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Thread: 1980s productivity software

  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    The exclusion of programming tools in any case to me represents a shift in the way people use computers, which happened during the 1980s. To use a computer without doing any of your own programming is the new way of doing things.
    Didn't this shift happen a little earlier, at least in the "personal computers" world?
    Office software was already available in the late 1970s, mainly for 8-bit microcomputers running CP/M, eg. WordStar (1978) and VisiCalc (1979).
    I'm wondering whether a person purchasing an IBM 5150 in the early 80s was expected to write his own software, or simply use off-the-shelf apps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xacalite View Post
    Didn't this shift happen a little earlier, at least in the "personal computers" world?
    Office software was already available in the late 1970s, mainly for 8-bit microcomputers running CP/M, eg. WordStar (197 and VisiCalc (1979).
    I'm wondering whether a person purchasing an IBM 5150 in the early 80s was expected to write his own software, or simply use off-the-shelf apps?
    Bit of both. Off the shelf applications that would take someone too long to create would be backed up by tiny specialized utilities that the owner would create for themselves. Soon, off the shelf applications added macros and users were customizing software instead of designing new applications.

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    I can't imagine anyone in the early 80s buying any computer that they thought they wouldn't have to program. The possible exception is the games market, but even there, everyone I knew buying a computer for games expected they'd have to do some programming at some point, even though most of them didn't really know what programming was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    Productivity in my way of thinking, at least for subject matter in this thread, comes from the people who used those spreadsheets, words processors, and data bases. As an employer, your are paying your employees to be productive and do a certain job, and those tools certainly made them more accurate and productive.
    Maybe the best way to say it is "office productivity" rather than "business productivity." I won't equate them because I've seen far too many successful businesses that fly by the seat of the owner's pants and have no bookkeeping or any other office personnel or activities. "Offices" seem to be more of a necessity the larger a business is. But even in the largest, they are like a necessary evil, not the bread and butter.

    It's got to be harder these days with Government mandated patriotism, drug testing, and special tax circumstances, but off the top of my head I can still think of at least half a dozen successful businesses with employee numbers in the double digits that don't have any office personnel.

    Once you have an office, in order for it to be productive, then you need office productivity software. Other aspects of a business need those and other kinds of productivity software.

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    Here's another entry: IZE by Persoft. It was one of those in the "personal information management" category, and is very hard to describe: You feed it all of your documents, and then when you search for things, you get the results organized by context. It (and many in this category, such as Inside Track) was the type of software you either loved and got a ton of use out of, or didn't understand how to use it, or even if it could help you.

    If anyone here used and/or understood the "personal information management" software category and got use out of such programs, I'd love to hear it, as well as what programs you used or remember from this category.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - The software "Overhead Express" (doesn't have to be original, can be a copy)
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Documentation and original disks for: Panasonic Sr. Partner, Zenith Z-160 series
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1ST1 View Post
    To dBase you also need to mention the Clipper compiler.

    Already a lot of wordporcessor software has been mentioned, but not DOS and early Windows versions of MS-Word and Excel. Before Excel, there was Micrsoft Multiplan.

    Another popular wordprocessor software was AmiPro,and germany developed Startexter, which is the root ancestor of today's Staroffice / Libreoffice. First versions of Startexter were made even for Commdore 64 and Atari ST.

    I personally loved the Lotus Organizer, that was an early notebook, organizer, diary, calendar, task list, adress book, a kind of swiss army knife in that direction. The notebook even was able to handle graphics and handwrite (without text recognisation). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Lotus_Organizer

    Another popular DTP software for PC was Ventura Publisher, running in it's own GEM environement. Before Windows got popular with version 3.0, there was GEM, with Wordplus, GEM Draw & Paint and another hand full of applications. But the real home of GEM application was the ATARI St computer series, which also had a lot of powerfull productivity software in wordprocessing, calculating, drawing, CAD, DTP, database, accounting, warehouse, etc., at least here in Germany. ST computers even hat a conversion of Wordperfect, MS-Write and some Lotus 1-2-3 compatible spreadsheets. Many of these ST applications outperformed their counterparts on PC, like Calamus DTP and the Adimens/Phoenix database, and ... Signum wordprocessor. Papyrus Author also has itÄs root on ST.

    On early, less powerfull XT and AT peoples used also THE NEWSROOM as a simple kind of DTP, which was specialized on layouts remembering a lot on newspapers. So it was used for company internal magazines, club magazines, etc. https://archive.org/details/a2_Newsr...ware_cr_Ripper Newsroom also existed for Commodore 64, Atari XL, Atari ST and so, so it even was quite well known to home computer users.

    Very popular was Central Point Backup, which was king to make backups of our PC to allmost any kind of tape drives.

    And nobody mentioned Lotus Notes/Domino. That was so dominant in the 1990's and 2000's that peoples did not send emaisl, but they send and recieve a "Lotus Note". And they used the Domino mailserver for databases, which are still very hard to convert to modern databases as it's structure and how it works is very different to them.

    I wrote a program for art and picture frame shops in the 80's using Clipper 86, re-wrote it in Clipper 87, 5, 5.2 & 5.3 added to it for 20+ years and used it to run my business till January 2018. I sold the business and they kept using it because nothing new from a box can do what that custom program did.

    Clipper 5.3 generated programs can even be run in windows 10 64 bit with full function using a program vDosPlus to redirect the printing output to windows. It can also be run in Window 7 32 bit in a window and printing done with NET USE command.

    framer

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