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8:12PM

Software is just software again

What I love about this period in technology is the purity that software has regained after two decades of it being smothered by a culture of maintenance and services.

When I first saw a computer program running as a kid, what blew me away was the magical simplicity of what I saw. The ability to do something remarkable that had never been done before, and all you had to do was type RUN and hit the Enter key and just marvel at it.

Then after a while, flip-chart toting management consultants discovered the software industry and cunningly conceived of a dozen ways to extract the maximum amount of money from software users and basically fucked everything up with maintenance contracts modelled on underworld protection rackets - "keep paying us money, and Brian here won't smash the place up" - and long term implementation projects.  

I used to secretly suspect that I was simpleton because my eyes glazed over whenever I saw software that wasn't instantly gratifying and needed a team of consultants and three hours to explain its many virtues to me. Now I realise the problem didn't lie with me. It's just that I missed software.

In fact I imagine in the future, that the period between 1985 and 2010 will be looked upon as some kind of Dark Ages for software, when its early wings were clipped and it was promptly enslaved by the last shift of 20th century industrial complex.

But now software just software once again; born again on the shoulders of clinically disintermediating app stores and the web. Recapturing the power and magical simplicity it always had.

Long live software.

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