Re: old school

Subject: Re: old school
From: "Chris Morton" <salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Beth Agnew" <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 03:41:59 -0700

dBase III was one of the first computer courses I took. WordPerfect gave me
a copy of their then-new, flagship word processor to try out for about six
months. I opted for WordStar 2000 on my IBM-XT with its whopping 10MB hard
disk and 640K. When I successfully installed a Prometheus 300-baud internal
modem, I became an instant hardware goob. Oh, and *PC Magazine* was a new
publication to which I eagerly looked forward to purchasing at the
newsstand.

Taking my wife and kids through the Smithsonian a few years later, I was
amazed to find a full set of Windows 1.0a on 5-1/4" floppy disks in a glass
display. I told them I still had my copy, which—along with the first edition
of Aldus PageMaker—pretty much launched my career as a trainer and technical
writer. Prior to that I had spent 12 years in advertising sales, where the
Xacto was KING and the Compugraphic 9600 was something out of the future.

Patty Stonesifer ran the M$ Windows program and I'd rub shoulders with her
at Windows World. Today she runs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (with
the Gates) and is married to Michael "Crossfire" Kinsley, the latter having
graduated from the same private boys school a few years ahead of me. In my
class was one Dirk "Derry" Kabcenell who read statistics bnooks in
seventh-grade study hall "for fun." After graduating from MIT, he got
drafted by XEROX PARC, known for such experiental developments as the mouse,
the GUI, Ethernet, and the laser printer. Leaving PARC, he became number two
or three hire at a database startupo named Oracle, later semi-retiring as
its VP and Chief Database Architect. Oh, and the same school yielded the
father of ASCII; we used to play Detroit Country Day School where some kid
named Ballmer attended. My school friend (and poet laureate) Brad
Leithauser, upon entering Harvard, ending up skipping most classes to play
poker with Ballmer, Gates, et al. Who am I missing? Oh, yeah! Some guy named
McNealy, who was a year behind us.

Jagdriver


On 5/19/08, Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca> wrote:
>
> So when I show my students pictures of the cave paintings, and tell them
> it was an early form of technical writing, I'm not far off at all!
> --Beth
>
> John Hedtke wrote:
> > Actually, that reminds of something from my very early career, when
> > we actually had to evolve hands with fully opposable thumbs to hold
> > the pots of red ochre we used for painting the design documents on
> > the cave walls. Previously, we'd had to grip things in our teeth and
> > move our heads up and down, which didn't work as well on the fiddly
> > bits of the drawings.
> >
> > The development of the flatter Cro-Magnon face and more tightly
> > meshing teeth? That was a design change our team suggested as a side
> > modification to make it easier to chew the sticks we used for brushes.
> >
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: RE: old school: From: quills
Re: RE: old school: From: John Hedtke
RE: RE: old school: From: Al Geist
RE: RE: old school: From: John Hedtke
Re: old school: From: Beth Agnew

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