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 Post subject: Interview with 30+ year utility programmer: Jonathan Potter
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:04 pm 
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I thought this interview with Jonathan Potter from GP Software who produce Directory Opus was interesting. They start "way back" in the 80s and kind of move through to the present. Formatting is weird. I'm too used to a magazine format. I never really thought of a "spreadsheet" layout. :shock: :D

http://www.abime.net/interviews/view/interview/id/73


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with 30+ year utility programmer: Jonathan Pot
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 1:19 am 
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DesertDwarf wrote:
I thought this interview with Jonathan Potter from GP Software who produce Directory Opus was interesting. They start "way back" in the 80s and kind of move through to the present. Formatting is weird. I'm too used to a magazine format. I never really thought of a "spreadsheet" layout. :shock: :D

http://www.abime.net/interviews/view/interview/id/73

Thanks Ric, most interesting indeed. :)

Yes, there are still quite an amazing number of Amiga users around as they observed there. Including myself and many others who run it in UAE/WinUAE. And many, again like myself, still use the old DOpus that way, and I'm sure mostly 4.x rather than 5/Magellan.

When I set up WinUAE I recreated my Amiga boxes as best as UAE permits, using the backups from the original machines. Obviously, a lot of stuff had to be changed, including parts of my DOpus config. DOpus 4.12 still looks pretty damn good here, on all my 'machines'. :)

In the interview they also talked about the success of DOpus particularly in UK and Germany, but there's no mystery in that as together with Sweden those were about the biggest markets for the Amiga. (I'm sure the same must have been observable with Final Writer?)

Still wish I'd kept at least the A4000 pizza box, though I'm sure its multi-sync monitor at least would long have perished, if not the machine itself. Sold the box for a mere 1,200 quid or so (the last one to go), fully loaded, Cyberstorm 060, Picasso IV, Ariadne II, SCSI 2 card, CD burner, 256 Meg RAM, OS 3.1, HDD. The price even a plain vanilla 040 A4000 fetches here nowadays is truly eye-watering by comparison! Seen them go for as much as 7K quid! :(

Oh, yeah, truly shocking formatting that interview. Idiotic. Ugly kludge. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Interview with 30+ year utility programmer: Jonathan Pot
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:30 am 
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After I wrote my post, I snooped around and found that the interview was from 2012. That might explain the formatting. People were always pushing with what they thought was neat.

By far, Final Writer (and all of Softwood's software) was bigger in the U.S. Even Pen Pal, which was out and retired before I ever joined Softwood.

But, then, when Woody saw the writing on the wall about the Amiga, he switched to hosting and running porn sites. Ugh. I went from Tech Support Manager to Photoshopping freckles and moles off of attractive girls with the view so zoomed in, it was clinical rather than entertaining. I quit a few months after the switch to porn.

He did ponder the idea of writing Final Writer for Windows, but worried that he would always be below Word and WordPerfect. (Man, there's a product I loved parts of. Especially being able to "see" and edit the non-printable parts. [...time passes...] OK, I'm back. I just looked to see how much WordPerfect costs. lol)

Anyway, Woody decided he'd get in on the softcore porn racket. He did only topless stuff at first on his own sites (those were the ones I edited) and also hosted other people's more, umm, not-softcore stuff. But when he added full nude and more explicit shots, I bailed shortly after. You really start looking at people's bodies differently when you're editing out blemishes and stuff.

Since I had fancy stuff at work, I had an Amiga 1200 at home. That was all I needed.

I had a friend that ran a BBS on an Amiga 2000 back in the day.

And, Jorge, you mentioned getting on at 9600. By the way, it wasn't 9600 baud. That was a common misconception back then. You were operating at 2400 baud with some fancy-schmancy bi-directional stuff going on that was basically giving you 9600 bits per second.

Man, you were lucky you started at 9600. Heck, even I am lucky that I started at 300 baud. Some older fellows (hint: the other Ric) probably started at 110 baud.

And now it's time for bed.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with 30+ year utility programmer: Jonathan Pot
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 2:02 am 
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DesertDwarf wrote:
Man, you were lucky you started at 9600. Heck, even I am lucky that I started at 300 baud. Some older fellows (hint: the other Ric) probably started at 110 baud.

And now it's time for bed.

My first modem was 2400 baud. I had computers before that, but 2400 was the standard when I phoned in to my first BBS.

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 Post subject: Re: Interview with 30+ year utility programmer: Jonathan Pot
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 10:04 am 
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vectornut wrote:
My first modem was 2400 baud. I had computers before that, but 2400 was the standard when I phoned in to my first BBS.

BBS's eh I cut my internet teath on BBS and the files/chat it all produced. I remember running up a hefty phone bill to because of it/them. Those were the days.

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 Post subject: Re: Interview with 30+ year utility programmer: Jonathan Pot
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 11:34 pm 
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Yeah, I gathered the interview had to be around that date as they refer to DO 10. And yep Ric, 110 baud sounds about right. :) On the PET. Cost a pretty penny too back in the day. Not to mention the cost of phoning in to BBSs! :shock:

And in Amiga days, I used to know a guy who ran a BBS off an A1200! (Mostly legit, but also the odd bits of 'warez' if you knew where to look, alas.) Loved the A1200, pity the PCMCIA didn't get the add-ons it deserved. Could have formed the basis for one heck of a laptop back then. Loved the A2000 as well (well, it was an A1500 I had - re-badged for UK market with twin floppy drives), kept it updated right up to OS 3.1 and even Picasso IV!

As for Final Writer, I'm a bit surprised, although in the UK Wordworth (often wrongly called 'Wordsworth' by a lot of users!) was more popular. I have both. One resided on A4000, the other on A3000. (I wonder if the physical floppies would still work!) The problem with both was those ghastly fonts, alas.

I remember also the PITA it was setting up the scripts for TCP/IP dial-up, but once done, oh what fun the early net was before the masses, the great unwashed, were let loose on it and when netiquette actually meant something. And Gopher, and then Mosaic! It was amazing on the NeXT boxes. Eventually AmiWeb came along and made the web quite useable there too, with a zillion plug-ins. But the phone bills were even worse than the BBS ones! Due to my work had to use the net rather more than I would have liked and so the bills reflected that of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Interview with 30+ year utility programmer: Jonathan Pot
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:40 am 
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Interesting, thanks for sharing :D


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