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March 28, 2009

How Paul Allen and Bill Gates, as teenagers at Seattle's Lakeside School, taught me to be more patient with keyboard lag and Safari beach balls

Liohhu

For whatever reason(s), lots of times when I'm typing there's a distinct lag between each keystroke and the appearance of the character on the screen.

Also, in Camino or Safari I have no end of spinning beach balls.

I'm thinking that when I finally buy a new computer (I'm using a PowerBook from 2005 running 10.3.9) later this year, that sort of thing will disappear.

But until that happens, I'll be much less impatient and annoyed than I used to be, all because of a sentence I read last week in Laura Rich's fascinating biography of Paul Allen, "The Accidental Zillionaire."

Describing their high school days in Seattle, she wrote, "Soon enough the computer room became the nexus of technology lovers at Lakeside. Gearheads and math geeks spent hours there, eating pizza and just sitting around. They almost had to. A simple program like Tic-Tac-Toe could take up to five minutes to relay a single move to the remote PDP-10 and receive back confirmation."

Looked at from that perspective, a few seconds doesn't seem half bad.

March 28, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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