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LinuxToday.com.au: Fixing The Broken Software Market

May 25, 2000, 12:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by BillBennett)

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"It was back in 1994 when I first realised the software industry was badly broken. Then, like now, I was running my own writing business. I owned and used a number of computers, but my favourite working system was a trusty aging Zenith notebook with just 20Mb of hard disc and an 8086 processor."

"That Zenith might have been underpowered, but in those days it was the most portable machine in my stable and as any journalist will tell you, portability is better than grunt. What's more, it had a solid metal case and could cope with heavy keyboard pounding - a legacy of my typewriter era training. And because I did everything (including dreaming) in Word Perfect 5.1 there were no performance issues. Indeed, I had written my own powerful suite of macros to speed things up."

"At the time my major client, a newspaper, installed a new system based on Microsoft technology and lo the edict came down on tablets of stone that henceforth I had to submit my stories in Microsoft Word format. So I did the right thing, put my Zenith in the cupboard, spent up big on a new PC - just one generation behind the current flagship model - and installed Word 2.something. I wasn't overjoyed, but it all worked OK and the newspaper kept sending those cheques."

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