Author Topic: Legacy and state-of-the art technology  (Read 11963 times)

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Offline Frederick J. Harris

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2012, 04:33:32 PM »
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I couldn't see how the new API are bloated.

When I said that I was thinking more of things like Office, Visual Studio, etc.

You know, the more I think about such terms as 'deprecated', 'legacy', 'vintage', etc, the more I'm inclined to think that all that matters to me anymore is whether it works or not, and that's a simple 'yes'/'no'.

Does DOS work with 32 bit Win 7?

Yes.


Does DOS work with 64 bit Win 7?

No.

Does PowerBASIC work with Windows 8?

Yes.


KISS principal revisited.

Offline Frederick J. Harris

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2012, 04:54:28 PM »
So I guess we all have our roots in DOS.  Here where I work its still very much with us.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say issues related to it are pretty much the focal point of a lot of my difficulties.

About 14 years ago I computerized all our extensive field data (and I mean field, forest, etc.) acquisition activities with DOS data collector programs.  That pretty much revolutionalized our systems.  About 5 years ago we were no longer able to purchase the DOS data recorders upon which my programs ran.  From before that time though I created Windows CE programs to replace the DOS programs.  However, the field folks like the DOS programs so much they just about won't use the Windows CE programs, which I feel are just as good if not better.  At this point our fleet of DOS data recorders is getting really old, and are beginning to fail.  Rather than learning to use the Windows CE programs on the newer data recorders, the folks have been spending all kinds of money for repairs to keep the old DOS data recorders going.  Just the other day I saw a bill for around US $4500 to repair 4 old data recorders!

Then about a year and a half ago our supplier of Data recorders (Juniper Systems of Utah - www.junipersys.com) decided to stop manufacturing the Windows CE units I had written the programs for, and had turned to Windows Mobile.  I hate Windows Mobile with a passion!  Windows CE is a really neat operating system, and Windows Mobile is a badly hacked screwed up version of Windows CE. 

Everything is up in the air around here now.  We're looking for new devices to collect our field data.  Some of the folks in the central office want to go to tablet PCs running full Windows instead of Windows CE.  However, those devices seldom have real keypads, and battery life isn't so good, or so I hear.  Plus they are bigger and heavier than the nice small compact units we have been using.   

Christopher Boss

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2012, 05:47:18 PM »
I have a long time customer from the my days of custom programming which has a machine shop (manufacturing of custom parts for machines) and I created a DOS apps which handles job estimating, job tracking, invoices and shipping. Eventually I created a 16 bit Windows version using VB 2.0 and later made a 32 bit version using VB 5.0 Pro.

They really liked the DOS version and some prefered it over the windows version. I made both so they could be used together, some using a DOS version and others a Windows version. The software was networked using a proprietary "mirror imaging" database engine, so multiple servers could be used and if one failed it could be removed and the system still kept going.

When I created the Windows version using VB, I knew that a Windows UI just would not cut it. Instead I used some "tricks" to emulate the DOS version so other than menus and a few icons, the primary UI emulated the DOS version quite closely. I used tricks like using dozens of static controls to simulate a DOS screen, using the Terminal Font so the text was fixed width and looked like the DOS screen. I even was able to impliment scrollable screens like I did with the DOS app (that was written in assembler for the DOS app) and the keyboard input was the same (ie. press enter to move from field to field). I even simulated a DOS cursor.

Now the Windows version was not a console app, but a real Windows GUI app, which simply emulated DOS like screens. Yet it could also have things like screen icons for better mouse support, etc.

What is important is not what technology is used, but the user experience. I rarely had to write manuals for my custom software because they were so easy to use and just because I was porting to Windows did not mean that should change.

In some ways Metro in Windows 8 is going back to the DOS days in being full screen and not have any of the "chrome" (window borders, etc.) we are used to with Windows GUI apps.

Offline Frederick J. Harris

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2012, 08:03:40 PM »
That's really interesting Chris!  I see you know the issues very well.   

The really tricky part for me with my programs was that I had 'optimized' the typical [ENTER] key navigation away, and data entry was in a grid type format with rows and columns.  Of course, back in the DOS world I don't believe we called them grids - at least for me, that terminology came with Windows.  So the data is all fixed width, and the cursor jumps to the next field automatically after the required number of keystrokes for each field - usually two or three.  And after each record an auto-counter increments and a new row starts - all automatically.  That wasn't overly hard to accomplish in DOS, but was totally brutal in Windows. 

I sometimes get the impression that some folks haven't faced these issues, and when one mentions that DOS is in some ways and for some things superior to Windows (or any GUI OS) one is treated with condemnation to the effect that one can't adopt to change, one is stuck in the past, so on and so forth.   I think that new is usually better - but not always.

 


Offline Theo Gottwald

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2012, 09:10:35 PM »
Thats a general problem, Frederick.
Intel and Microsoft are large shareholder driven companies.

As such they work different then companies that are driven by a "boss owning a comapny with his family in the 4 th generation".

A shareholder drivne comapny has a sold-driven boss who is only there for a limited time.
Whats before or after that time is "not his bussiness".

What counts is the money he makes while he is there, It's the qucik money.
Not the long-term bussiness.

And this is the underlying fact why you can never plug in a CPU from last generation into anewer mainboard.
And why allst uff must be as incompatible as possible, so you are forced to buy as much stuff as possible new each time you upgrade.

PowerBasic can still compile the oldest PowerBasic programs.
While this is of course not the case with VB.NET - and i am quite sure that even the VB.NET programs will be invalid soon and replaced by new paradigms, needing new education, new programs and new services from MS.

While i can still compiule my oldest PB-Source codes with jjust a few changes.

The biggest problem arises in data-migration.
When the CD, DVD, Blue-Ray ... will be replaced with quite new devices, that can not read the old formats anymore. Then we'll just burn a good part of our people's data and histroy in the fire of comemrcial progress.

Many of us may still have interesting games, programs and otehr stuff for old devices or on floppies that will not make it into the future. THats the problem of data-migration.

Atlantis died  in the Water.
Lemuria was eaten by the volcanic fire.
Will our civilization be taken away by the air or will we remove all reminders to our civilization ourself by "data-migration"  :o :o



Offline Patrice Terrier

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2012, 09:22:45 AM »
Comparing vertical and horizontal markets is inappropriate.

By the way Chris, you seems to be very concerned by Metro, and my opinion is that it will be probably the next Microsoft's fiasco.
Whithout the usual desktop, most users will get lost, a PC is not a tablet and vice et versa.

...


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Christopher Boss

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2012, 03:44:23 PM »
While there are some issues with Metro IMO, so far it appears pretty nice on a tablet.

I have Windows 8 Consumer Preview installed on an ExoPC tablet and it does make a difference for tablets.

The app store is really nice and the sandbox environment should be a lot safer.


Offline Theo Gottwald

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2012, 05:16:06 PM »
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Whithout the usual desktop, most users will get lost, a PC is not a tablet and vice et versa.

Patrice, go to YOUTUBE and type "MWC 2012 Keynote Windows 8".
There is Video >1 hr showing you all the new bells and whistles of windows 8.

And of course the desktop is still there as before. Don't worry.

They have just painted a lot of new black dots on the bug's backside.
But it has still 6 legs and they are still too short.

The good thing about is that it will boot rather fast now.
And as a talented programmer you can start now making Apps for the windows 8 App-Store.

Don't take that easy, that sounds like an interesting bussiness, definiteily more interesting (from financial standpoint) then making Add-Ons for PB-Users.

Consumer Preview Windows 8
« Last Edit: March 02, 2012, 05:29:38 PM by Theo Gottwald »

Offline Frederick J. Harris

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2012, 07:35:53 PM »
The app store idea sounds good to me to Theo.  Might be a way to earn some dollars/marks whatever it is one needs to live! :)

You know, given the desire of nearly everyone involved in the whole grand plot to make everything become obsolete as fast as possible, its just beginning to give me the feeling of total futility.  A carpenter or bricklayer or engineer  tries to make things to last, perhaps for hundreds of years.  Everything we create is useless after a short few years.

Offline Theo Gottwald

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2012, 07:51:14 PM »
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  A carpenter or bricklayer or engineer  tries to make things to last,

That was the case in old Germany until 1944, that things have been calculated and built for 1000 years.

After that date, things changed. Today we bult for the next 20 years.
And this is not true for computer software!

With some luck its true for houses.

The best thing fror the building company is, if these new buldings collapse after exactly 20 years from themselves.
And then directly from perfect state into dust. Thats how they are built and how they are calculated.

Even prisons where you might thing that they should be solid.
And i know a lot of examples.

These time any thing that is made has a "Living time" that is planned directly when its designed.
It should not live any longer because this would destroy its market, and would also make its destruction uneeded difficult..

Even in cars, a lot of parts are just in a way designed that they fail after a specified amount of time and usage.
While it would not be much more cheap to have much better parts, companies do not want that because they earn  a clearly calculated amount of money with spare parts.

We are not living in times of "anything built forever". These times are gone.
Large companies do not calculate like this. Maybe thats one of the reasons why they got large?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 07:56:41 PM by Theo Gottwald »

Offline Frederick J. Harris

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2012, 01:44:23 AM »
I guess I'm gonna become a sculpter!  ;D

Offline Theo Gottwald

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Re: Legacy and state-of-the art technology
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2012, 07:57:44 AM »
Most sculpts from before 1945 have been destroyed here after the war.
And if times change, be sure, the actual sculpts will be destroyed  :-X

If you want to leave something that will persist, you open a .... school and educate children and teachers.
Living things have the longest persistence.