Remember the 60s? I do. We had a rotary phone and it made phone calls. Our number was Whitehall 6-4990. And it was an amazing device that allowed us to talk to our friends and family by simply spinning the dial for each number and waiting for someone to pick up the phone on the other end. Back then, Ma Bell had a monopoly and most people probably thought that was fine. Phone service was reliable. The technology seemed like a blessing. The service was affordable although long-distance calls were very, very expensive.
It began so well. Microsoft wrote DOS. They started small and they created an operating system for the IBM PC that opened up a new world for the common, everyday programmer. DOS was sometimes a bit tricky. I recall issues with getting printers and modems to work. There was no graphic user interfaces. There was no multitasking. You ran a program. You finished and you ran a different program. Looking back, it was quite primitive. But, remarkably, the industry thrived throughout the 80s.
During the early days of the PCs in the 1980s, software manufacturers battled with consumers over copy protection. Floppy drives and the 5.25" floppy made it possible to very easily create illegal copies of software. This resulted in a boom in training books that were targeted to buyers of pirated software. The leading word processing software, the application that invented the term "WYSIWYG" was called Wordstar. Wordstar rapidly grew into the leading and best-selling word processor of the early 1980s. And as it grew in popularity, many users were also copying the software.
Wordstar decided to copy-protected their product just as WordPerfect was gaining in popularity. WordPerfect was shipping without copy protection and ultimately became the leading word In the Lotus 1-2-3 followed suit and also abandoned copy protection. In the highly competitive software world of the 1980s, the most successful companies were learning that copy protection was bad for business. Wordstar disappeared many years ago.
So, I bought a new Acer Aspire One Netbook for my wife and for home use. It is a terrific little machine. It comes with Windows 7, 1gb RAM, a 160gb hard drive, 3 USB ports, external video jack, 10" LCD screen, 100mb ethernet, WiFi, cam and a microphone for only $325. And it weighs just over 2 pounds.
But when I went to install my printer to the machine I ran into a problem. I have a HP LaserJet 1320TN at home. It has been a terrific printer. It has 2 trays and it prints on both sides of a page. It has never had a single problem. I think the printer is about 7 or 8 years old. So, I get out the CD that came with the printer and I copy it onto a thumb drive because the netbook does not have a CD drive. Then I try to install it but it just doesn't work. The printer software is too old.
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I met with a potential client. They have a very specialized business that involves analyzing data on hard drives. The data can take many forms and so they have a multitude of software tools that assist in compiling information. And like most businesses, they have a Windows-based network. But the primary applications they are using are not Microsoft. They are 3rd party, industry-specific applications that are mission-critical. If their programs are not running properly, they are not able to work and not able to run the business.
I must preface this message by the admission that I am not a fan of Microsoft. Do a search for Microsoft on my site and you will see a few articles about my opinion of Microsoft as a business. I do not like Microsoft's impact on the computer industry. And one of the many reasons I have for not liking Microsoft (but certainly not a main reason) is that their products do not perform very well and they are targets for viruses and spyware.
I'm in the Philippines. I have been here for 10 days and I have about 10 more days to go. I love it here. The people are very friendly and gracious. The town is quaint, simple and unassuming. The pace is relaxed. The climate is a bit warm for my liking. But after the midday heat passes, I am fine. There is water everywhere and everyone loves to sing and dance. The families are close and supportive.
What I find disturbing is the inability for so many people to
I thought I would throw out my two cents on the release of Windows 7. It is tomorrow, October 22. I have been working with it for the past few months and think that it is 90% better overall than Windows Vista. I will not go into the myriad of reasons except to say that it is considerably more compatible with XP and some of the older applications and peripherals than Vista was. Microsoft went so far as to design a copy of Windows XP into Vista so that you can literally run XP inside your Win7 computer simultaneously just in case you have a very antiquated application that absolutely, positively will not work on anything except XP (also for those that are afraid to commit to a newer operating system).
In my email response to him I wrote...
We charge $125 for on-site repair plus $3 for cleaning materials plus parts. The parts could be anywhere from a few dollars to over $100. The problem is that getting parts puts us at the mercy of the manufacturer because these machines are all proprietary. So, even if it just needs a gear, it might mean that we have to buy an entire internal printer assembly to get the gear. So, I can't tell you exactly