[vcf-midatlantic] micros in business (was early recollections, apple /// cobol)

Corey Little curator at cpmuseum.com
Fri Nov 24 23:02:45 EST 2017

I had a few hands on experiences with PC's in the workplace that pre-date
the IBM PC.  While in high school (1979-81 timeframe) I had two part time
after school and weekend computer programming jobs, one at a lumbar yard,
and the other at a small specialty auto parts store.  (Shelby Cobra parts.)

At the lumbar yard I worked on a TRS-80 Model 1 they had, refining and
extending custom programs written in BASIC that calculated load bearing
capacities for different types and lengths of roof trusses, which that
company then assembled and delivered as pre-built units.  At the auto parts
store I developed a custom database for managing the parts inventory using
VisiFile, another product from VisiCalc creator VisiCorp, on an Apple ][+.

Not a "consumer" micro, but right out of high school (1981) I went to work
for a local CADO Systems reseller.  CADO Systems was a company located in
Torrance California, that had been producing a successful micro (8080/8085)
based business system since 1976 capable of supporting up to 4 users in a
fully multitasking environment, running various accounting packages similar
to what IBM was selling on their System/36, but running on a single 808x CPU
with 16K of RAM, for 1/10th the cost.  I ended up working at that company
for the next 11 years, moving from hardware to programming, and still have
quite a bit of CADO memorabilia.  (But am always looking for more!)  

-Corey Little  

>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: vcf-midatlantic [mailto:vcf-midatlantic-
>>bounces at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Jonas
>>via vcf-midatlantic
>>Sent: Friday, November 24, 2017 9:18 PM
>>To: vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org
>>Cc: Jeffrey Jonas
>>Subject: [vcf-midatlantic] micros in business (was early recollections,
>>apple /// cobol)
>>A friend who is a CPA bought an Apple ][+ to run his business from home.
>>He used VisiCalc (the first "killer app").
>>It was a lot more versatile than the
>>huge Burroughs that was on display for a long time.
>>In 1982, I worked for a small company
>>that specialized in dental office automation
>>using a TRS80 model 2 with extension floppy drives
>>and daisy wheel printer to print insurance forms.
>>It also handled appointments, reminder cards, etc.
>>Around 1984, I noticed an unused Apple Lisa 1
>>(with Twiggy drive!) at a client.
>>That was my first word processor!
>>I used it for my documentation.
>>No manual or training needed!
>>Just poke around and things were quite natural!
>>Dow Jones Telerate explored using
>>single board computers and touch-screen terminals
>>for their newswire service.
>>Newswire services were not afraid to make custom hardware
>>such as ISA interface cards.
>>This was before ALL hardware became "just a commodity".
>>Not just COTS but downright disposible :-(
>>A friend who worked at a large scale printer
>>remembers Syquest drives using Apple/iMac formats
>>were the primary media/format for submission.
>>The artistic community still favors Apple platforms.
>>I attended a trade show for broadcasters.
>>Apple notebooks/tablets are now used in lieu of cameras
>>and for video editing in the field.
>>-- jeff jonas

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