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Is Your Vintage Computer Obsolete? - NO!

~ By Brian K. Hahn ~

So what was the reason for buying your first computer?  I have been in computer

consulting for many years, beginning on a retail floor and working my way into the

office environment. This experience has given me insights into the market that

many a sales professional have acquired. From the woman who wants a computer

to teach her children the A,B,Cís, to the business executive that wants to automate

their office. The main reason they want a computer is for word processing.


This is the core common denominator of all computer purchases, the word

processor.  The second reason is usually for financial purposes, anything from

wanting their taxes done at home, to keeping a point of sale system running the

front end of a business. But through all this is the need to put words together to

write letters, papers and for a handful wanting to be  inspired writers. The Word

Processor is the true driving force for the personal computer. 


This brings me to my point. If a computer could compile a letter in 1984 on a DOS based system and it still does the

same task in the 21st century, how is it obsolete? The answer is simpleÖ  "the computer is not obsolete by those

standards". Itís the marketplace that drives obsolescence. Ö and that marketplace is you! 


Webster defines the word Obsolete as:  

Ob"so*lete, a. [L. obsoletus, p. p. of obsolescere.

1. No longer in use; gone into disuse; disused;

neglected; as, an obsolete word; an obsolete

statute; -- applied chiefly to words, writings, or observances.


No longer in use! By now many of you have figured me out. I am a real

computer geek. I still use my old computers. I also refuse to buy a new

laptop when all I have ever used one for, is word processing, and maybe

playing a round of solitaire.


I have in my briefcase a Tandy WP2 for writing letters. I have been able

to take my Tandy to a restaurant without making a big performance out of opening a full size screen, moving a plate

out of the way, shifting my coffee cup, and booting up with an obnoxious wave file drawing attention to me. Last

summer I had my Tandy WP2 in a busy restaurant and I took a deposition from a fellow and my client never felt that

others in the restaurant knew what we were doing there. After I took the statement, I returned to my office and

connected the Tandy to my Pentium 4 office system and opened the document into Microsoft Word.  


These old Zilog based computers are the real deal! Many run on 4 AA batteries, work for 20 hours and have a lithium

back-up battery to save your document if the batteries fail. The minute you type a word on their keyboards it is

saved. That is not obsolescence.. thatís performance!


I want all of you to stop throwing old computers in the garbage! If you donít want them, donate them to a school. Find

someone you know who has a passion for history and give it to them.  To many times I have made a trip to a

municipal dump only to see an old computer lying crushed in the pile. Itís environmentally unsound and it drives my

blood pressure up.


If you are inspired to use an old system, just search eBay, or Google for those oldies but goodies. Search for Tandy,

Apple, Commodore, Brother, Sinclair, NEC just to name a few.


(c) 2004, 2005, Brian K. Hahn

 All Rights Reserved.