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Subject:Re: "Old School Article" From:voxwoman <voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com> To:"Blount, Patricia A" <Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com> Date:Wed, 21 May 2008 09:35:53 -0400
And you reminded me of the "old school" lists before the Internet...
I was a member of a SF writer's critiquing group that had a coordinator who
mailed a monthly newsletter (mimeographed), and we would select "pen pals"
to exchange manuscripts and critiques.
I also played a dystopian futuristic strategy game (about gang warfare) with
dozens of other people by mail (I suppose the precursor to MMORPGs).
On Wed, May 21, 2008 at 9:27 AM, Blount, Patricia A <Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com>
> You know, after seeing Deborah's suggestion about compiling all of these
> Old School memories into some sort of article, a few things occurred to
> First, this was FUN!!! I thank you all for that. Sometimes, this list
> becomes the equivalent of a dark alley in which I find myself afraid to
> walk for fear of being attacked. I think the medium itself encourages
> that level of hostility...seriously, how many of us would be as rude as
> we sometimes are via email if the recipient of that message were
> standing before us? I've been part of this list since the late '90's and
> all of you have taught me something new. It's time I thanked you each
> for that. Thank you!
> Second, the old school thread reminds me of how far the computer
> industry has come... Back in the day, when I was punching paper tape and
> swapping floppies out of dual drive PCs, I might well have signed away
> my soul for the chance to ask questions, post opinions and even debate
> issues the way we can on this list. If I had a grammar question or
> couldn't think of the right word, I'd have to blow the dust off my
> ancient copies of an English textbook, a dictionary and a thesaurus. If
> my question was more technical, such as how do I shrink wrap a Frame
> around a graphic, I might have spent hours on hold trying to reach
> Support. And research? Well, that was done in the library, after work
> and on weekends. Today, those answers are a mouse click away. How many
> of us take for granted that we have instant access to tech writers,
> professors and trainers, tool experts, and so on?
> Finally, I have a suggestion for you, Deborah, as well as for the list.
> What about including our wish list for the future of computing and how
> tech writing will evolve? We talked about paper tape, punch cards, Xacto
> knives, etc... My iPod has more storage space than my first PC
> did...What will the next 25 years be like?
> In an offline message to Dave (the original poster), I suggested full
> holographic displays. In my vision of the future, I would be in my home,
> shuffling screens about with the slightest flick of my wrist. I would
> love to see computer "jewelry" - a charm bracelet containing removable
> storage with enough capacity to hold every book I've ever read. On the
> commute home, I could queue up a story... I wonder if technology will
> ever reach the point where documenting instructions is superfluous
> because the interface is just that intuitive?
> The one thing I hope we never see is embedded computing...chips embedded
> in our brains and the like. That's just a bit too William Gibson for me.
> I could go on...but I would like to see what the list has to say.
> Patty B.
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