Category Archives: software

The ABC’s Of Lotus 1-2-3

I purchased my first PC in 1985, for a princely sum of SGD3,500 — never mind if it was all DOS and no Windows.   And my favourite app then was Lotus 1-2-3.

As a Product Design engineer who also tasked with costing.  I faced the “formidable” challenge of compiling the costs of BOMs (bill-of-materials) which had up to 100 different components.  I would do the calculations 10 times on my trusty calculator – but I always ended up with 10 different answers!

With the 1-2-3, all that became as simple as A-B-C. The arithmetical turbulence became a breeze.  And editing of the BOMs no longer triggered explosive attacks on my poor heart.

Alas, with the rapid onslaught of Windows, my favourite spreadsheet was quickly decimated by MS Excel, though IMHO, this latter copycat offering by Microsoft did not result excel in anything.

It’s Only Words…

…and words were all you had, to take your thoughts away.  Oh yes, of course one had plenty of ‘Controls’ at one’s fingertips to tap on.

In the early 80s, Wordstar, and a later competitor, WordPerfect, brought about a quantum leap in word-processing that helped bury the typewriter, as well as turned every literate person into a typist.

However, with the advent of Microsoft Windows, the companion MS-Word, with its ability to embed pictures, and armed with formidable tools such as formatting, colors, word-count, thesaurus, search, etc, quickly dethroned and deposed the early pioneers.

Both WS and WP responded to the challenges, but they were too late, to the extent that today, it’s only WORD, and WORD is all we have, though there is no love lost (at least for me) for this rather buggy piece of software.