Over the years I worked with-or for- two organisations that had among their mission statements a reference to “Future Proofing”.
Every iteration of their product line or new product introduction carried a promise, (spoken or implied) of “Future Proofing”.
Somehow the businesses would be able to have sufficient flexibility that they would be able to handle any changes that come down the pipeline.
However, like wooden wagon wheels, both organisations have long since disappeared from the market place and their products are no longer available on the shelves. So much for “Future Proofing”.
Actually as I look back over it there have been a long list of products that I’ve used that are no longer extant.
Who remembers WordStar. and using ^control key formatting. (Don’t all put your hands up!)
WordPefect anyone? (I know that Corel still have a version, but do you know anyone using it?)
Ahh, Lotus 123 So long old friend. (I used to train Lotus 123, mind I’m not an accountant) And while we are are on spreading sheets, how about VisiCalc on the Mac?
Two more and we’re done. Aldus PageMaker (not the Adobe version please). And its PC equivalent Ventura. Ahh, the agony.
Yet at the time, Pagemaker in particular sold more macs in Universities than any other program.
Something quite interesting in using Aldo Manuzio and his friend Griffo, ( everybody should have a friend named “Griffo”, very, well ‘ Stralian maaate’.
Aldo had his own future proofing logo which meant “Make haste slowly”.
What brought all this trip down memory lane on?
I’ve spent this week working through the camera cupboard and looking at hardware I’m never going to use again.
The Nikon 1 system. And don’t think I didn’t put in some effort to make it work for us. There are several blog pages on this site that tell the history of our association with the small camera and its beautiful lenses. But, it wasn’t Future Proof.
EE has taken delivery of a sparkling new iMac to replace the older Mac Mini that has served her well many years. The Mini will go the way of wagon wheels as there is only so much bench space.
A bunch of small lenses, including a wide angle we used for car interiors, they are now in the last box before the door in the garage. Along with some flash units, and more coloured filters and paraphernalia of similar used-but no longer used-vintage and we’d all blush if I mentioned how many camera bags are now on the short list too.
Lockdown, has highlighted how “Future Proofing” is as fragile as fine dew on a leaf in the morning.
So no future predictions here. The Doona Hermit is taking just one day at a time.
I’ve also been a bit remiss of the past weeks for not publishing any bird related posts. Usually have relied on reporting recent trips. So I’ll take a wander through some of the older files and see if I can patch together some related images this coming week.
In the meantime Stay Safe, Stay Well and Stay Creative.
Besties to all my fellow lockdowns,
From the Global Headquarters of the Doona Hermit.
10 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #95: Future Proofing”
Future proofing is an interesting concept, particularly in a world where everything must be improved at all costs, even if the ‘improvements’ are a step sideways or in some cases backwards. The only thing that I can think of as future proof is the Class “A” valve audio amplifier. No one has been able to better it. I could go into why but that is not for here.
I, too, have been evaluating the kit that hasn’t been used in some time and pondering its future. The question that must be answered in each case ‘will it be like those crazy 5/8 27 bolts I had in the shed (for around 20 years)”, I turfed them a couple of years ago and subsequently needed them a couple of months later.
Seems the trend in the numbers is pointing south again, gives some hope. In the meantime we do what is needed (and hope for some more exciting birds in the garden)
Perhaps I should look at some images and do something creative with them in the edit suite, not something I enjoy!
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Ha! You know those 5/8 27 bolts. When we relocated out to Tarneit over 6 years ago, the downsizing meant so many things didn’t come. Some I don’t miss, spare Mini Cooper gearbox pieces, a well tuned Weber carb. However some other things were tossed. As in, “Oh, I’ll never use those again, glad to get rid of them.” In the other box was all the important things that, well, I just couldn’t live without. Much of which it seems as I’ve been cleaning out the garage and those unopened boxes from the wardrobe, I’ve never used, nor am I likely to. But.
There is quite a bit of the ‘glad to get rid of’ that I’ve had to go out and buy or borrow. How silly to order a book online from a local bookshop, and hope that it doesn’t have my name and address on the inside. 🙂
I’m not so much worried about the numbers going down, as the high number of cockwombles who are being reported in the police numbers each day. Over 200 most days. And let’s not forget the nuffnuff who has been picked up 9 times. !!!!!!
I’m not charging up the batteries any time soon.
Indeed, and sadly some of those are birders that are out doing the wrong thing! Frustrating!
I do remember Word Perfect, which I used back when I was working last century. A much better system than Word I seem to remember.
As for knowing what the future holds, way back in history, my other half did his Electrical Engineering degree part-time while working full time. He had only a couple more subjects to go when he was sent interstate for a year by his employer. When he came back, he found the course had changed and he had to do a unit on transistors. All new-fangled stuff (this WAS a long time ago) and he wasn’t really interested, so just scraped through that one. After completing the unit, he dumped the textbooks in the bin and said words to the effect that they wouldn’t come to anything. A few years later he realised he should maybe rethink his intent to work long term as an Electrical Engineer, and moved on to other things!
Lovely Little Lorikeet. It no doubt doesn’t think about the future, but just gets on with life one day at a time, living in the present. Humans should do a bit more of that I think.
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Hello Eleanor, thanks for sharing the story. It is somewhat a well told tale, I think. I worked for a guy for a number of years who had several degrees in accounting, but ended up working in Marketing, (the two disciplines are at complete odds with one another), and was a highly successful, and lasting operator. I’ve a Filipino friend who is a highly qualified veterinarian, ran major research projects at home. When he came to Australia, the quals weren’t recognised and he would have had to do several years uni to gain the accepted standard. He used to laugh that one of his text books might be the class text. 🙂
I personally resisted the move to “Word” and stuck with WordPerfect as my major writing tool until I returned to study and the institutions were using .docx as the accepted standard. I now just use Pages on the mac.
I’m not sure where my current foray into future proofing is really going. I think its a bit of a euphemism for “Throwing Stuff Out Gracefully” 🙂
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And not just software but hardware as well. (And yes I am a former Wordstar user!). How many people have backups on media that is not supported any more? And how many people actually ever try to read their backups? No medium lasts for ever – not even DVDs – so worth reading them and copying to a new one every few years.
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Don’t have a spare Syqeust Tape Drive do you? I’ve a couple of tapes out in the junk box.
You’re certainly right. I’ve quite a few 80gb, 160gb, 500gb drives that hold much of my work from around 2003-06 or there abouts. my current logic will be to use Backblaze or Carbonite for less than the cost of suitable harddrive/NAS system, it sort of sells itself. (Future Proofing Not withstanding. 🙂
I once had a collection of CD/DVD backups that took me many hours to keep backed up and duplicated. They are gone.
I worked with a photographer in around 2002-3, and he didn’t keep backups of anything. Did the job. Sent it out. Deleted the images. Logic, he figured it cheaper to reshoot the job if needed than bother maintaining a catalogue (he did mostly product and corporate).
Ahh WordStar. Didn’t we feel so cutting edge. 🙂
Thanks for the thoughts.
Interesting David how as time goes on everything seems to be accelerating in pace and development. With it is an acceleration of products becoming obsolete. Continual need for new software, new devices, new models, upgrades etc and it all costs money. The most frustrating thing for me at present is how WordPress like many websites being serviced and maintained by young twenty somethings who are pushed to become more innovative, which means you have to change things regularly to make it appear progress is being made, even if it is not a true improvement, but causes confusion and dismay to older users, less technologically intuitive than their age group. There often is no warning or adequate information.
I do hope you are able to find enough to keep you occupied. The Covid has allowed you and many of us to clean out and renovate etc which is a good thing.
Hold in their my friend, stay safe and warm under the doona, this big bad world outside just gets scarier every day 🙂
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Hi Ashley, good call I’d forgotten the WordPress changes that really don’t do much for me. It has gotten to the point of oversimplification and makes everything so much harder to do.
The original set up of WordPress was text oriented, because it was a blog. Now it has to have all the bells and whistles to keep the short-attention span, lack of content people amused.
I tried for days to make sense of ‘gutenberg’, mostly I was annoyed that it had taken that great name and tradition and made it a bubble of boxes, disjointed headings and inserts, on a ‘blank canvas’, when all I want to do is enter some text and put up some pictures.
There. feel better now. 🙂
One of my discoveries during the period, is that I have let some of the old photo gear languish and now really don’t have much use or call for it.
I think its just easier to procure new stuff and the same with my photo library, I’ve been more interested in adding new, or at least taking the new, and the management has become fairly blasé for me.
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