Computer Philosophy - CP/M

This is a discussion on Computer Philosophy - CP/M ; COMPHILO.WS4 ------------ - "Computer Philosophy" Victor McAllister "FOGHorn", Vol. VII, No.7, p.12 (Retyped by Emmanuel ROCHE.) The computer revolution is changing the world at an unbelievable rate. Business, transportation, industry, libraries, schools, and home enthusiasts have married the computer. Computing ...

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Thread: Computer Philosophy

  1. Computer Philosophy

    COMPHILO.WS4
    ------------

    - "Computer Philosophy"
    Victor McAllister
    "FOGHorn", Vol. VII, No.7, p.12

    (Retyped by Emmanuel ROCHE.)


    The computer revolution is changing the world at an unbelievable
    rate. Business, transportation, industry, libraries, schools,
    and home enthusiasts have married the computer. Computing has
    become a vital part of most of our society. The fact is, no
    industrial nation could continue to exist without it.

    The cost of a computer keeps coming down about 25 percent a
    year, and any one you buy will be out of date in 6 months, and
    may only retain 30 percent of its value when you try to resell
    it.

    What should the CP/M computer owner do? Should you immediately
    upgrade to MS-DOS or Unix? What will the new software cost? What
    will you gain from the move? Will the gains be worth the dollar
    outlay?

    These are questions which can only be answered at the individual
    level. There are many complex variables in computer decisions
    that require careful research and planning. What do you use a
    computer for? Is your present computer able to do everything you
    want easily and at a reasonable price? What do you believe about
    the computer revolution, and how do you see your part in it?

    Here are some answers to these questions as they apply to my
    computer decisions. I do not suggest that my answers will fit
    your situation. I write this in order to stimulate your
    thinking, so that you will develop your own computer philosophy.

    I have a Lobo computer running CP/M Plus on 2 hard drives. It
    has the hardware and software available to do all the computing
    I need. I use it mostly for word processing, a specialty data
    base, telecommunication, and learning a smattering of
    programming languages. All of these functions work admirably for
    me.

    Why upgrade? Well, I could get color, graphics, and more
    powerful programming languages to play with. Would an MS-DOS
    computer really change the way I use a word processor? Would it
    make computing more efficient?

    If so, would it be worth the cost? If I bought now, how would
    the expected Microsoft OS/2 operating system affect my purchase?

    Here are my answers to all of these questions.

    MS-DOS does not offer me much. My CP/M Plus has all the
    important features of MS-DOS. I do not need any of the
    expensive business software. Unix is more tempting, but too
    expensive for me at this time.

    The present generation of computers are not remarkably different
    in function from my CP/M computer. It is evident that computer
    operating systems and software are a long way behind the
    hardware innovations. Computers will probably change
    drastically in the next 5 years, and buying now will doubtless
    mean I would buy again soon.

    The power of computers is still largely untapped. When the laser
    disk is perfected, we will see the computer's power unleashed.
    Large data bases of literature, research material, programming
    language, and scientific information should be available. Text
    scanners married to laser disks!

    Suddenly, information should be cheap, easily searched,
    examined, and dissected. Imagine having the equivalent of an
    entire library of books on a few CD-ROMs, whose hardware cost to
    the manufacturer is about 50c each.

    I have no delusions that I will ever be a professional
    programmer. The advanced programming languages do not really
    seem worth it yet. I already have C, Pascal, BASIC, Modula 2,
    and CP/M assemblers that allow me to learn the rudiments of
    programming.

    My computer philosophy can be summed simply. I use computers to
    assist me in studies and writing. I do not "believe" in
    computers. I do not see the computer as the great power giver
    that will emancipate mankind. I am not impressed with the
    dreams of conquest of the solar system with computer assistance.
    Computers show no evidence of changing the dilemnas in the
    world. I will stick to my old CP/M computer until a
    significantly more useful system appears. I will then buy a
    system that can assist me. I will try to resist having a
    romantic attachment with every new computer that the volatile
    computer industry puts out. I expect to stay put with CP/M until
    at least sometime in the 1990s. I think it will be at least 4
    years before hardware and operating systems can get together to
    make meaningful improvements in computer usefulness that would
    warrant an upgrade.


    EOF


  2. Re: Computer Philosophy

    On Wed, 9 Jan 2008 05:25:01 -0800 (PST), roche182@laposte.net wrote:

    >COMPHILO.WS4
    >------------
    >
    >- "Computer Philosophy"
    > Victor McAllister
    > "FOGHorn", Vol. VII, No.7, p.12


    I wish you had placed a date on the original article.

    When was it written/published?


  3. Re: Computer Philosophy

    Hello, Jim!

    > >- "Computer Philosophy"
    > > * Victor McAllister
    > > *"FOGHorn", Vol. VII, No.7, p.12

    >
    > I wish you had placed a date on the original article.
    >
    > When was it written/published?


    Gasp! You are right, I had forgotten to include the month/year...

    (At least, that proves that I retyped it.)

    But, upon glancing to the next post ("Life Without a User's Group"),
    what do I see?

    > "FOGHorn", Vol.VII, No.7, April 1988, p.12


    That is to say: those 2 articles were published on the same page!

    So, thanks for spoting this typo. It has been corrected in the
    original WS4 file.

    If, one day, someone dig out the directory of my DR-DOS system
    containing all my WS4 files (I wrote a WS4-to-HTML File Converter), he
    will be able to publish them with some confidence that they were proof-
    readed. (I printed and proof-read 3 TIMES my set of CP/M-86 Plus
    manuals...)

    Yours Sincerely,
    Mr Emmanuel Roche


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