Re: WIN95 advice

Subject: Re: WIN95 advice
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 1997 15:10:35 -0500

Stephen Arrants <arrants -at- BRIGHTWARE -dot- COM> wrote:

>I think it is very important to know at least the basics of >Windows 95, even if it isn't your 'choice' OS. I guarantee you >that you'll need to use at least one WIN95 application in your >job--either documenting it or using an application under WIN95 >for an employer. These days, you've got to have at least a >nodding acquaintance with different software and
>environments. I'm not a fan of OS|2, but that isn't the >point--I need to know it so I can work with it.

I think you overstate Windows 95's dominance, even in high-tech
companies, but I think your point is well-taken: the more operating
environments writers are comfortable in, the more employable they are.
Part of what writers offer is flexibility, especially if they're
freelancers, and there is far more fragmentation of the operating system
market than the choices in the stores suggests.

For example, in the last year, I have worked under DOS, Windows 3.1,
Windows 95, and OS/2, and would have worked on the Mac as well if a
project hadn't been cancelled. And, in my present contract, I use
Windows software (FrameMaker) under OS/2, use graphics produced on a
PowerMac, and document UNIX software.

Of course, if you only know know one operating environment, then
probably it should be Windows 3.1 or 95. You don't need multi-platform
experience, any more than you HAVE to know FrameMaker to get a job. But
I'm convinced that, without it, you are narrowing your chances of work.

>I don't think this needs to degenerate into an online flame >fest, either, as long as we all recognize that knowing an OS >or environment is different from *liking* it.

A good point. I know that some people disliked the recent discussion of
operating systems on the list. But they should see the REAL flames that
go on in news groups. By contrast, what was said here was good-natured
and to the point.

Bruce Byfield (bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com)
Technical Writer
Burnaby, BC, Canada
(604) 421-7189

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