Sunday, March 11, 2012
Past misadventures when volunteering to do NGO's homework on old computers
I recall purchasing an Everex laptop in 1992. MS-DOS only, with Windows 3.1 optional, and Wordperfect. Then at the end of 1993 I picked up an IBM PS-1 desktop, and it still was common to use the DOS prompt for many applications, including dBase-IV. I wound up with Ashton-Tate’s product on both machines in that old Arlington high-rise apartment. I remember the days well.
I didn’t start using email until August 1994, after returning from a trip where I had decided to write my book. I remember then that we had two kinds of services with proprietary content, AOL, and Prodigy. They had both been pre-installed. At 2.4 baud, they were both slow. But it was from the old AOL that I found out, in 1995, when I got home from work, about the OKC attack.
Previously, on an AST computer purchased at the end of 1988, I had played with Microrim’s RBase, because it was the first to have SQL. I tried doing my income taxes in the early 1990s by writing my own C program.
I tried to get PC experience then also by volunteering. For a social organization in DC, I did the mailing list on dBadeIV. Finally, in May 1994, I got a complaint about returned mail. I stopped. But I checked what I had entered against the envelope stubs I had been given. As far as I could tell, I had entered the addresses correctly.
I was told that my involvement with the group wouldn’t be effective unless I spent even more time with it. I’ve been told that my more than one non-profit. “They” want to monopolize your time.