Monday, February 07, 2005

A computer dinosaur

I have been in the computer business since 1963. I often feel like a computer dinosaur. Some events really reinforce that feeling.

Last night, during the Super Bowl, I was running one of the monthly jobs I do (for free) for various organizations. This job, the monthly meeting notice for the local Medical Assistants Association, involved printing continous form postcards. As the 88 required cards clanked through my trusty Okidata 320, I had to wonder: how many people out there still have a dot matrix printer? One thing for sure. You can't print continous form postcards on either a laser or an ink-jet printer!

After the cards were printed, I turned them over, ran them back through and printed the addresses. For this I used another dinosaur program, called dBase3. I use this old but reliable program because making Microsoft Access print to a dot matrix printer requires more fiddling around and tweaking drivers than I care to tolerate.

I'll need a new computer soon. This one is getting as flakey as Grandma's pies. The new one will come with an abortion of an operating system called XP, which does not support DOS programs. So I will have to find an old 386 or 486 system that I can plug my printer into so I can do the 3-4 jobs each month that require that printer. Yes, I know I can print address labels on my laser printer, but printing them 2-up on continous form is much less expensive. And, that laser printer will not print postcards.

Isn't progress wonderful?

1 comment:

Carol Paxton said...

My husband has and loves his 486 computer.