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Re: OT: Massachusetts Verdict: MS Office Formats Out

On Fri, 2005-30-09 at 08:23 +0930, Tim wrote:
> Tim wrote:
> >> Usually, the warnings about things like how some document
> >> formats mightn't support some styling effects, might not do tabs or
> >> margins in the same way, etc.
> Guy Fraser:
> > Precisely why a standard format was needed.
> Oh, I agree.  One of the things I liked about the concept of HTML was a
> document that could be read on nearly anything.  Of course we all know
> who buggered that up.  Mostly one organisation, though their main
> competitor was just about as bad.
> My personal computer background was pre-Windows.  I remember the
> plethora of different personal computers, with almost no possibility of
> data interchange between them.  At first, Windows seemed hopeful, but
> they just never got the idea of what "compatible" meant (not even within
> themselves).
> I still have word processor documents stored in about 6 or 7 unreadable
> formats on various discs.  About my only chance of conversion, with
> layout, is scanning and OCR.  If I just wanted content, and didn't mind
> re-laying out the content, I could save as plain text.  It really is a
> stupid situation to still be in.

I started working for Xerox in 1987, and being "The Document Company", 
I had to become familiar with many systems and environments. In 1988 
I started working with Centralized Laser Printers with both direct 
connections to mainframes and with 9-Track Tape systems. For some 
projects I had to create ASCII to EBCDIC converters, HPGL 
and PCL to Interpres and XES and Decoding RLE and Huffman encoded 
data from CCIT G3 fax machines to various graphics formats including 
the .img format used by centralized printers. Eventually I had to 
learn to read and write PostScript and designed a number of full color
diagnotic test patterns by hand for aligning and testing digital color
laser printers. Fortunately, through out the years I have transfered 
all my private files and technology and media changed. It helps that 
I have a background in document translation services.

History of how many different types of media, and document formats 
that were one standard, are now extinct, and the underdogs that 
still linger due to an open defined standard.

Needless to say most of the standard formats I used to work with 
are gone. Some of the formats I used to work with are still around, 
even though many of the standard formats of that era are not.

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