Zia Hassan

My Life On Ten Floppies

I’ve always had this weird obsession with robots and artificial intelligence. I would scour the internet looking for new apps that could respond to what I’m saying with some shred of intelligence and I would try to write programs that would seem intelligent. The biggest thrill of my life came from a program I wrote (in Basic) that would ask you for your name, and then spit it back to you in the form of some salutation. It wasn’t artificially intelligent, but it was a huge success with my other geek-friends, who I gave copies to on a 3.5 floppy.
Eight years later, I’m still a technology geek, but I’m not amazed by the little improvements anymore. A search I run in Google will be analyzed and I will be offered relevant marketing messages, Gmail knows who I frequently write mail to, and the internet tailors itself to my needs and preferences. It’s too bad that my little 3kb program won’t even run anymore on a platform beyond Win98 without the user having to manually open a command line.

I’ve been having this feeling lately: I’ve forgotten something. That state where you can’t remember what you’re supposed to be remembering. Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing a better job of capturing everything lately, and it almost seems like a trap. Or I really am forgetting something or someone.