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Digital Software: Pros and Cons

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By Edited Dec 2, 2015 1 3

All the Rage

Remember years ago during the somewhat infancy of the home computer? Regardless the platform, they were used to do a variety of things. One of the key things used was software programs.

During my first introduction to the home computer, I saw floppies utilized to install software. Floppies were pretty popular throughout my schooling till grade nine where CDs (compact disks) were introduced; for saving info that is. Floppies were wonderful however they had an uncanny tendency to un-format themselves at the worse possible time.

Like un-formatting after saving a very important class project, report and creative writing files. The class report was a funny one because the disk un-formatted multiple times in a row while trying to save the file. So much so that I had the entire report committed to memory and was able to retype the report in full so that it could be printed; fortunately the teacher was understanding.

Disks were a little better when it came to saving info along with delivering software to hardware. These were extremely popular for both computing and gaming. Even with the advent of Blu-ray.

Not sure where or when this surfaced, but an idea came about to deliver software digitally. It seemed odd at first but after a while it was okay because after the purchase you were able to keep the product with little to no worries. Somewhere down the line things started to take a turn in a not so pleasant way.

Video Games

Console Games

My first introduction to video games was through arcade machines at the neighborhood laundromat. The main games available were Final Fight and Pole Position. Later came the Super NES [Nintendo Entertainment System] that my brother had where I played Yoshi's Island during down time.

This was cartridge based gaming where you purchase the game and save all gameplay to the the cartridge itself. After the Super NES came the PC where I mainly played Solitaire and Freecell. If we wanted more games installed on the computer we had to put them there via Floppy or CD; no internet connection required.

There were other game consoles that came about that included both cartridge and CD driven games. Well, games have come a long way since then and now they can be purchased digitally; and I'm not just talking about the PC games. Not sure how this recent idea surfaced but while covering the Press Conferences at E3 2014, this idea was explained.

Prologue: E3 2013
This was the first I actually jumped in an got engaged in E3 coverage; sort of. It wasn't breaking news coverage per se because my main focus was on the game releases during the 3-day time frame. I was actively engaged in writing the article and wanted to be on top of things as much as I could.

E3 2013 was the event that revolved around unveiling next gen consoles from the current big name companies; namely Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony. The consoles that brought about lots of attention - some good, some bad - were the XBone and PS4.

Enter E3 2014
This year, I only covered the press conferences which was a shock in itself. Since I came in late, I was literally typing on the fly for the first conference of the day; after this I just settled for taking notes.

Not sure if this was brought up in 2013 or 2014, but there was some mention of games only being playable on the game consoles connected to the internet; regardless if its a hard copy or not. Many didn't take a liking to this because it was seen as a nuisance; oh, it was 2013.

This year, there were highlights about up and coming games along with a movie or two based off of some past games. Of the newly released games, there were like a handful that were available for purchase prior to store release through the online gaming store associated with the console the games were being released on.

All That Glitters
Its nice to have convenience especially when you're not up to waiting till release day; however, some issues are still prevalent. Despite some changes during the first releases, some have made mention of the essentials pertaining to internet connectivity. Despite gaming abilities being intact, the internet connections are needed to keep the consoles functioning; not all of the consoles need this.

It may sound like a little thing, but some have vented that its a pain. Things are currently still rounding out and the end result is anybody's guess.

Overview of the XBone and PS4 consoles along with some info on what each has and hasn't got going for it. Presented by Tarik.

Software Programs

Software programs are basically what's used to completed tasks as well as assignments. There's productivity software where you can create word documents, spreadsheets, databases, presentations and countless others. Having these available for digital access can be a sanity saver especially if you have exhausted your "creative" arsenal finding ways complete tasks without the essential programs.

My main go to software programs are those that focus on design. I needed the programs in order to complete my classes but of course I didn't own a personal copy. At first I voiced this limitation but kept quiet afterwards since some instructors were quite unreasonable.

Finally came the day when purchase of the software was available; had enough funds at this point. During this time, you could purchase the software digitally and have it as a personal copy.

What's Going?
Can't recall when, but recently there has been changes revolving how once can access programs they wish to use. At first, you could purchase and own a copy for completing tasks where and whenever. This is no longer possible since some have adopted a new practice: pay per use.

Wasn't sure what to think at first during the introduction; however, after a breeze over it didn't look too good. It probably would've been okay if it were a month subscription plan but the way the current model is setup, involves paying to utilize the software. Not only that, but in order to access the software for use, you must be connected to the internet.

Quick rundown of the good and bad of Adobe CC [Creative Cloud]. Presented by NextWave DV.

Changes in Technology

Its Inevitable

True, change can be good in some instances; however, not all change is beneficial to all. Technology has advanced a great deal over the years and is evident in the every day. Electronic games have come a long way from the pixel based layouts of classic gameplay to in your face graphics that rival the latest 3D theatrical release.

The bad side of these tech updates comes when it times to access content. Some providers are reasonable by charging a simple fee to either keep or rent a service. Others are a bit unreasonable and set things up to make the process of accessing content complicated.

You use to be able to pay a one time price to get access to something and then pay extra later for a modern day installment. Now, they have you pay for continuous use repetitively rather than a one time payment. Still not sure how this method of doing business with consumers is seen as a good one.

Anyway, business models are forever changing and the bottom line that's in mind is to be more efficient by providing better and more modern services.

Brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing. Presented by euronews knowledge.


Well, there's not much of one because the changes aren't going away any time soon. Once minds are made up, there's no changing them. I've enjoyed using my "pre-historic" game consoles during down time along with my work software when tasks need completing.

Possibly I'm one of the minute (my-noot) few that dislike the ideas of having to sign up and pay repeatedly for something. Perhaps this could be a mere misunderstanding of how things have been worded lately. Don't mind me, I'm just passing through.



Feb 8, 2015 10:15am
I'm not a gamer, but I'm not keen on pay per use either. Your line about floppies having the "uncanny tendency to un-format themselves at the worse possible time" made me laugh (so true).

Thanks for the information, thumbs up, pinning.
Feb 12, 2015 7:38pm
Ah yes, the infamous floppy. I found myself laughing at this while the un-formatting was taking place. Glad you enjoyed the article.
Jul 28, 2015 1:11am
I also remember those big floppies. Then the little a: solid disks these were a little bit more reliable. But at least back in those days like you say, you bought a program and used it on most computers. Now when you buy a new computer you do not even get the windows as a program to run your computer. It is in-built. Oh for the good old days.
Life was so much simpler back then. It is a throw away society now and even computers are not worth reselling.
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