3.1020 ideal workstations (85)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Thu, 8 Feb 90 21:28:49 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 1020. Thursday, 8 Feb 1990.

(1) Date: 07 Feb 90 21:45:43 EST (33 lines)
From: George Aichele <73760.1176@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Workstations

(2) Date: Thu, 8 Feb 90 20:12:13 EST (44 lines)
From: Geoffrey Rockwell <Geoffrey_Rockwell@poczta.utcs.utoronto.ca>
Subject: 3.1019 ideal workstation, M-I

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 07 Feb 90 21:45:43 EST
From: George Aichele <73760.1176@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Workstations

I support the views of both A.Gilmartin and A.C.Lee (or was it J.
Allegrezza?) re computer workstations for scholars. And I'm glad to
hear that someone else is using a micro other than a Mac or IBM-type.
But C.Faulhaber makes an important point: incompatibility seriously
limits every computer, and users of the minority types necessarily
bear the worst of it. Text/data exchange between different computers
is readily achieved via modem, but more work needs to be done on the
problem of program compatibility. I recently learned that WordPerfect
documents can be transferred by modem to a different type of computer
without loss of wordprocessing codes, provided the receiving machine
also runs WordPerfect--I'm not sure that this will work for every
possible combination of computers or editions of the program, however.
Also, by adding presently-available hardware to my Apple IIGS (which,
like the Amiga, is an odd duck in higher education), I can run almost
any PC application on it--but not MacIntosh or Commodore or Atari
programs. (The hardware isn't cheap, but it's cheaper than buying
another computer!) Are these cases unique, or are there other
possibilities for compatibility out there?

The question is not merely theoretical--I'm presently part of a group
writing/editing project which, among its various members, is using
three different types of microcomputer, plus assorted mainframes. I'm
sure we're not alone.

George Aichele

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------55----
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 90 20:12:13 EST
From: Geoffrey Rockwell <Geoffrey_Rockwell@poczta.utcs.utoronto.ca>
Subject: 3.1019 ideal workstation, M-I

Here are some of the things I would like to see in a working station:
1) The ability to handle video with the ease we can handle text. That
would mean being able to save and play TV quality video in real time.
(Waiting for a file to load is "fake time.") That would probably mean
compression hardware and large removable storage devices. Why video?
For one thing, it would mean one doesn't have to "animate" things are
best recorded with a video camera. For another, the same hardware could
store large amounts of pictures - one could keep thousands of images and
sounds. One could also cut down on the number of storage devices kept
around the house (VCR, Record Player, Tape Deck, Hard Drive, Floppy, and
CD.) The computer could manage a single storage system for all the
different types of information we like to keep. 2) I would like
hypertextual tools to be built into the system so that they are
available to any well behaved program. All the hypertext systems I've
seen so far work only with files they create. If the hypertextual tools
were part of the distributed system software, developers could give you
links with little additional work. I could be in my word-processor and
create a link to a another file that is maintained by the operating
system. The interface to the operating system would also display the
links and let one browse them. The publish feature promised in system 7
of the Mac OS promises less than this. 3) Above all, I appreciate
portability. I have a Mac II at home and a T1000 laptop. Guess which
one I use the most. The laptop is where I want it when I want it. It
goes to the library with me and leaves room in my briefcase for a book
or two.

Geoffrey Rockwell