Dangers of protheletizing

Any time that the subject of cord-cutting comes up, I find myself holding back. People over 35 are very interested in how to go about it, but often get lost when I try to explain what I have done (Antenna, Oooma, Tablo, etc). I’m a techie, so this all comes naturally, but even my wife hasn’t a clue how this all works. She is happy to save money, though.

The reasons I am cautious are twofold. First, some people just won’t be happy with the outcome (for a variety of reasons). I don’t want to be blamed for that. Second, I fear being sucked into the role of tech support for anyone who follows my advice.

Just wondering how you all approach the subject.

FWIW You may be hanging out with the wrong 35 year old’s…  I’m about to be 38, understand all of this is a big way and sadly am forced to function as tech support for all my friends and family.  :)  

I am a tech junkie but it takes time to adopt new technology. I am in my 50’s and was fortunate enough to be able to retire early. I work as a consultant and set my own schedule so time is not a problem for me.

I think the issue is that technology moves so fast that you either adopt new technology early or the tech world has moved on. How many non tech jukie people do you know with 2-3 kids that have time to be on forums trying to understand why they keep getting an error message every time they try to use their (insert new tech here)? Most people just to be able to plug it in and it works. Apple products USED to be that way. I got the very first iPhone when they came out and it just worked. Now every time there is a iOS update something stops working right.

I don’t know why but I have always been an early adopter. I had a home PC before it was popular. It had a 10 MHz processor with a “Turbo” switch that boosted it to 20 MHz. The HDD was probably about 3GB.

I am a proud tech support person for friends and family. After all, isn’t that why we hang out on these forums? We want to be the first person to answer someones question.

I am lucky to come from a family of engineers, teachers, and IT guys.  Most of my tech support questions come from my mother-in-law.  

LOL - I’m nearly 58 (1.5 weeks) and this is the sort of thing I do for a living - well, government networks, servers, routers, switches, WANs, VPN, Wi-Fi and so on. I had a computer when they were still 8088 processors with rows of chips for RAM, dip switch settings, etc. Our high school offered computer programming classes if you were ok with stacks of punch cards. 
I trained as and am a degreed auto tech who got into this because I was told I did well with it.
My first computer had a single floppy, no hard drive. I added a second floppy, WOW, load the program AND save data at the same time! I started with 128K RAM, then upped it to the limit - 640K with a Zuckerboard. I then upped to 1 meg and used the extended memory area using QEMM (Quarterdeck’s extended memory manager) Then I added a hard drive. First was a whopping 10 meg. There were no gig drives then because no OS could support them. (Even drives over 500 meg weren’t supported by early versions of Netware and you had to add a special VAP to load and use a 700 meg drive in a server. There was OS/2 and Microsoft’s new server OS, NT later on.  )

My first PC was sub 10Mhz but my second or third did have the turbo button. Graduated to a 20 meg drive and went to a 340, then a 500 meg, then a 700 and wow, finally a gig and then a 40 gig and so on.
I think my first PC was in 1984 or 1985. I can recall the first large drive I saw - my BIL had a computer company and had one sitting on a table. He built, sold computers and wrote software for modem control, stock tracking businesses and those gas stations with automation and card readers. When he fired up that big drive (about 500 meg I think) it made the table it was sitting on rumble. 
I later built PCs for Compressor Controls Corp for their Series IV turbo-compressor controller systems in the 1990s

I handle the support issues by saying “I don’t support it and I don’t have time for coming over and setting it up for you”. I’ve told people about the Tablo and what they’d need but “don’t call me, I’m already swamped with work”

Tech support is fun until I walk in the door after work and immediately (before I can pour a beer) get a call from a neighbor who can’t send a fax from her All in one. Turns out she just remodeled and moved her computer to the new addition. She didn’t know that the fax machine had to be connected to a phone line. Unfortunately, the phone line disappeared during the remodel. Ended up traipsing back to my house to send the faxes for her.

Floppy drives…I wish I had floppy drives on my first computer.  Back then, we had cassettes (Atari 400/800 and Commodore PET).   :wink:  You had to get the numeric counter to the right spot to run a program. 

Ha. I did my first programming on punch cards.

Commedore 128D was my first computer in grade school.

@snowcat I once had to use 5MB disk packs… Here you can buy one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-CE-5MB-Control-Data-Corporation-CDC-847-51-Pack-HARD-Disk-Cartridge-/291347660787?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d5ac7ff3


After reading this my guess as to the demographic profile/bell curve of Tablo user. Male, average age 55, works in Tech industry.

I am only 43, but I am male and work in the tech industry.  Are there any women that post here?  

@snowcat, there is as I said he once and it was a she… Trying to remember the id

Mid 50’s. I worked in Automotive Interiors for years (Plastic Injection Molding) and currently work as a high priced consultant helping molding companies fix their screw ups.

@tom95521 - Our average user is a bit younger (35-44) but yes, the primary purchasers of Tablo are overwhelmingly male. 

There are however a few ladies on here although I don’t think any are overtly waving their second X chromosome. 

LOL - Punch cards - I remember taking the stack and feeding them for the programmers. If they were rude to you, we’d "accidentally’ drop the stack (which had to be in order for it to work).  If they were really rude, we wouldn’t help pick it up. If they were really really rude, we’d "accidentally’ kick one of the cards under a table so their whole stack was useless and they had to go away and redo it again.

Or just to mess with our coworkers, we’d tweak one of the reader pins (or optics later) so that it was stuck on or off…

Ahh…I miss the good old days :wink:

I remember when somebody would send ASI autorouters to the default queue on the mainframe… guess what it was?  Punch cards.  It was so funny when the guy came by the next day with multiple pallet jacks containing the results.

@TabloTV I guess that makes me Above Average at 45 :smiley:

All the things listed in thread are bringing back some great memories.

Started out with teletype machine and paper tape.

My first work computer. Ferrite bead core memory.
My favorite quote.
The Honeywell DDP-516 was chosen for its high clock speed (aprox. 1.1 MHz) and expandability to 32 K of 16 bit words

Tom is showing his (extreme) age. :slight_smile: