Morton Fox (mortonfox) wrote,
Morton Fox

The IT/sandwich connection

Thin Ice

After running some errands in Ramsey this afternoon, I went to Subway on Main St because I had one of those buy a 6" sub, get a 6" sub free coupons. (which just ends up being a discounted footlong if I don't pick two different subs) I've never been to this particular Subway restaurant even though it is right in the middle of town because on every trip to downtown Ramsey, I've had a Quiznos coupon. The guy behind the counter was quite a chatty fellow. I found out that he used to work in software development/support in the building across the intersection from my workplace. When that company went belly-up, he lost his job and went into the sandwich business. Okay, this is quite a coincidence. As you may recall, the manager of Quiznos just down the street from Subway also came from a IT career background. So that means there are two IT refugees who now run sandwich restaurants on the same street in the same town! Is this the eventual fate of everyone in IT around here? I want to eat sandwiches, not make them! :)

Incidentally, like Quiznos, this Subway restaurant is also within range of a wireless network. It could be that the whole of Main St in Ramsey is covered by unsecured wireless networks. A lovely little networked town.

Last year, there was that whole brouhaha over the new rules in the Flickr views groups. Actually, it was mostly my brouhaha but at that time, I objected to the changes and pointed out that it wasn't a good idea to make up rules that can't be enforced in software because who's going to have time to do the enforcing? Well, fast forward two months later to yesterday. I got a note from a group member saying that the forum threads had been neglected and there was stuff in there that didn't belong and hadn't been cleared out for weeks! Okay, so what happened to the people who made those rules, whom I thought would be the ones enforcing those rules? Like it or not, looks like I'm the one who has to do it after all. I think if I'm the only one still admining the groups, at some point, I'll propose changing the rules back to a minimal set that can be enforced by Perl script. That's really the only way to take care of the groups and still have time to process and post my own photos.

Thanks to one of the commenters on this topic at Lifehacker, I got a link to a free download of Word 5.5 for DOS! So I installed it to give it a go...

Word 5.5 Screenshot

Notice the text-mode shadow effect below the Preferences dialog. Ooh. :)

I don't remember using Word with this particular interface though. I probably stopped at Word 5.0 or Word 4.0 before Microsoft switched over to this text-mode pseudo-GUI interface. Now that I think about it, back then, I might have ditched Word completely in favor of XyWrite, which ran much faster on the 16MHz 386 computer I had back then. (By the way, it appears that you can also download a semi-working copy of XyWrite from Not that I remember how to use it any more.)

Anyway, this working copy of Word 5.5 for DOS brought back some memories. The installer actually wanted to modify config.sys and install "updated mouse drivers". I don't think that will accomplish anything on Windows XP, but of course I didn't let it do that. Once I got Word 5.5 up and running, I noticed that it has a VGA-resolution (remember VGA? :) ) Print Preview feature that works (Well, almost... The graphical pulldown menu doesn't render properly.) when the DOS window is in full-screen mode. A graphical Print Preview was likely one of the selling points for a mostly text-mode word processor back in the day and we now take it for granted. How things have changed!
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