Posts Reflecting on the past, Looking forward to the future...

Reflecting on the past, Looking forward to the future...

These past couple of months have been extremely busy for me.  With work and extra-workular (yeah, I just made that up) activities, my postings here has taken a bit of a hit.  [Insert obligatory sentense here about how I'm going to get back to blogging on a regular basis.]

So we have Visual Studio 2005 being released in a little over a month and the news of what is coming after the next release (language enhancements, LINQ, etc) already spreading like wildfire, so much to do and so little time to do so.  Not to mention we have a new version of SQL Server perched for release at the same time, even more to wrap our heads around.  This is just what's happening in the next 4-6 weeks.  Very soon following these are the releases of a new Biztalk, Windows and Office... and yet another new version of Visual Studio being released (supposedly) sometime next year.  And if you've had a chance to see what's coming in the next versions of Windows and Office, you'll know what I'm talking about as for the about of new information and skills we are going to have to ramp up on just to be competetive in the marketplace, both in employment and product releases.  Now, to contrast this with what was going on just 10 years ago...

Ten years ago I was knee deep in a product called AXS; a radio automation / integration application that was (at least in one persons opinion) a leader in that market segment.  Of course, I might be a bit biased since I designed and developed it. ;-) Now keep in mind a few facts about that product:

  • Written targetting MS-DOS.
  • Limited to less than 640k of memory.
  • Was ahead of it's time utilizing a GUI interface.
  • GUI interface was limited to 640x480 pixels and 16 colors.
  • Ran on machines with less than 1meg of memory... if we were lucky, it had a whopping 2meg!
  • Utilized XMS/EMS memory (there's a term many newer developers may not be aware of) to swap (cache) modules in and out of local memory.  If no physical memory was available, swapped to the hard drive.
  • With with products such as Lantastic, Novell, Little Big Lan and other proprietary peer-to-peer networking.
  • The processor speed around that time of a whopping 60mhz (Pentium 60).
  • </UL>

    With the above in mind, also keep the following in mind:

    • All of the windowing (GUI) code was written by me.
    • All of the fonts were designed (drawn) by me.
    • All of the icons were designed (drawn) by me.
    • </UL>

      Now looking back to the future, we are seeing a huge shift forward from a standard GUI (GDI/GDI+ in Windows 3.x, 95, 98, XP, 2003) to something that will take advantage of the graphics cards features that have been available for the past 7+ years.  It's amazing to see where we've been, where we are and where we are going. 

      So you might be wondering where I'm getting at with all of this.  I'm not really trying to make any sort of a point, just that I was reflecting on this a bit after coming across a AXS promotional video made in 1995... you can view it here.

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