The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #147774   Message #3429477
Posted By: Don Firth
01-Nov-12 - 03:05 PM
Thread Name: Tech: Windows 8 - reviews of general release
Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8 - reviews of general release
". . . the computer illiterate over age 70." ????

I'm 81.

I got my first computer, a KayPro II in 1983. Nine inch black and white (actually black and green) screen, two 5.25" floppy drives with a 195 kilobyte capacity, CP/M operating system on one floppy, which you loaded into the computer's memory, then replaced the operating system floppy with the floppy containing whatever program you wanted to use—in my case, usually WordStar. You saved your data (documents and such) on a floppy on the other drive.

No graphical interface. You had to remember CP/M commands, which were not in plain English. For example, to copy a file from on disk to another, you didn't pull up a menu and click on the "Copy" command (you didn't have a mouse, it was all keyboard), at the CP/M prompt you typed
"PIP" followed by the name of the file you wanted to copy or transfer, then the name of the file, and the designation of the disk you wanted it copied or transferred to. "PIP" stood for "Peripheral Interchange Program." All other commands were in "computerese" rather than plain English.

No internet yet.

Laptops? No such thing. But the KayPro II was portable. If you consider 26 pounds "portable." GRUNT while lifting, arm comes loose at shoulder.

I got a very good job in 1986, as a technical writer and editor for a firm under contract to the Bonneville Power Administration, involved in their residential weatherization program. I got the job on the basis of my "computer literacy" and the fact that I was a fair whiz with WordStar (not that many people back in those prehistoric times even knew what a "word processor" was), having already written several magazine articles and much of a book on my trusty KayPro (and my Daisywheel printer).

On that job, I soon had to get an "IBM compatible" computer and new software to fit. The BPA decided they wanted everything done with the "MultiMate" word processor. I thought MultiMate stank, compared to WordStar, but the pay was good, so wotthehell? Nice part of the job was that a lot of the time I could work at home.

But I had to retire my big blue box.   *SOB!!*

However, I DO love my HP laptop. 17" screen, my wife and I watch movies on it.

But I wish they'd stop screwing around with the software. Just come up with good, serviceable programs and stop trying to get you to re-up every year or two.

But then business is business.

Don Firth