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Re: Labels and other "Panel" formats


Your metaphor of reinventing the highway is excellent, and of course
typifies what makes us unhappy about the state of personal computing. We
all have horror stories of having perfectly good hardware become useless
because the software has changed beyond repair. And "planned obsolescence"
among cars merely makes us dissatisfied with our old car because it lacks
certain gadgets; it is, as you note about your '50 Dodge, still drivable.
(I don't know about a Model T Ford, with its weird transmission; but that's
not a current reality.)

I keep wishing there were some way to make it economically reasonable
simply to perfect and maintain what we have -- which is what this thread on
the list is all about. I think we are coming to the conclusion that there
is little future for, say, Xy3+ or Xy4 given what has happened to the
software world.

Do you suppose the business world will dig in its heels and refuse to
upgrade to Win98? Now THAT would stop the juggernaut!

At 12:17 PM 11/25/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Phil: It is true that one social benefit of advancing technology is the
>democratization of operation, but in the case of automobiles, careful
>maintenance and routine adjustments, replacement of worn parts, leaves
>you with something you may continue to use because the streets, driveways
>and highways are currently neutral about the type and age of car driven
>on them; I drove a 1950 Dodge around for three years in graduate school
>without a hitch, other than shifting the electrical system from 6 to 12
>volts; with PCs, the problem is that careful use of the equipment is
>negated by a "reinvention of the highway" that demands only the newest
>gear made specifically for the latest trends and often deliberately
>designed so that older material, software, will not run on it; yes,
>many secretaries can use WINDOWS based software right out of the box and
>not have to learn anything about how a computer works, but the savings in
>a short training or learning curve are lost by having to junk old
>equipment, old software, calling in experts to fix relatively minor
>problems; I have watched it happen time and time again; notice the
>penultimate delusion on STAR TREK, all problems known in the universe,
>and all future problems can be solved by a resort to technology,
>leading logically to the BORG, though the regular earthy guys and gals
>hate and despise them because they know it means a loss of
>individuality; the accelerating technology's road to hell; paved with
>many good intentions, by the way, James B. McSwain, Tuskegee University