My Worst Nightmare Revisited

It is a testament to how far consumer electronics has come in the last 15 years that I don't get pestered any more about fixing PCs.

I just read the my worst nightmare post again and it occurred to me that I haven’t been called upon to fix anything in a very long time.

What changed?

Twenty years ago, if you wanted access to the internet you needed a PC of some kind. In all probability it would run Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft Windows going back 20 years was incredibly insecure. Most people ran their PC logged into an admin account giving all programs unfettered access to the entire system. If you visited a website or clicked on an email attachment, whatever was loaded on the page could do pretty much as it wished.

Not surprisingly, nefarious people took advantage of this digital wild west.

Now, PCs of the same style popular 20 years ago are largely confined to the PC gamer community. The PCs still run Microsoft Windows but these days Windows is much more internet hardened than the versions common 20 years ago. Windows today has very regular security updates and built-in security tools like anti-virus software and firewall.

Gamers pride themselves on their prowess fixing their PC often after having built their PC from scratch. So thankfully, they have no need of my rather modest PC repairing skills.

What about everybody else?

The Phone Age

Everybody else has discovered smart phones and tablets. Today’s smart phones are like curated gardens tended with loving care by your manufacturer of choice. If you want to install software, you go to the app store and there you will find a huge range of apps all approved and vetted by your manufacturer.

Installing an app is literally a one touch operation. Want to remove an app? That’s a two touch operation. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Anybody can do it.

Home Networks

Twenty years ago it was not unusual to find people still using dial up internet. Thankfully, things have improved markedly. Many homes now have full fibre straight to their front door.

Home networks have become much easier to set up and configure. For the most part, your ISP will send you a pre-configured router with Wi-Fi that is sufficient for most people. Simply, plug the router into your wall socket, connect your devices to the Wi-Fi and off you go.

Even more troublesome things like mesh Wi-Fi have been made extremely easy. I have the Google Wi-Fi devices around my home and they give me as much trouble as my washing machine. They just work. With the added benefit I can ask them to play my favourite music when the mood takes me.


My worst nightmare was only written fifteen years ago and yet we have seen the rise of smart phones, beautiful large tablets and smart speakers in the time since.

It is easy to lose sight of the developments of recent years because things seem to move quite slowly. But, if you look back far enough, you can discern real change that has benefited a huge number of people.

It will be fascinating to see what the next fifteen years deliver. 😉