Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm? - Palmtop

This is a discussion on Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm? - Palmtop ; Todd Vargo wrote: > "Richard Bonner" wrote: > > John the Baptist Jr. wrote: > > > I worked at a retail store for 4 years from 1997-2001,2002. During my > > > tenure there all the registers in the ...

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Thread: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm?

  1. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm?

    Todd Vargo wrote:
    > "Richard Bonner" wrote:
    > > John the Baptist Jr. wrote:
    > > > I worked at a retail store for 4 years from 1997-2001,2002. During my
    > > > tenure there all the registers in the chain were using DOS, the
    > > > receiving system was using Liniux/Unix, and the telezon guns were using
    > > > DOS. Sadly today walking into any store in the massive chain the
    > > > registers are using Windows and the Telezon guns are using PocketPC or
    > > > Palm.

    > >
    > > > Once I was given a tour of the new guns. What a sad joke. The DOS
    > > > based machines were faster, did not require a stylus, and were easier to
    > > > use once you got the hang of them. The same can be said of the DOS
    > > > based registers. Are people afraid of keyboards these days?

    > >
    > > *** Apparently. The big guns also seem to prefer making customers wait
    > > as their cashiers plod through menu after menu of one-at-a-time operations
    > > via point & click. )-: With key input, they can simply enter all the
    > > keystrokes at once.


    > That involves lengthy training of propietary systems. The visionaries want
    > uneducated employees working as soon as they walk through the door these
    > days (=low wages).


    *** I hear that! Unfortunately, these companies don't care about the
    increased wait times for their customers.


    > But hey, with UPC scanners and touch screens showing up
    > in many places now, they have eliminated the cashier. Now it takes one
    > employee to monitor several self-serve checkouts.
    > --
    > Todd Vargo


    *** Even checkouts will be a thing of the past soon when all products
    have electronic identifiers. One need only walk through the exit portal
    of a store and a scanner will query all products in the basket. It will
    then debit the shopper's account.

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/

  2. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm?

    Richard Steiner wrote:
    > Here in alt.msdos,
    > "Helio Diamant - MS-MVP/Mobile Devices"
    > spake unto us, saying:


    > >Everybody that wants to use a terminal
    > >with DOS needs to buy a book or to take a class. Nowadays, retail wants fast
    > >training of their personell since the HR replacement is too fast. People
    > >don't stay much time in the same profession, and surely not at the same
    > >shop. So training must be a question of minutes or single hours, and not a
    > >question of days.


    > Business are causing this problem (and are responsible for much of the
    > current lack of employee loyalty) themselves by engaging in layoffs to
    > drive up the short term bottom line and by treating certain classes of
    > workers (e.g., IT workers) as interchangable parts which can be swapped
    > in and out on a project-by-project basis.


    *** They often hire all part-timers, too, so as to keep
    deduction-matching taxes low. As well, instead of giving raises, they lay
    people off or let them suffer until they quit. This allows the companies
    to always be paying only starting wages.

    The sad part is that companies that try not to do this are driven out
    of business by the higher costs and by the better-priced competition of
    the sleazy companies. This means that the general quality of all
    companies eventually drops to meet the lowest-quality ones. )-:


    > Is it any wonder that employees are loathe to give their loyalty to a
    > company these days?
    > --
    > -Rich Steiner


    *** No wonder at all;

    and we spiral down, down, down...


    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/



  3. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm?

    Christopher Browne wrote:
    > > "John W. Kennedy" wrote:
    > > Whats wrong with old hardware? You need work I know. But ever heard
    > > the saying "if its not broken, why fix it?"


    > Old hardware eventually breaks, particularly if it is used reasonably
    > heavily.


    > Replacement old hardware is eventually not available anymore, not at
    > reasonable prices...


    *** Of course not, they want people to buy their new stuff through
    planned obsolescence.

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/



  4. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm?

    Helio Diamant - MS-MVP/Mobile Devices wrote:
    > > When I do DOS demos and use all key commands, patrons are amazed at
    > > how much work gets done for so little effort.


    > How many years have you worked with DOS?


    *** I have had one DOS machine or another since 1987, but really only
    started to learn DOS in 1993. I started off with shell programs but
    realised I could get things done faster and more directly by skipping the
    middle "man" and telling DOS directly what I wanted.


    > And what is your profession?


    *** I am a stage lighting designer/director:

    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/


    > Without knowing the answer: Now try to have a retail cashier that is in the
    > job for 10 days (or 2 months) doing the same and check for the results.
    > --
    > Helio Diamant


    *** I have a high-school student whom I am providing training and work
    as a favour to her and her parents. She was taught Windows and has Windows
    at home, but picked up our DOS system in just a few hours. Why?
    It's because I have it simplified to the point where she only need enter
    some easy commands and all that I alluded to in past posts happens for
    her.

    Now, yes, she knows little of what's happening underneath, but she
    knows little of what is underneath Windows either. My point is that
    workers need only know what is required to get their work done. In the
    case of this student, she does simple bookwork and employee timekeeping
    with a spreadsheet program, and then uses some DOS batch files to do the
    back-ups of the same.

    In addition, I have shown her some DOS stuff and had her rewrite a
    batch file that automatically loads this year's spreadsheets into 1-2-3.
    This was simply me telling her what to delete and replace, but it gave her
    insight into what the batch file does to set up to run 1-2-3 and under
    what criteria, then what DOS does after the program finishes. She took to
    keyboard shortcuts immediately and even starting using some in her
    Windows sessions.

    This aside, I agree with your point, but if DOS is set up properly, a
    basic employee can learn it as quickly as Windows in regards to the tasks
    required of that employee.

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/

  5. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to

    Billy Smith wrote:
    > in article driocl$ov9$1@News.Dal.Ca, Richard Bonner at ak621@chebucto.ns.ca
    > wrote on 1/29/06 7:52 AM:


    > > *** Unix is very powerful, but for these retail systems, DOS works just
    > > as well.
    > >
    > >> Innonovation is not always better, and who would agree with me that the
    > >> newer PocketPC/Palm/Windows systems are inferior in some aspects when
    > >> compared to good old fashioned DOS?
    > >>
    > >> John

    > >
    > > *** It's all marketing. They *say* it is better, so people believe it.


    > DOS kicks butt!


    *** I must agree. I can easily run circles, BIG circles, around any GUI
    operations and prove that every time I give a DOS demo in front of an
    audience.

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/

  6. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to

    Billy Smith wrote:
    > in article driqno$ov9$4@News.Dal.Ca, Richard Bonner at ak621@chebucto.ns.ca
    > wrote on 1/29/06 8:32 AM:
    > > *** I upgraded from Windows in 1999 (although I always had a DOS
    > > machine, as well) and found *all* functions to be far faster and simpler
    > > than with Windows. Now, it requires the user to rethink his methods, but
    > > once done, he sees how little it takes to get DOS to do a lot of work -
    > > and on much slower computers, to boot. My AMD K6 with DOS can easily run
    > > circles around Windows using a Pentium IV.
    > >
    > > Richard Bonner


    > Would not run circles around Tiger which can boot in less than a minute


    *** Except for the main work system, all my other DOS systems boot in
    about 45 - 55 seconds. Work takes around 80, I think.

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/

  7. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm?

    On Mon, 30 Jan 2006 15:39:39 +0000 (UTC), ak621@chebucto.ns.ca (Richard
    Bonner) wrote:

    > Todd Vargo wrote:
    > > "Richard Bonner" wrote:
    > > > John the Baptist Jr. wrote:
    > > > > I worked at a retail store for 4 years from 1997-2001,2002. During my
    > > > > tenure there all the registers in the chain were using DOS, the
    > > > > receiving system was using Liniux/Unix, and the telezon guns were using
    > > > > DOS. Sadly today walking into any store in the massive chain the
    > > > > registers are using Windows and the Telezon guns are using PocketPC or
    > > > > Palm.
    > > >
    > > > > Once I was given a tour of the new guns. What a sad joke. The DOS
    > > > > based machines were faster, did not require a stylus, and were easier to
    > > > > use once you got the hang of them. The same can be said of the DOS
    > > > > based registers. Are people afraid of keyboards these days?
    > > >
    > > > *** Apparently. The big guns also seem to prefer making customers wait
    > > > as their cashiers plod through menu after menu of one-at-a-time operations
    > > > via point & click. )-: With key input, they can simply enter all the
    > > > keystrokes at once.

    >
    > > That involves lengthy training of propietary systems. The visionaries want
    > > uneducated employees working as soon as they walk through the door these
    > > days (=low wages).

    >
    > *** I hear that! Unfortunately, these companies don't care about the
    > increased wait times for their customers.
    >


    Do you have any proof to support your claims, besides anecdotal
    observation?

    There's a fine line between a consumer waiting too long and too short.
    (What do you think the impulse-buys are there for?)

    Regardless, your posts have been long on emotion; but far short on
    reality. I'm not going to get into a major debate, here in 2006, about
    the merits of DOS. It's too absurd to even contemplate.

    But I will point out that when I went to school I was taught one should
    choose the software that does the job. First. Whatever hardware/OS
    required to run that software is secondary.

    I don't think you can say, with a straight face, that building a "DOS"
    POS application today is wise (depending upon how you interpret POS, of
    course).

    If you claim that what you have today still works--even though it was
    developed in 1988--I would ask exactly how it deals with instant
    centralized inventory handing, Web gateways for buying and checking
    stock online, "member rewards" programs, automated rebate handling,
    VPNs, cash-back debit card handling, employee/costumer fraud detection,
    and on and on...

    All of this in real time--not some middle-of-the-night phone call to
    each location nonsense. (Could you imagine Staples having to do that for
    each and every store--or WalMart ;-)). Today's businesses want answers
    NOW, not the next day--or the day after that.


    >
    > > But hey, with UPC scanners and touch screens showing up
    > > in many places now, they have eliminated the cashier. Now it takes one
    > > employee to monitor several self-serve checkouts.
    > > --
    > > Todd Vargo

    >
    > *** Even checkouts will be a thing of the past soon when all products
    > have electronic identifiers. One need only walk through the exit portal
    > of a store and a scanner will query all products in the basket. It will
    > then debit the shopper's account.
    >


    And I suppose this scenario will be accomplished via 8088 PC XTs with
    640 KB RAM running MS-DOS 3.2 and Netware 2.0, right? All we need to do
    is dig up around 200,000,000 20 MB MFM hard-drives and a good 500,000
    miles of BNC cable and we're good to go!

    Do you see the irony here? The systems being designed today *are*
    simpler to use. You must not remember the days of having to deal with a
    new employee, or gawd-forbid a poorly trained airline reservations
    clerk, banging aimlessly away at keys they knew nothing about; waiting
    for the inevitable "supervisor" to come over and clean up their mess. Or
    the pre-jurassic scanner that either can't read the UPC or it's not in
    the database yet. "Price check on aisle five" anyone? I remember those
    days and they weren't pretty.

    Now systems are being designed so that, in time (well, it's already
    happening), even consumers will be able to operate them. Regardless,
    they are still doing a myriad of things behind the scenes that DOS
    simply cannot handle without massive hacks and kluges galore. If you are
    waiting longer than in the past, I'm willing to bet there are registers
    available to use, but no one is on duty to staff them. It's as simple as
    that: a management decision.

    DOS had its day, and that day is long gone. RIP.


    --
    Mike

  8. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm?

    Tinman wrote:
    > On Mon, 30 Jan 2006 15:39:39 +0000 (UTC), ak621@chebucto.ns.ca (Richard
    > Bonner) wrote:


    > > Todd Vargo wrote:
    > > > "Richard Bonner" wrote:
    > > > > *** The big guns also seem to prefer making customers wait
    > > > > as their cashiers plod through menu after menu of one-at-a-time
    > > > > operations via point & click. )-: With key input, they can
    > > > > simply enter all the keystrokes at once.

    > >
    > > > That involves lengthy training of propietary systems. The
    > > > visionaries want uneducated employees working as soon as they walk
    > > > through the door these days (=low wages).

    > >
    > > *** I hear that! Unfortunately, these companies don't care about the
    > > increased wait times for their customers.


    > Do you have any proof to support your claims, besides anecdotal
    > observation?


    *** Only my personal observations and stories told to me by others.


    > There's a fine line between a consumer waiting too long and too short.
    > (What do you think the impulse-buys are there for?)


    *** Good point.


    > Regardless, your posts have been long on emotion; but far short on
    > reality. I'm not going to get into a major debate, here in 2006, about
    > the merits of DOS. It's too absurd to even contemplate.


    *** Emotion was a big part, I admit, but the reality is that the Windows
    systems we had here caused more work and frustration than the equivalent
    DOS systems. The reality is also that I see office employees working less
    efficiently than they did a decade or more ago.


    > But I will point out that when I went to school I was taught one should
    > choose the software that does the job. First. Whatever hardware/OS
    > required to run that software is secondary.


    *** I agree to a point. If the OS required makes for more work and
    requires constant upgrades/maintenance, then it is not good for the
    business.


    > I don't think you can say, with a straight face, that building a "DOS"
    > POS application today is wise (depending upon how you interpret POS, of
    > course).


    *** It depends on the usage and how much the marketing has brainwashed
    those that buy such systems. I observe computer systems closely
    everywhere. I see many local retailers using DOS-based systems for
    point-of-sale, inventory, and head-office pricing. They seem to work
    fine. I also see Windows-based systems and they seem to work well, but,
    scanner systems aside, they require more tedium from the employees.

    Recently my bank had such a system installed. The tellers don't like it
    because they have few keyboard shortcuts and must mouse around to get what
    they want. Deposits take longer now because before, an experienced teller
    would start entering commands and hit function keys without waiting for
    menus to appear. One can't point & click on a menu that isn't there. Then
    there is the annoying back & forth between the keys and the mouse.


    > If you claim that what you have today still works--even though it was
    > developed in 1988--I would ask exactly how it deals with instant
    > centralized inventory handing, Web gateways for buying and checking
    > stock online, "member rewards" programs, automated rebate handling,
    > VPNs, cash-back debit card handling, employee/costumer fraud detection,
    > and on and on...


    *** Our computer system is not for POS and our company has only one
    branch. We don't retail in the manner of say Zellers or Future Shop.

    Regardless, all except the web gateway and debit were around in that
    era and should be able to be handled. Stores with DOS systems locally seem
    to be able to handle modern requirements. I see function key choices for
    payment methods and for refunds.

    What is "VPN" ?

    As for inventory, the AccPac software we use has available POS and
    inventory modules. We don't currently use them, although our tech at the
    time set them up. However, they were used so little that we dropped them.


    > All of this in real time--not some middle-of-the-night phone call to
    > each location nonsense. (Could you imagine Staples having to do that for
    > each and every store--or WalMart ;-)). Today's businesses want answers
    > NOW, not the next day--or the day after that.


    *** Given that an employee I know who used to work for a grocery chain
    used a DOS system for pricing and inventory from head office, I guess it
    can be done. They also have a Windows machine, but everything came
    through the DOS machine first and then was printed through a separate
    Windows machine. He could not answer why it was done that way.


    > > *** ...checkouts will be a thing of the past soon when all products
    > > have electronic identifiers. One need only walk through the exit portal
    > > of a store and a scanner will query all products in the basket. It will
    > > then debit the shopper's account.


    > And I suppose this scenario will be accomplished via 8088 PC XTs with
    > 640 KB RAM running MS-DOS 3.2 and Netware 2.0, right? All we need to do
    > is dig up around 200,000,000 20 MB MFM hard-drives and a good 500,000
    > miles of BNC cable and we're good to go!


    *** One might say the same thing about Windows 2. No offense, but you
    are living in the DOS past. The latest DOS software is 32-bit and runs in
    protected mode.


    > Do you see the irony here? The systems being designed today *are*
    > simpler to use. You must not remember the days of having to deal with a
    > new employee, or gawd-forbid a poorly trained airline reservations
    > clerk, banging aimlessly away at keys they knew nothing about; waiting
    > for the inevitable "supervisor" to come over and clean up their mess.


    *** ...and that is different today by how? (-:


    > Or
    > the pre-jurassic scanner that either can't read the UPC or it's not in
    > the database yet. "Price check on aisle five" anyone? I remember those
    > days and they weren't pretty.


    *** I remember them too.


    > Now systems are being designed so that, in time (well, it's already
    > happening), even consumers will be able to operate them. Regardless,
    > they are still doing a myriad of things behind the scenes that DOS
    > simply cannot handle without massive hacks and kluges galore. If you are
    > waiting longer than in the past, I'm willing to bet there are registers
    > available to use, but no one is on duty to staff them. It's as simple as
    > that: a management decision.


    *** The number of registers is irrelevant once one gets to one of them.
    Now, auto-scan systems are plenty fast, but they've had those since the
    DOS days, so DOS must have been able to handle them. My point has to do
    with the *interface*. Making employees point at things one a time is
    simply antiquated. Designers can use Windows if they want, but the
    interface needs to be completely keyboard accessible for an non-scanner
    systems, in my opinion.


    > DOS had its day, and that day is long gone. RIP.
    > --
    > Mike


    *** Not at all. DOS lives on in embedded systems.

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/

  9. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to


    "Richard Bonner" wrote in message
    news:drldsm$m9m$6@News.Dal.Ca...
    SNIP


    >> DOS kicks butt!

    >
    > *** I must agree. I can easily run circles, BIG circles, around any GUI
    > operations and prove that every time I give a DOS demo in front of an
    > audience.
    >
    > Richard Bonner
    > http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/


    Not to continue the DOS vs GUI religious wars but the real truth is that
    command line interfaces are very good for some things and GUI interfaces are
    far superior for others. For example, DOS, in it's original form (MS DOS
    that is) was very poor at doing more than one thing at a time. Likewise a
    command line interface is useless for surfing the web. On the other hand
    it's much easier for me to use a GUI to select 4 or 5 pics from my USB
    attached digital camera and drag them over to the folder on my PC.

    Most computing is not limited by the speed of your typing skills and
    therefore your assertion that you can do things faster with a command line
    interface are mostly moot.

    TC



  10. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to

    > Most computing is not limited by the speed of your typing skills and
    > therefore your assertion that you can do things faster with a command line
    > interface are mostly moot.


    I write software for both audiences and can see that a good menu-driven
    design in DOS is as easy to use as the best GUI.

    Tom Lake



  11. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm?

    > Christopher Browne wrote:
    >> > "John W. Kennedy" wrote:
    >> > Whats wrong with old hardware? You need work I know. But ever
    >> > heard the saying "if its not broken, why fix it?"

    >
    >> Old hardware eventually breaks, particularly if it is used
    >> reasonably heavily.

    >
    >> Replacement old hardware is eventually not available anymore, not
    >> at reasonable prices...

    >
    > *** Of course not, they want people to buy their new stuff through
    > planned obsolescence.


    That's an oversimplification, at best.

    With the software I work on, we're not particularly interested in
    trying to maintain "perpetual compatibility"; there is a dynamic that
    it eventually becomes compelling to upgrade, because we don't have
    time to spend fixing old versions. And I don't sell licenses, so the
    argument that it's about "getting people to buy new stuff" is, at
    least in my case, nonsense.
    --
    let name="cbbrowne" and tld="gmail.com" in String.concat "@" [name;tld];;
    http://cbbrowne.com/info/linuxdistributions.html
    "High-level languages are a pretty good indicator that all else is
    seldom equal." - Tim Bradshaw, comp.lang.lisp

  12. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to


    "Tom Lake" wrote in message
    news:OjfcFBhJGHA.1728@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    >> Most computing is not limited by the speed of your typing skills and
    >> therefore your assertion that you can do things faster with a command
    >> line interface are mostly moot.

    >
    > I write software for both audiences and can see that a good menu-driven
    > design in DOS is as easy to use as the best GUI.
    >
    > Tom Lake


    Certainly for certain types of tasks a menu driven or even command line
    interface have their strengths. On the other hand the absolute assertion
    that this is always better than a GUI does not seem true to me. For example,
    a program like PowerPoint would be quite cumbersome with out mouse input to
    handle many of the graphical elements. Some people are overly zealous of
    using a GUI while others insist that command line is the only way. I believe
    there is room for both.

    TC



  13. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to

    > Certainly for certain types of tasks a menu driven or even command line
    > interface have their strengths. On the other hand the absolute assertion
    > that this is always better than a GUI does not seem true to me. For
    > example, a program like PowerPoint would be quite cumbersome with out
    > mouse input to handle many of the graphical elements. Some people are
    > overly zealous of using a GUI while others insist that command line is the
    > only way. I believe there is room for both.


    Exactly! That's why I use both when writing software for my customers.
    DOS can use a mouse, too!

    Tom Lake



  14. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to

    Tony Clark wrote:

    > "Richard Bonner" wrote:
    > > *** I can easily run circles, BIG circles, around any GUI
    > > operations and prove that every time I give a DOS demo in front of an
    > > audience.
    > >
    > > Richard Bonner


    > Not to continue the DOS vs GUI religious wars but the real truth is that
    > command line interfaces are very good for some things and GUI interfaces are
    > far superior for others.


    *** I mistyped and should have said "*most* GUI operations, but I do
    agree wholeheartedly with your statement. I use which ever is best for
    the task.


    > For example, DOS, in its original form (MS DOS
    > that is) was very poor at doing more than one thing at a time.


    *** DOS 4 and DOS multitasking software aside, It generally could not do
    it at all, although some DOS commands and software would allow
    quasi-multitasking of two operations at once. Examples of which I can
    think are background file downloading or printing.


    > Likewise a command line interface is useless for surfing the web.


    *** I am not sure what you mean by that, but text browsers have a good
    amount of keyboard shortcuts built in so one may key around the web. I do
    that for most web surfing because I am looking for information and prefer
    that the eye candy not get in my way. I also like the Lynx browser's
    "numbered links" feature. It allows direct access to any link on a
    given webpage without that link having to be visible.

    For all other web browsing, I utilise Arachne, but use its hefty
    keyboard shortcuts for much there, too. For all else while on line, I use
    a pointer device.

    As for command-line-direct-to-web, one would have to know ahead of time
    what was wanted in order to do that. As an example, one might request that
    a specific file be located and downloaded right from the command line.
    Regardless, your comment on command-line web surfing is valid.


    > On the other hand
    > it's much easier for me to use a GUI to select 4 or 5 pics from my USB
    > attached digital camera and drag them over to the folder on my PC.


    *** Absolutely. I'd do the same if I needed to select photos from a
    gallery. Doing it from the command line would mean having to know the
    file names first. If one does, it's fine, if not, then the pointer is the
    best tool to get the job done.


    > Most computing is not limited by the speed of your typing skills and
    > therefore your assertion that you can do things faster with a command line
    > interface are mostly moot.


    > TC


    *** I must disagree. In fact, I direct a good part of my DOS demos to
    exactly that premise. Typing speed has less to do with it than you might
    think because all the commands I use are very short. What comes into play
    is the fact that the interface overhead can be bypassed and DOS simply
    asks the program to do that program's work directly. This works well if
    the author has included a good selection of command-line switches.

    One example of this method that I demonstrate is for key reprogramming.
    I use ANSIPLUS as my console control. To reprogram a key via the GUI, one
    must locate and fire up ANSIPLUS' "SETAPLUS", navigate to the "Key
    Reassignment" menu, and then answer some questions as to what key and what
    the key is to do. To close, one must save and exit SETAPLUS.

    That takes about 15 - 20 seconds if one knows the menus and required
    keystrokes. However, ANSIPLUS being a well-written DOS program, allows
    the same capability right from the command line. It bypasses the GUI and
    displays the questions at the DOS prompt. A key reassignment only takes 3 -
    5 seconds when the GUI is bypassed.

    I have other similar examples and also some that use keystackers to
    give me direct DOS control within programs, but I won't go into them here.

    The bottom line is that I don't shun the GUI when it's the best tool,
    but for 90 or more percent of my typical computer tasks, I am farther
    ahead using keystrokes than I am using a pointer device. This is best
    exampled with data entry, but even when doing graphic manipulations in
    say, NeoPaint, I point with one hand and enter key shortcuts with the
    other. The menus are still presented on the screen in many cases but I
    never look at them, I simply enter a series of the menu items' underlined
    letters to arrive to where I need to be.

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/

  15. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to

    Tom Lake wrote:
    Someone said:
    > > Most computing is not limited by the speed of your typing skills and
    > > therefore your assertion that you can do things faster with a command line
    > > interface are mostly moot.


    > I write software for both audiences and can see that a good menu-driven
    > design in DOS is as easy to use as the best GUI.


    > Tom Lake


    *** I consider DOS menu-drive applications to be GUI. One need not have
    a GUI operating system to do point & click, nor must one have a TUI
    operating system to do keystroke commanding.

    However in either situation, I feel the best programs are those which
    offer both input types. Further to that, I like GUI programs with plenty
    of command-line switches and capabilities. Too many GUI software authors
    ignore the efficient command line today. )-:

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/

  16. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to

    Tony Clark wrote:

    > "Tom Lake" wrote:
    > >> Most computing is not limited by the speed of your typing skills and
    > >> therefore your assertion that you can do things faster with a command
    > >> line interface are mostly moot.

    > >
    > > I write software for both audiences and can see that a good menu-driven
    > > design in DOS is as easy to use as the best GUI.
    > >
    > > Tom Lake


    > Certainly for certain types of tasks a menu driven or even command line
    > interface have their strengths. On the other hand the absolute assertion
    > that this is always better than a GUI does not seem true to me.


    *** You are correct. I mistyped when I said "*all* GUI operations". The
    TUI is *not* always better than the GUI interface, but my opinion is that
    anywhere there are menus, there can be keyboard shortcuts and direct
    keyboard access. There is nothing I hate worse than having to move my
    pointer away from my work to go to some annoying scroll bar or menu
    icon.

    I liken it to sitting in traffic versus moving to your destination via
    an alternate, speedier route.


    > For example,
    > a program like PowerPoint would be quite cumbersome with out mouse input to
    > handle many of the graphical elements. Some people are overly zealous of
    > using a GUI while others insist that command line is the only way. I believe
    > there is room for both.


    > TC


    *** Thank you. I agree completely.

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/

  17. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm?

    Christopher Browne wrote:
    > > Christopher Browne wrote:
    > >> > "John W. Kennedy" wrote:
    > >> > Whats wrong with old hardware? You need work I know. But ever
    > >> > heard the saying "if its not broken, why fix it?"

    > >
    > >> Old hardware eventually breaks, particularly if it is used
    > >> reasonably heavily.

    > >
    > >> Replacement old hardware is eventually not available anymore, not
    > >> at reasonable prices...

    > >
    > > *** Of course not, they want people to buy their new stuff through
    > > planned obsolescence.


    > That's an oversimplification, at best.


    *** It is, but these days it is often true.


    > With the software I work on, we're not particularly interested in
    > trying to maintain "perpetual compatibility"; there is a dynamic that
    > it eventually becomes compelling to upgrade,


    *** Certainly I can see that. However, constant upgrading with little
    backward thought eventually turns off the customer when it comes at his
    expense. Many people just don't need the features of newer systems and are
    are miffed when they can't keep the systems they have now which worked
    perfectly well for their purposes. They see it as being able to play
    DVDs on a 1950s television but having to get a new computer every third
    year. There's even an ad on Canadian television that makes fun of that.


    > because we don't have time to spend fixing old versions.


    *** If the old versions needed fixing, then perhaps they weren't
    designed properly in the first place. It took Microsoft a decade to get a
    stable Windows version while all along the consumer was paying for them
    to get it right, and with no other manufacturer to which to turn to
    buy Windows.


    > And I don't sell licenses, so the
    > argument that it's about "getting people to buy new stuff" is, at
    > least in my case, nonsense.
    >
    > Christopher Browne


    *** You lost me on that point. How does licensing relate to planned
    obsolescence?

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/

  18. Re: Why are retail companies ditching DOS and moving to PocketPC/Palm?

    Todd Vargo wrote:
    > I laugh when someone says DOS can use keyboard shortcuts but Windows can't
    > or they can type ahead in DOS but not in a Windows system.
    > --
    > Todd Vargo


    *** Given the sadness of it, I don't laugh, but that is the perception
    of much of those whom I run into. I try to get them to use the built-in
    Windows keyboard shortcuts and the menu underlined letters but am rarely
    successful beyond only a few certain ones. (Most seem to like the
    F10 full-screen key in Internet Explorer, though.)

    I also tell them that using the keys means not having to wait for the
    menus to appear, but they have been trained to mouse things one at a time.
    Sigh...

    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/

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