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Back to the Future

Back to the Future
by Gary Woods

About 25 years ago when I started getting interested in computers it was a wild time. When you wanted to get a computer you had to decide whether you wanted a Kaypro, an Osborne, a Commodore, a Franklin an Apple or an Atari. I first went down the Apple road then took side jaunts through the Commodore and made a lot of music with the Atari. It was a fun time because of all the choices but of course nothing worked with any other brand of computer so collaborating was a real nightmare.

Then along came Bill Gates and his crew and everybody lined up behind Microsoft DOS and then Windows. At that point everybody was basically on the same page sharing Word Docs and Excel Spreadsheets and generally all playing together nicely.

Now we've got a ton of choices again. Starting with our phones we could get a Palm OS, or Droid, of Windows Mobile not to mention the iOS on the iPhone and iPad. The cool part about what's going on now is that even though there are a lot of choices at some level they still all work together.

I use an iMac for my daily work but spend a good deal of time in Windows XP on it. My Droid Eris phone running the Google Operating system communicates just fine with Outlook running on my iMac with Windows which then using Apple's MobileMe communicates with my wife's computer, both our iPads and her iPod Touch. Once again everybody is on the same page.

We're definitely living in a time where there are a lot of choices but those choices don't preclude our interacting with everybody we need to deal with. I haven't been this excited about our technology present and future for a long time. Happy Computing!!

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc