RE: old school

Subject: RE: old school
From: David Hailey <david -dot- hailey -at- usu -dot- edu>
To: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 17 May 2008 16:25:56 -0600

Hi everybody,

Actually, when I said "DOS-based," I meant "Windows."

It's an old habit. I came up through DOS, and still think in terms of DOS-based, UNIX-based, and Mac OS operating systems. In fact, I still use an old WordPerfect 4.5 on DOS to retrieve old files form ancient and dead applications such as MultiMate (anybody remember that one?).

I also still sometimes slip up and tell students to put a "carriage return here," or "make a directory named . . ." (instead of saying "folder"). Of course this always confuses some of them.

So, when you hear me say "DOS" when I mean "Windows" just roll your eyes and say to yourselves, "there's that old fossil again. . ."


From: Gene Kim-Eng [techwr -at- genek -dot- com]
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2008 4:06 PM
To: David Hailey; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: what computer, what software for a lab?

While it could be argued that Windows is still largely a shell
riding over DOS underpinnings, it's pretty rare these days
to run into a tech writer who knows DOS, much less one
who is writing in it.

Windows is the de facto standard in most tech writing
environments, even when the products being documented
are in UNIX/Linux.

Macs, despite the loyalty of their users, represent an almost
nonexistent business computer market share in *technical*
writing, though they are still widely used in many non-technical
publications settings.

However, the above is really about operating systems, not
computers. Since Apple switched the Mac to an Intel-based
platform a few years ago, either a PC or a Mac system could
run Windows, Linux or the Mac OS (the only thing that keeps
a PC from running Mac OS is the refusal of Apple to license
the OS for that purpose). Either platform can run Linux if

If you might need to run both Windows and Mac and have
the budget for it, get Macs and use Bootcamp to enable
you to load Mac OS, Windows or Linux without emulators.
If you don't have the budget for multi-OS systems, get a
mix of the two in single-OS configurations. Whatever you
do, do NOT attempt to run processor-intensive applications
like Maya, Max, Lightwave, etc., in Windows running on a
Mac with an emulator.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Hailey" <david -dot- hailey -at- usu -dot- edu>
> Our department has a grant to upgrade the teaching lab (where I teach digital
> media topics). There is a chance the project leaders will want to install
> Macintosh laptops.
> My sense is that for better or worse, the vast majority of technical writing
> takes place in DOS or UNIX environments, but perhaps I am out of touch,
> perhaps I am wrong. Do you think such a teaching lab should be using
> DOS-based computers (since there is no way we can use UNIX)?
> I also suggest that the software we must have is Office and Adobe's techcomm
> studio package, which I think includes Frame, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash,
> Captivate, and possibly Robohelp. I would also like to have Maya and 3DsMax
> for teaching 3D technical animation, but that's unlikely to happen. I guess
> that for now I will teach with Flash and Captivate.
> Suggestions about Macs? Suggestions about software?

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