Re: Dating the Internet (was Re: Funny Tech Writing)

Subject: Re: Dating the Internet (was Re: Funny Tech Writing)
From: doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 11:04:28 -0700

On Friday 28 April 2006 10:00, Clare Turner wrote:
> OK, ok, ok - good god, people - must EVERYONE pick on EVERYTHING?

Naw. But unqualified references to the time before email/internet? Well
that's a right yar little target, being the 'boomer/hacker equivalent of the
Autralian aborinee's 'dream time.' ANY reference to it at all will be a
desecration of someone's mythology or ideas.

So on balance, I think yes, if you define the beginning of the internet AND
email as a POINT, you have in some sense thrown down a gauntlet. And any
sworn defender of the realm will rise to the occasion, yes.

Do you need some advice? change "/" to "OR" (the phrase 'email OR internet'
is less shiny, attracts fewer grammarhawks and factcheckers), wear protective
gear at all times, and above all else. get out more often.

> My SIMPLE point was that my first exposure to the silly mouse balls
> thing was NOT thru the Internet...we DID manage to communicate with
> other people before then!

I believe the mouseball memo was indeed an internal communication at IBM, but
it may have been a meme as well as a memo. The mouse ball arose at PARC,
yes? PARC was a Xerox Corp facility. IBM's lab was Watson, I believe.

But whatever, you can date this memo to at least the late 1970's. IIRC, that
was when the push began in earnest to replace the typewriter with the PC.
Workplace productivity was no longer to be dependent on keyboards alone, but
also now on mice, floppy disks, hard disks, and a handful of other easy
targets of ribaldry. In this case, the question was, how to introduce the
terminolgy and make the mouse acceptible to typewriter people. And the
solution was, well...

Ned Bedinger
Ed Wordsmith Technical Communication

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RE: Dating the Internet (was Re: Funny Tech Writing): From: Clare Turner

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