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Re: now Billy's greed, was If you have already seen this...


DOS was very transparent. Of course we knew nothing about it or anything like it when we got our first 8086 computers. My first one was an AT&T, which was actually made by Olivetti. It had two 4-1/2 inch floppy drives [programs in A, working files in B]. The word processing program of choice at that time was WordStar. I wrote two books in WordStar. It was very good for simply churning out pages of text. It was one step up from ASCII--a step that amounted to a high bit on ASCII characters.

About 2 years after I finished the second book, the National Academy of Sciences hired me to write a couple of books for them. They were WordPerfect based and they bought a copy of WordPerfect for me to use at home. It was my first experience with menus and such. I thought WordPerfect was a neat program because you could incorporate Harvard Graphics charts directly in your text. But, man was it unstable. Files would simply disappear for no apparent reason when you were working on them, so we saved to floppy with some regularity.

Then I was hired to write a couple of books for a healthcare publisher [St. Anthony's Press] and they used MACs. This was my first real experience with a graphic interface. I found it somewhat annoying--click this, click that. Once I mastered the mouse, it was far less annoying, but not completely so.

When I left St. Anthony's it was for the editorship of a weekly publication on corporate governance, a real yawn of a subject even among Washington wonks, until Ken Lay has nearly made it a household word. And guess what? That publication was using Wang word processing [talk about retro]. To make the program do what you wanted it to do, you had to learn to write in Wang code, not difficult but tedious. The worst part for me [the esteemed editor] was that the spellcheck dictionary file [Wang had a very good spellcheck; it may have even invented it] was almost beyond repair--many, many misspellings.

I looked about for a DOS-based alternative, and after a lot of debate and tests and hoo-haw, selected the predecessor to Word 7--I think it was Word 4--because it seemed to do all the things we wanted a word processing program to do, so we formatted one of the Wang's enormous disk drives to DOS and downloaded Windows 3.1 and Word 4.

About a year later, Billy announced Word 7.0 [I think they skipped 4 and 5 to catch up with WordPerfect in the numbers game] and it seemed better than 4.0, so we went for it. I've never been sorry. Word 7.0 is absolutely the best word processing program that has ever been written. Since then it's all fluff and nonsense. But Word 7.0 was a professional's work horse.


On Thursday, July 1, 2004, at 01:49 PM, Aplfgcnys@aol.com wrote:


Kitty, if I had my druthers I'd still be using DOS - I thought the first
menu-driven programs
were too stupid. I do still use a DOS program for my work.
As for cameras, I went to great lengths to find, and expense to buy, a
totally manual
camera. I want to tell the camera what I want to focus on and how - not have
it tell me how
to take the picture. My DH has a fancy auto-focus, and I hate it. Can't
take the kind of
pictures I like with it, either.
I guess that indicates that I am old and set in my ways, but there are lots
of changes
that I would appreciate. And I'm not a technophobe - I really like to learn
how to do
new things. It just seems that the menu- or wizard-driven programs, and the
auto-
focus facilities treat us as if we are unable to do things for ourselves.
Auralie



In a message dated 07/01/2004 12:14:14 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
kmrsy@comcast.net writes:
guess I'm just sort of old school. But I like things simple and
accessible. Like my 35mm camera. I got a semi-automatic which includes a
manual override because I still want to control certain aspects of the
photo.


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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4
Zone 10a
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]

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