I'm not a "computer person"

when I was younger, I was a “computer person”. If you asked me what I was interested in, chances are computers and programming would be pretty near the top of the list. I was constantly distrohopping between different flavours of linux, using a heavily customised tiling WM setup, doing as much as I could in the terminal, and scripting damn near anything. If there was something I wanted doing the first thing I would reach for is writing a python script to do it. I used a custom built PC and an old thinkpad I swore was the best thing in the world. My website and blog were running on a server I managed myself. I was the stereotype of a “computer person”.

I’m not sure what changed, maybe I just found other things to be interested in, but over time I started to get more and more annoyed at computers and dealing with them. My weird scripts broke down. Programming began to feel more like a chore of working through error messages and dealing with bullshit than solving a fun puzzle or trying to figure out the best way to do something. Every time I had to work around something to get it running on linux I felt like it increasingly wasn’t worth the bother. And I stopped thinking of myself as a computer person. I do not give a shit about computers.

Computers are annoying, difficult machines. Computers are a pain in the ass, and I do not want to deal with them any more than I have to for what I want to do. A computer is a tool, for doing what it needs to do. And instead of tweaking and tinkering with my machines, like I used to love, I am going to let them be set up however they are that’s stable, and work with it. Whenever I code stuff it’s because I have to for a project I want to do or for uni, it’s never something I want to do.

Now, I would consider myself primarily a creative person. The things I mainly enjoy doing are all in some way artistic, be it writing, music, or whatever. The main thing I care about is art, and the amount I care about my computer setup is how much it helps me make art, or play games, or get my daily work done.

I’m still active in the demoscene, where I still do coding, including low level coding in assembly for machines like the amiga. Some people would say this makes me a “computer person” but I would disagree - while I could talk at length about how much I love the amiga, my reasons for doing so are for its creative potential as a computer design rather than the computer itself. The limitations of the machine are wonderful creative stimuli and the creative culture around it is wonderful. I code, in the demoscene, as a creative pursuit. I consider myself an artist, not a programmer.

I’ve retained enough linux knowledge to get cursed shit running on my steam deck, enough programming knowledge to get through the programming parts of my degree and to write scripts when I need to for my projects and do demoscene nonsense, and enough web knowledge to make my blog look unique. But I’m not a computer person. Computers are boring. What they can do to help me make cool shit is what interests me.

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