Wang 300 Calc
julesrichardsonuk at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Sep 11 05:39:27 CDT 2007
Liam Proven wrote:
>>>> BBC micro, got this right! Proper words on the ports..
>>> The BBC Micro, a machine designed in England for Brits.
>> I suspect it was more that the primary market was education, so it made sense
>> to be as user-friendly as possible by stating exactly what each port was.
> Education /in Britain/. It was the *BBC* Micro.
I think you missed my point. It wasn't a typical general-purpose 'home'
machine of the time, it was a machine designed primarily for a specific market
- namely one where the majority of the users would be children who were
actively encouraged to be plugging things into the machine.
(unfortunately the only technical spec I have is 09/1981 and just states
"colour scheme and markings to be agreed by BBC" - it doesn't detail the
thinking about the labeling)
>> Given that manuals and software have to be regionalised for the intended
>> market, it hardly seems much effort on the part of the manufacturer to issue
>> case decals that are also regionalised. There seems little excuse for a
>> pictogram that might be ambiguous in *all* languages just because the
>> manufacturer was lazy or was trying to save a few pennies.
> I think that is absolute reverse of the case, actually. Printing a new
> manual is cheap; redesigning case mouldings or even just what's
> printed onto the case means retooling production lines, producing
> different models for different markets, tracking which country each
> machine is destined for... Vast amounts of complexity.
Most cases - even modern PCs - seem to have at least something stuck to the
front which isn't part of the basic underlying moulding. It hardly seems like
rocket science to regoinalise what amounts to a printed label knocked up in a
>> I suspect the number of times that a person is plonked in front of an alien
>> machine with absolutely no knowledge of the written language of the country
>> from which the machine is from is pretty small. In most cases it would only
>> happen when the person is visiting a foreign country, and in that case you'd
>> expect them to be making an effort to understand the language anyway.
> I think you believe that because you speak the world's most widespread
> international language.
OK; I wouldn't travel to France without knowing some French. I wouldn't go to
Japan without learning Japanese. To not do so would just be an insult to the
people of the country that I'm visiting, not to mention downright rude.
Now, if I were in a situation where I was going abroad and going to be
plugging bits of hardware together (rather than merely anticipating being a
user of an assembled machine - in an office or Internet cafe, say) then it
hardly seems difficult to extend my education to the few necessary words
needed to figure out ports on a computer.
In fact that's probably even easier for me than being in a foreign country
where I'm not fluent in the language and am faced with a bunch of mysterious
pictograms - not having the port functions spelled out actually makes it
worse, because I not only have to ask what the ports are in the native tongue,
but also interpret the response (so I still need to know what 'printer',
'serial' etc. is anyway)
(sorry, pet peeve, but people who bumble into foreign countries and expect to
communicate solely in their own tongue rather annoy me!)
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