This is a good day for a retrospective. I ran head on into a tree on Monday and turned 66 on Weds. I do not feel 66. In a way, I am just getting started. I expect to come to the office regularly for at least 14 more years, health and energy permitting. Today, spurred on by our newest employee, we put in the first window of what will be a two window display of 40 years of office technology. I still have at least a half dozen Apple II’s. I still have case for my first “portable computer”. It holds my Apple II and two floppy drives. Weighs @ 30 lb. I dragged that thing back and forth each day for several years, with the monitor in my other hand.
I dropped that computer down a dozen steps of my office over Main St. Antiques. One of the drives had to be serviced.
The Ram was either 32 or 48 k. The Apple IIe increased dramatically to 64 k. Appleworks was a flat database, spreadsheet, and word processor, and a few other features, on a 144k floppy. Soon Apple had a 1.5 hour interactive tutorial that showed you how to run the “whole shebang”. Woz designed it in the garage with several slots, eventually 7. This encouraged nerds and tinkerers to add ram, a printer buffer, and other features. Computers were headed in the right directions and then two fellows, one driven by his own ego, and one by money, Jobs and Gates, screwed everything up.
Jobs killed the Apple II and replaced it with the incompatible MAC. He made my entire office obselete, forcing me to buy PC’s which could emulate the Apple II. His MAC and what followed were closed systems, highly proprietary and written with the idea that Apple got to make all the money. Ironic that I now have an iPad and iPhone 4s, and iPod, and may have to get a new iPad too.
Gates created Windows for the PC, what Jobs called “junk”. There was no problem that could not be solved with more memory. Every new machine was as slow as the last because Windows and Office Pro consumed ever greater memory. Until the iPad we could not have “instant on”. The programmers should have been MADE to work in offices with the monstrosities they created. If Woz had had a stronger personality or marketing sense, perhaps Jobs could have been sent back to his Buddhist retreat, eating carrots and drinking his fruit juice, and never bathing.
We are finally beginning to get to do some really neat tech savvy stuff. I intend to stay current. Still, it is a shame to have formerly valuable machines that have no intrinsic value beyond being a door stop.
As I look back on this book, I have no illusions. This is simply a series of increasingly, I hope, useful blog articles, on what it is like to to be a small town, rural, trial lawyer. It contains many lessons for the unwary. It discusses my continuing challenges with technology, with troubled clients, with contentious, and also cooperative, colleages, with judges, and with the system.
It contains lessons learned, tips, methods and procedures for doing things in what I believe is the right way, and some “war stories” that may be of interest. I am satisfied that I have covered some important topics and written my opinions thereon in a rather candid way.
But do not expect me to be on the best seller list with Grisham or Coonts in the near future!
This post was written by Burton Hunter