Re: Help! Caught in the upgrade treadmill...

Subject: Re: Help! Caught in the upgrade treadmill...
From: Matt Ion <mion -at- DIRECT -dot- CA>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 14:44:35 PDT

On Thu, 20 Jul 1995 10:09:50 -0400 you wrote:

> Here's the problem: my current computer works just fine for what I'm
> doing, and will always meet my needs so long as I don't upgrade and so
> long as it keeps running.

Shakespeare used a quill pen and paper.

> But if I don't upgrade, at some point in the
> future the hardware will die

When the ink ran out, he'd just get more. When the quill broke, he just
needed to pull another off the nearest ostrich (or something of the sort :)

> (or the files I produce with the software
> won't be accepted anymore at the publishing service bureaus),

An original King Lear manuscript would be worth a fortune today. Maybe
someday, the same will be true of your WordPerfect 5.0 files :)

> or become incompatible with new hardware and software that I'd like to
> use, and I'll be hit with the whole upgrade price at once (hardware,
> plus new software that runs on it).

That usually works the other way around. A Pentium will still run a DOS 3.3
version of WordPerfect. Generally, it's getting new software that requires
upgrading the hardware... for which we can blame the developers as much as
anyone else. My old C-64 apps are still useful (I have an outstanding little
word processor called Paperback Writer... this was one of the first to use
extensive online help. It didn't even come with a user's manual - just put in
the program disk and hit F7 to bring up context-sensitive help!), and
programmers then HAD to be talented to make it work in <64k RAM. Nowadays, it
doesn't matter. Make the code as sloppy and bloated as you want, and just
tell the customer he needs more memory.

> there any way off the treadmill, or will I be contributing to the
> Microsoft retirement fund for the rest of my sentient life?

There's no way off the treadmill, unfortunately, but no-one says Micro$oft has
to keep benefitting from it. Avoid Windows, ditch Word, and Unca Billy's just
gonna hafta make do with the $9B he's already got.

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