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Was technology better 10 years ago?


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I may be one of the younger guys here but I did grow up at the end of the tech pinnacle when everything was just greatly designed, and when companies cared. 

The main point of this post is for me to speak out and say that technology is in a depression, user experience and consumer wise. Let me explain from many places.

Microsoft Windows
Windows as you may know has not been that great since the release of 8.0 in 2012. The focus towards metro has been apperant, and especially the lack of user control and focus towards advertising and collecting data has been even more apperant starting in 8.1 and becoming even worse up to the latest, Windows 10 21H1 which released two days ago. Windows 7 and older had little to no advertising, user control, and telemetry that could be disabled but even then when enabled did not collect very intrusive data. Don't blame Microsoft entirely, they are just following what everyone else does.

Game consoles
Game consoles are not exempt from this. The years where it was just put the disc / cartridge in and go were awesome. My parents never bought the latest consoles so I mainly used the N64, Gamecube, PS2 and Wii even in 2013/2014. We got our Wii U in 2014 and that is when the first sign of things are going bad were found. the N64 was as simple as put in the cartridge and go, similar with the Gamecube but it was a disc and just worked. The PS2 was even more simpler, with it being the simplest of disc based consoles. The Wii was pretty cool too, it was internet connected, but didn't have advertising and it was perfeclty designed, where it was simple to just play a game but also you could watch youtube, browse the web, it was perfect. Plus, with how easy it is to homebrew using letterbomb, it still is very usable today, even though it's using the ancient PowerPC architecture and has little RAM. When the PS4, Wii U and XBone were released, we saw advertising and over-design coming into play, where they designed it so hard that it was getting worse. the Xbox One needed to be FULLY ONLINE (remember that??) and the PS4 had all these things installed. The Wii U had HORRIBLE advertising to the actual console and thats why no one really bought it. The Xbox One nowadays can't even be used online without updating. You are forced to update it. The Switch was simple when it first came out, but over time did get some advertising. Nintendo by far has been the least over-designing. The 3DS was awesome.

Social Media
Social media you can say has been a big problem. It allows people to communicate, but also demonstrates that many people can't stand negative feedback and lose their mind because Alex from California doesn't like James from Florida. Facebook is by far the most in this world. Mark Zuckerberg is an absolute psychopath in my opinion, the fact that he stole the idea of Facebook from someone else and it was originally going to be a "hot or not" site for the Harvard college students. I have never used Facebook and never intend to. Facebook actually sells your information. Twitter, Reddit, Discord, Tumblr, etc are all similar, they collect information about you to use targetted advertising. Google does this the most, because more often than not I Google a topic, then go on youtube and for some reason that topic I just googled on a different site is in my recommended. Sometimes, it even can predict what I am going to search which is just plain creepy. Google knows everything I ever do and knows so much about me that it is able to predict what I am going to do. Social Media has also caused many silent groups who previously lurked in the shadows to be more visible to the world, like terrorist groups and such. Social Media is throwing everyone on a public stage.

Mobile operating systems
Mobile OSes haven't been that awesome lately, either. iOS really hasn't done much over the years and its a similar story with Android. Android still has the same problem where OEMs don't know how to support phones at all, and iOS has issues where Apple is either controlling too much or too little on their App Store. Epic Games and many other companies are suing Apple over this and its just an absolute headache.

Who agrees?
I have asked my family and friends. My entire family does miss the technology of 10 years ago, because no one had to worry about social media. Game consoles were simple, computers just worked, and phones just worked too. Most of my friends also had the same statement. What do you guys think? Do you think that 10 years ago it was better, worse, or the same technology and software wise?

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Nah, current stuff works too, but it's not as reliable. And for money reasons, you as the buyer are the tester of the new stuff. And the producer deliberately breaks their own products to sell new ones. As long as the money flows...

There was a topic here on MSFN, where the lifespan of capacitors on the mainboard was discussed. The conclusion was, that computers of around 2005 have much more problems with capacitor leakage than computers of 2000. So a degredation can be watched there, too.

I'd like to compare that to bicycles. Current machines are quicker, lighter, but also are more complex, expensive and fragile. These modern bicycles might overtake me now, but I know my 30 year old princess gives me less trouble and will last longer. It's good to have these options now at least, but what will be in 10 years?

Whenever you are unhappy with the situation, get options on deck. Because they definetly exist out there! Heavy steel-frames, Ford Escort, light-bulbs (preferabely from communist countries), hand-powered tools, touchable books, offline banking, mobile phones with buttons, Windows XP being internet-ready, Linux replacing Windows... even Youtube alternatives are there now. Google search engine also has alternatives. It always depends on your needs. Efficency vs cost... time included.

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I would say technology was better in 1990-early 2000. Todays tech is not meant to last and is tries actively prevent user repairs or modifications examples being efuses and trusted chain of boot(xbox and smartphones as example) that makes hard or near impossible replace cpu, flash or run custom firmware. Back in original xbox and nokia days peoples did custom firmwares to phones that could be flashed using cheap diy cables (nokias) or used with simple flash chip (original xbox) then anti modding/repair came "in benefit of consumers". I believe users should have freedom modify products they pay without company bricking it or getting sued.

Back then was not uncommon for cars to have diagnostic trough dashboard (OBD/Early ODB2) if car had ecu and not carburator engine. Most cars had keycombo to print errors on digital mileage display (like both left wing buttons). At best car had tools and service manual included.

But if could choose would roll back even to 2010 from todays tech since was less bad.


1 hour ago, Gansangriff said:

Whenever you are unhappy with the situation, get options on deck. Because they definetly exist out there! Heavy steel-frames, Ford Escort,

How you supposed to drive Escort if need pay multiple euros per litre of petrol plus heavy emission tax? Here they push that to make peoples buy brand new cars. I do not want Tesla, I do not want modern car.

My problem is not fact it is new it is fact that modern cars logs everything you do and send it to manufacture, they actively try prevent even simple repairs even as simple as changing battery may cause loss of horsepower or car refusing turn on unless override (which is not allowed by manufacture) or taking it to offical service to reset it. If I pay from something I want full control over it.

Second issue is car as platform. For example BMW and Tesla disables some things like seatwarmers unless buy subscribtion even they are built in to car. Then fact EV performs horribly on our winters. We can get down to -40 degrees celcius at winter and seen plenty of EV and other modern cars side or road since wont start or EV battery run out.

And having plug for engine block heater, fuel based engine block heater or EV charge stations wont solve issue since many places cannot have those just for simple reason as place got no electricity in place you visit.

Oldschool Lada, Opel, Volvo or Saab will output lot of smoke and sound loud at cold start during winter but it will start and can drive and is relatively easy to service. That I know from experience with cars. Peoples should buy modern cars because they are better, reliable etc. not because they are forced to

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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My second car when I was a teenager was a 1984 Plymouth Horizon (with a Rockford Fosgate Punch 150 and three 15" Pyle sub-woofers).

It was rated at 28 mpg city and 45 mpg highway.

I still have my log sheets where I averaged 42 mpg combined city-and-highway (mainly because I drove to a private high school 35 minutes away).


And that was in 1990 driving a car that didn't even have fuel injectors.

Holley 2-barrel single-overhead-cam carbureted 4-cylinder 2.2L engine with 5-speed manual transmission running on regular gasoline.

A 1984 Toyota Camry with a 4-cylinder 2.0L manual 5-speed was rated 23 city and 29 highway.

The Toyota Prius entered the scenes in 1997 but was not sold here in the US until September 2000 for the 2001 model year.

The 2001 Prius was rated 52 city and 45 highway while the 2001 Camry was rated 24 city and 33 highway.

Twenty years later, the 2021 Prius is rated 58 city and 53 highway while the 2021 Camry is rated 28 city and 39 highway with the Hybrid SE at 44 city and 47 highway.

The base price for a brand new '84 Horizon back in the day was $5,956 when the Wage Index was $16,135.07.

ie, you could buy a brand new car in '84 that averaged 42 mpg for 36.9% of your annual income.

The 2021 Camry Hybrid SE base price is $28,293 (and the non-hybrid only saves $183 on base price!) and the median household income is $42,228.

ie, 67.0% of your annual income.


Put me in the "we were better off in 1984" camp  :thumbup

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So nowadays you have to spend almost 70% of your annual income for a car, plus rounding that up for taxes and rent, you almost can have absolutely no extra money meaning you can never retire. 


Life sucks.

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Hm... difficult. New cars are very expensive, true. Brutally expensive to be honest. But there are the used cars too, doesn't have to be Ford-Escort-aged cars. They should be affordable, even with a minimum wage.

I forgot to mention something important in my post, so sorry about that. Maybe you can marry a German somewhere and get an "H number plate" (H-Kennzeichen). 30 year old cars in good condition are appearing with an "H" on the number plate appear regularly in the daily traffic. For example Mercedes 190 from 1990 are new to the club of "historic" cars. They are seen as car culture here and have much less taxes to pay. When it comes down to the fuel consumption, it's true that the old cars aren't as efficent and might use more fuel, however they are much lighter (and much unsafer for that reason), need a less powerful engine, so the old cars have a lower fuel consumption in total, pretty much as @ArcticFoxie described it.

Isn't it like with computers? I've heard stories about people becoming upset about desktop CPUs growing a fan on top of them in the mid-90s (on their Pentium systems). Nowadays, the current low-power desktops, having no fans at all, but the CPU power isn't too bad either. New ARM processors hunting after Intel... at least in that respect, computers are doing steps forward. And damn, used computers are incredibly affordable, especially what falls out of fashion, like desktops (bigger sized, laying block-boxes on the desk) as opposed to Laptops (portable).

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7 hours ago, Tonny52 said:

. . . you almost can have absolutely no extra money meaning you can never retire.

Don't get me started on that one!

I believe in personal accountability and you CAN RETIRE if you live your life properly!

Don't buy a home that takes you thirty years to pay off (I paid off mine in THREE! - the bank pre-approved me for a $350,000 mortgage, I bought a $67,000 three-bedroom one-bath while driving a paid-off 18yr old car rusting out from under me).

Don't live in vain so much so that you trade cars in every three to four years because you want to be seen in something "new".

Don't buy a brand new vehicle and put yourself under a 6-year auto loan at the age of 62 then complain that you can't retire at 64 because Social Security won't pay for your auto loan and your 30-year mortgage.

Don't complain at 64 that you "can't live off of Social Security" when you lived life in such a manner that you are still paying for a 30-year mortgage when you bought your house 50 years ago.

Don't complain at 64 that the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment was 1.30% when the inflation rate is 1.25%.

Or that two years before the COLA was 2.80% when the inflation rate was 2.49%.

That is UPSIDE DOWN and WILL BE the reason why the NEXT GENERATION has no Social Security because you broke the bank.

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