Re: Original Mac user manual

Subject: Re: Original Mac user manual
From: John G <john -at- garisons -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 10:15:12 -0400

Every time there is a new technology that introduces either something
totally new or a radical departure from old ways, there is a need for this
level of information. I worked at Wang Labs back in the day ... and as the
company that really put word processing on the map, we had to do a lot of
this stuff as well - explaining that you no longer had to re-type a whole
letter just to make a change.

We used to have intense discussions about whether or not we could just say
"click and drag" or still had to tell people to click and hold down the left
mouse button while dragging a block of text to move it. One of the reasons
Microsoft included the Solitaire game with Windows was to give people a way
of practicing clicking, and drag-and-drop.

But this really touched home one day around 1996 when I was listening to NPR
and heard a show about the 100th anniversary of the telephone. They talked
about all sorts of phone-related things, but the one that got me was about
when Ma Bell (there was only one phone company for the first 80 or so years)
started introducing dial telephones. No longer did people pick up the
receiver and tell the operator what number to connect them to - they had to
get a dial tone and then dial the phone number themselves. They played a
clip from a radio announcement that told people what the dial tone sounded
like, and then what to do to dial a number.And for you young'uns, there
really was a dial - you put your index finger into the correct hole and
rotated it counter-clockwise! Nowadays I tell people that dial is really an
acronym for Digitally Initiated Audio Link.

My 2¢,

JG
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