I was getting more done. I’ve yet to sort out my actual set up as I’m thinking of going to use an Apple IIe and have written a piece explaining the basics of getting on line. I’ll have a at the different word processing software.

There is also the whole net neutrality discussion, how we can depart from using the well known social media platforms that can be a toxic swamp.

So here’s to moving to a more simple setup, having fun, enjoying the trauma of getting online and perhaps even changing the way we do stuff!



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