Re: old school

Subject: Re: old school
From: "Suzette Leeming" <suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Sam Beard" <sbeard -at- oico -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 13:04:10 -0400

I worked on the Wang as well - there were very few word processing systems
that I did not work on. I used to teach word processing at a night school.
The Mod-28 you mentioned sounds a lot like an early Xerox Memorywriter. You
could type templates of agreements, etc. on them, saved on a tape, then when
you played back/printed, it would stop at places for more information to be
entered. Sort of like an early form of mail merge!

The daisy wheel on the Wang was almost identical to the daisy wheels on the
early printers that came with the Xerox Memorywriters and their 850/860
systems. Different font sets on each one! And you could code when you wanted
the daisy wheel changed to have a different font for Headings, etc.

Wasn't that a Monty Python skit, walking up hill both ways in a snowstorm?
And sleeping in a cardboard box - ah, luxury!!

Seriously, what set us apart was that as technology advanced and things got
easier, we didn't take it for granted but appreciated the new tools that
were developed. Not to criticize people coming in these days, but they
really don't know how easy they have it!

This has been a wonderful trip down memory lane - makes me want to pull out
my 8 track tapes and 33-1/3 / 45 / 78 rpm records. They're all stored with
my old Brownie camera!

Happy Victoria Day to everyone!

Suzette Leeming
Keswick, Ontario

On Mon, May 19, 2008 at 12:18 PM, Sam Beard <sbeard -at- oico -dot- com> wrote:

> Suzette,
> I never worked with Wordstar, but I remember hearing about that
> Ka-Boom thing. I also remember dBase III, as I was sent to a course in
> it, along with PC-DOS and a word processor whose name I can't recall
> off-hand, back when I was in San Antonio in the Air Force. I also
> remember Wang's, which we had at our office in SA. I remember changing
> out a daisy wheel on a printer to get a different font. I've also heard
> of Ventura Publishing, Multiplan, and Fox Pro, although I've never used
> any of them.
> Also back in the Air Force, we had these machines called a Mod-28.
> They had a keyboard that had only letters and numbers, a space bar, and
> not much else, if I recall! They printed things out on a paper roll, but
> they also made and read this paper tape that had a variety of punched
> hole combinations in the tape. You could write a report on that machine,
> using the a tape as a sort of template where there would be a certain
> key pressed repeatedly to get a blank space that didn't advance the key
> head. Then, you'd pause the tape running through, type in what you
> wanted to have in that particular space, restart the tape until you got
> to another place you needed to enter info, and do it all again.
> Eventually, you'd get to the end of the report and you'd have a tape for
> that report, as well as the "template" tape. This was necessary because
> some of the reports had a VERY short time frame for reporting them and
> they had to be sent with NO errors! A Mod-28 was eventually replaced by
> a Mod-40, which was a computer-based system, and that was replaced by a
> PC running regular software, as well as some
> custom-built-for-the-government programs.

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Re: old school: From: ActionA
RE: old school: From: Lauren
Re: old school: From: Suzette Leeming
RE: old school: From: Sam Beard

Previous by Author: Re: old school
Next by Author: Re: "Old School Article"
Previous by Thread: RE: old school
Next by Thread: RE: old school

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads