Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living at Onoway, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. During July 2007 - January 2010, and September 2011 - March 2014, I provided part-time support for https://familysearch.org This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I was an assistant director of Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. In recent months I was director of this FHC. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click http://mormon.org/

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Farewell Mr. Jobs

Yes, this is a genealogy blog, but this time I am writing about the genealogy of the computer. I received an AppleII+ many years ago as a prize in a computer programming contest.

I remember using the 512K "Fat Mac" at work in 1985. It was a whole different type of computer. The small gray-scale monitor seemed like a big step backwards from other computers I was using. The keyboard was terrible (bouncy and totally lacking some keys, including cursor keys ), but the graphical interface and the copy and paste function were brilliant! And the bundled software included Mac Write with its multiple scalable fonts. What you saw on the screen was really what you got! You could create high quality wedding invitations right on your computer.

I liked the fact that the Mac eliminated the cryptic text commands, the menus that differed from one program to another, and the need to have a separate printer driver for every piece of software.

I continued to own an IBM and other computers over the following years, and watched as one-by-one they copied the Macintosh user interface. The much quoted line "Windows 95 is just Macintosh 84!" was very true of the user interface. Microsoft stumbled through 3 versions of Windows before on the 4th try they had finally copied the Macintosh sufficiently to have a user-friendly interface. By this time the Mac itself had a world class keyboard, color monitor, sound, and a wide range of software. I also remember using a Mac IIFX at work with a 21" monitor at a time when a 12" or 14" monitor was still standard on most other computers. Like most computers, newer Macs keep getting better and better.

Thank you Mr. Jobs, for making the computer an "appliance" that anyone can use!


DISCLAIMER: I am a satisfied Windows user, but let the credit go the one who deserves it.

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