Saturday, November 01, 2008


Internet connection problem

I'm an oldfashioned guy in many ways. I like the old way of behaviour. Be a gentleman, be polite. Open the door for the lady. Yeah, I know what's written in those etiquette books....
On the other hand I wanted to go along with the modern times and so I am working with (hobby) computers since 1980. The great Commodore 64 for example. How much fun it was to burn new (erasable) chips to replace the original Kernal. Programmed some DBase prgs. And with friends a word processor ; it even could 'justify' and wrap words at the end of a line but we never managed to include pictures.... I also made a personal version of Monopoly which found it's way into the hobby circuit. I stopped programming while making a car crash game. Suddenly I thought/understood I was inventing the wheel again...
Got in 1986 a job offered as senior-director medical advisor at an insurance company. Within a day I had cracked their Symphony (a kinda 'Lotus' prg with spreadsheet, word processor and DBase). Fun to watch the IT guys' faces. Liked to program again in Microsoft DOS.
Didn't wanted to 'upgrade' to Microsoft Windows. Thought I couldn't get 'control' on it and I like (and am used...) to be in control... But had to.
Finally entered the internet world over 2 1/2 years ago. I really must say, it is very interesting and fun. So much to discover like for instance how a search machine like Google works....
Only problem with internet is sometimes I can't control things. My provider had since friday evening internal technical problems (not the first time btw) so I couldn't access internet for about 50 hrs. Felt handicapped.
I suppose a lot were awaiting for my today's Popcorn posting.... Well, I will beginning next week.

Symphony is still around, and actively under development - by IBM! They bought Lotus a while ago, and "IBM Lotus Symphony v1.0" is a free download (IBM's version of OpenOffice?).

I loved my C=64, but I was strictly a software guy: my first big program was a database program to log the integrated circuits I owned; it prompted for input (74nnn Series? L? LS??) and stored the data in an array. After the first printout, I learned the importance of not printing the records for which I owned zero items: 400+ pages became 76.

I got my first PC after being laid off from my second job as a technical writer. Nobody was using even the Amiga let alone the C=64 for corporate documentation, so I bought a $2000 PC, $2000 monitor, and $2000 laser printer (good old credit cards...) and taught myself to use MS Word so I could get a job. 19 years and many jobs later, I'm laid off again...

I'm quite good with MS Access; I don't make stand-alone applications with it, but have several databases. I'm constantly surprised how many shareware programs I get are actually Access applications. But, I'm an organizer by nature.
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