“Old-Timer Technology”

A little lofty, a little whimsical. I’m on a plane at the moment, working on a strategic outline. Of course, my mind wanders and I start reflecting on technology at large.

I remember the daze when (roughly in time order from when I encountered / mastered them):

  • 5-1/4” disks.
  • AppleWorks.
  • Prodigy.
  • The art of loading a mouse or joystick driver into high memory (this made you a ‘PC expert’, btw).
  • Learning the value of markup languages from WordPerfect 5.1 “Reveal Codes”.
  • F3 as the help button (WP51).
  • DesqView.
  • Lanman.ini.
  • HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.SYS
  • That awful-didn’t-allow-cut-and-paste-commands WP51 macro editor.
  • Spreadsheet linking.
  • QEMM.
  • NetBEUI.
  • “CORE” installation (any Hanford BCS readers out there?).
  • While on the subject of Hanford: U:\ drive.
  • Heh. Still on Hanford: SWE0 and SWE1, giving way to MTC0-MTC7. Those were the days.
  • Permanent Swapfile.
  • WFW. More importantly, Microsoft Hearts.
  • SYSTEM.INI and WIN.INI and the [386Enh] section.
  • Downloading the Microsoft Knowledge Base as a 75K .hlp file.

Of course, I’m showing my age. Naturally, I left a few out (on purpose; stimulates the discussion). What do you remember?

Original Post: June 21, 2006

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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