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During the discussion of the "in and under / platform, operating system,
environment" thread, Molly Pickett-Harner said:
>Would love to see how Robin Williams' _Jargon_ (bk is at home) explains
>platform. BTW highly recommend same for information plus sheer enjoyment --
>the woman does have a way w/words & concepts!
Here it is (bk -- in PDF format on CD, neat-o -- is at work). Robin or Steve
must have heard this debate before...
From _Jargon: An informal dictionary of computer terms_ (Peachpit Press, 1993)
by Robin Williams with Steve Cummings
"A platform is a somewhat vague term that can be used in slightly
different ways. Most broadly, it s simply just a snooty way to
say computer, or to refer to a particular type of computer (the
Macintosh is one platform, the PC is another platform.) The term
is a little more useful when it refers to a combination of a
particular type of computer running a particular type of operating
system software. For instance, an IBM PC running only DOS as the
operating system is one platform; the same computer running DOS
with Windows is another platform; and the same computer running
OS/2 or Unix is yet another platform.
If you hear a particular product described as cross platform,
it means that the product will work on several platforms, or that
it s something that s applicable to more than one platform. This
is different from a product that has been ported to another
platform to port a product means to rewrite it so it will work
on another platform, not that the same product can function on
Peter J. Holfelder
holfep -at- rpi -dot- edu