Thursday, June 21, 2007

Do you remember DOS?

Have you taken a peek at the computers used, not sold at Fry's Electronics, CompUSA, or Micro Center?

Next time shop there, walk up to the customer service department and check out the inventory system that they use to look up something or process returned merchandise.

At the three retail electronics stores mentioned above in my neck of woods, I saw workers use antiquated DOS based inventory systems on black and white screens.

If you know what DOS is, you are better off keeping your mouth shut unless you don't mind showing your age. Let's just say that the last time I actively used DOS based software applications was back when George Bush Sr. was president and most Americans had not heard of Bill Clinton and before Microsoft became a household name.

The Internet? Are you kidding me? I was blown away by FAX.

Many who work at these stores are barely out of high school, and these kids who have to deal with these out dated programs were either being born or barely out of diapers back then.

And here is the delicious irony if you haven't picked up on it. These retailers' sole mission is to get you to spend your hard earned dollars on the latest and greatest of modern technology, but yet they seem to be doing fine with their Stone Age tools. Hmmm...

This reminds me of the guy who ran the weight loss clinic next to the health club I used to work out at. Here was a guy making a living out of advising people on how to lose weight and get into shape, but yet I bet you he never turned down a box of donuts in his life. Or the family therapist I heard about. His own marriage was on the rocks. He was on his third.


Speaking of weight loss, I just picked up a new client. No, I am not a weight loss coach. I will be doing contract programming for a company that runs weight loss clinics all over Southern California.

The client gave me a copy of their flagship book called Lean For Life for me to read and learn about the weigh loss programs which I need to be familiar with for the software project. The cover features the company's slogans along with a picture of the CEO who I must say is very attractive.

I've been carrying around the book almost everywhere. When I visit my other clients, I place the book prominently on the desk for maximum visibility. I may even take it along with my Bible to church.

'Oh, David. What are you doing with a book about weight loss? You don't need it. You are so fine.'

Nobody has ever said anything like that to me so far. I don't get it.

People, I AM NOT FAT. Seriously.


At June 22, 2007 6:30 AM, Blogger Layla (aka Barbara) said...


1. Yes, I remember DOS and am not ashamed to admit it, but it is depressing to admit.

2. No you are not fat. Don't tell your client this but the best way to GAIN weight is to go on one of those DIETS. Lifestyle change is the only way to lose weight and KEEP IT OFF. (I am yelling because I have finally learned this lesson - it took me years).

3. To prove you are not fat may I suggest (request?) that you put your photo back up here. I miss your mug.

At June 22, 2007 7:22 AM, Blogger Mike Y said...

Too funny about the fat bit. Good luck with the new contract.

I totally remember DOS. In fact, I still use it considerably, write scripts for it, move files via it, etc. I'm a Linux and CLI nut, so I prefer it over point-and-click.

In fact, I even make extensive use of Free DOS these days.

At June 22, 2007 1:12 PM, Blogger Friar Tuck said...

I have noticed this contrast too, only not knowing that much computers these days, I am surprised at the number of places that stillused dot matrix printers

At June 22, 2007 3:35 PM, Blogger Magneto said...

Remember DOS? I still write code to run on DOS! Heck, I remember looking forward to new versions of DOS, waaay back in the day. That was when I was sneaker netting games on 5 1/4 floppies at school with my friends.

At June 23, 2007 12:44 AM, Blogger Granny said...

I learned with DOS (sort of) and had the worst time switching over to Windows.

At June 23, 2007 12:01 PM, Blogger Layla (aka Barbara) said...

I tagged you

At June 24, 2007 6:31 PM, Blogger Just Rannin' Around said...

With my head held high, I admit that I learned with the blank, black screeen and orange type. Not only that but I proudly scream from the rooftops that I played the Atari!

At June 24, 2007 6:35 PM, Blogger Julie said...

I remember DOS. I also remember when scanners first came out and I was completely amazed by the grainy little images that it could recreate.

I also remember an article in Time or something talking about the amazing fax machine.

I still use DOS on our old 486 every once in a while. For fun. When I play old games like Kings Quest and such.

At June 24, 2007 10:56 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

So it is not uncool to admit to having used DOS.

Thank you all. I work with "kids" and this one girl who is fresh out of college had never seen a typewriter before. Now that made me feel old.

At June 24, 2007 10:58 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

Julie, you still have your 486 machine? That was my first PC after I was forced to switch from Mac. I think it was around 95.

At June 25, 2007 9:16 PM, Blogger San Nakji said...

I really had little experience with DOS. From Apple IIe, Mac Classic, BBC Micro and then straight on to Windows 95... Should I feel young?

At June 26, 2007 8:34 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Actually...the 486 was a 386 but got an upgrade. It's a huge Gateway computer, back from around 1990 or 1991, when they weren't verticle towers. Windows 3.1 or something? The word processor on it is Ami Professional or some such name.

Regarding typewriters, that's how I learned to type. Electric, yes. Daisy wheel. The school actually had a typing room, which is where we learned to...type. Now kids learn "keyboarding." I love the sound of a typewriter.

At June 26, 2007 10:10 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

Typewriters are LOUD. This guy next to me used a typewriter to type up forms and that drove me UP THE WALL!!! Man, you are weird, Julie.

At June 27, 2007 5:49 AM, Blogger Julie said...

Makes me think of an SNL skit where they were aping Walter Cronkite and he finally snaps with all the typing sounds in the background and says something about "would you stop with all that clickety-clackety!" -- I think the clickety-clackety is nice.

At June 27, 2007 9:01 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

Now that you mentioned it (No, I don't think I remember that SNL skit. But I have not seen SNL regularly since Dana Carvey and Mike Myers left), I am reminded of "All the President's Men." The typewriters were really distracting, and I could not pay attention to the plot at hand.

I am so glad that by the time I entered the workforce, typewriters were on their way out. There was only one on my floor and I happened to sit right next to the guy who used it.

At July 02, 2007 4:32 PM, Blogger rubyslipperlady said...

I won an ATARI selling spices when I was in grade school. Bought one of the new ones with the games built in for my sister a couple of Christmas's ago. yippee!


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