Tam has loaned me her old iPad 2 -- as in clean-slated it and handed it over -- so I "can see what it's like." I have been a Windows/Android user ever since they yanked MS-DOS out from under me and dumped me into a world of colorful, simplified icons.
For those of you who aren't old, or who had successfully avoided computers until they became ubiquitous, to many of us the abandonment of MS-DOS for Windows felt like a step back, or at least a step toward the softly-safe Apple world, where you could do whatever you wanted just as long as you did it Apple's way, with Apple's fully-tested-and-approved software and hardware. If you'd started out with grotty mainframes (the "big machine" my extension campus had timeshare access to was a DECsystem10, sixty miles away in Indianapolis; the smaller, slower one was a PDP-11, or one of the PDP-series, at another campus), moved up to CP/M (the last operating system I was really comfortable with) and nice little Kaypro-II (which -- except for color and fancy graphics -- did more in 64K than modern computers manage with 2 Mb*) and then clawed your way into desktops running MS-DOS, with all the crazy frustration of trying to make the pieces work together and do useful things, the Apple world looked like a coloring book and when Microsoft decided to do the same, it appeared to be a betrayal. Having been hauled into GUIs kicking and screaming, there was no way me or any of my peers were gonna go Apple. Nope, nope, nope.... (Meanwhile, one of the most user-friendly remote-control devices at my workplace ran on touchscreen Macs, and the system ran great right out of the box. Thank you, Michelle Unpronouncable and your coworkers at Troll Technologies!)
And here I am, multiple versions of Windows on, poking at the screen of an iPad. If I can get it to recognize one of my (supposedly) dual-system wireless keyboards, it's going to be interesting to play with. After all, this going from one to the other hasn't done Tam any harm -- and CP/M or MS-DOS isn't staging a comeback, last time I checked.
(But if someone wants to port PerfectWriter for any modern computer? Oh, where do I sign up to support that!)
* PerfectWriter spoiled me for word processors, with easily-implemented standard TEXT/PAGE NUMBER headers or footers, automatic building of tables of contents and footnotes, and a clear set of inline commands -- and it was seamlessly integrated with the database and spellchecker. The awkwardness involved in setting up Word to produce plain, standard-formatted manuscripts never fails to frustrate me -- PerfectWriter did it with a simple command. Q10 is as close as you can get, but lacks much of the dot-command formatting features.
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