First Computer

I was on StackOverflow Careers today, filling out a new profile. Curiously, it asked what my first computer was. It was some Compaq with a 486, circa 1996. I now realize that by the time we (excuse me, my parents) got it, it was already out of date. Doesn't surprise me, my parents are total cheapskates who only replace something essential after it's been broken for two months, then get a third rate Chinese knockoff.

This somehow reminded me of the time when the neighbor enabled the kid friendly web rating feature in Internet Explorer. Mom agreed that it "was a good idea," but they didn't tell anyone else. The problem was that it was the 90s, and if it didn't directly put text and porn on a web page, no one used or cared about it. Every site did not use these ratings, so IE would prompt you for the override password to view an "unrated" page. This feature effectively broke the web.

The neighbor claimed otherwise, saying that his had the ratings. What if I didn't want to go to his site?

I brought this issue up with my dad. The problem there was that I was only his 10 year old biological son, so I got treated like crap, and my opinion was worthless and forgotten in 2 seconds. Only when the foreign exchange student complained that it became something that he might look into... in 2 weeks. But first he needed to go to this new website he heard about.

Sometime later, after struggling to decide whether he should single or double click the blue E and hunt-and-peck the address in, I heard him manically yell from upstairs, "ANDREW! Why did you break the Internet?!?!?"

To which I would run upstairs and retort, "Epic not listening to your son! I didn't break anything! I have been telling you about this for the past two days!"

So we dragged the neighbor over, and everyone was gathered around the 13" screen as we all saw that the Internet was impossible to use with this inane feature enabled. Needless to say, that didn't last too long. Killing the Internet for your kid is fine, but not when the password to bypass it won't work for anyone, and the prompts for it are worse than your kid's protests.

Posted under Programming.

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