Why I hate email




I still have somewhere some forgotten-to-throw-out-and-becoming-a-relic computer magazines from the 90’s, full of empty promises of paperless offices.

Instead, more and more papers and forms all around.

Gods, how I hate printers!

…also, as of the sparkly visual effects, isn’t that what the ESD/overvoltage protection is for on the cables and interfaces? A few telco-grade gas-filled spark gaps can do wonders for next to no added capacitance.

(Speaking about that, some laptops don’t like power-over-Ethernet. Connect a PoE cable accidentally, and fry the second pair-of-pairs diode network chip. I saw one that crumbled to fine powder, leaving behind just the metal pins, fragments of plastic, and charred circuitboard. But the Ethernet interface itself kept running happily, this apparently happened to the previous owner, and I was repairing it because of a wiggled-off contact on the connector. Avoid lead-less alloys for soldering, they tend to crack.)


The terminology I love is “punch a key.” I’ve seen it in other ads of the period, too. I think it was used because back the main people typing for a living were women, i.e., secretaries. So now you were trying to sell this to the management, i.e., men. So telling them they could get their mail by punching a key sounded like something you would do on a big machine, like to get a giant drill press started. Sounds tough.


Punch a key. The ‘Del’ key, mostly.

Sometimes preceeded by ‘Ctrl-A’.


I reccomend a subscription to AOL – their fee-based service features proprietary filters that get rid of the sparkling blobs. (At least, I assume that is why they still have so many subscribers)


In central Texas, one"mashes"



I wonder how many people called Mr Laurie Reeves at (800)225-3222?
Trying now…
T Rowe Price personal access group, damn…
but Honeywell still lives on inside Allied Signal


This is why one should never smtp without a anti-static wrist band.


The basic premise of cyber-netting any office is make things more efficient.

Monday mornings, all I could do was think about next week.

Can I get the icon in cornflower blue?


Efficiency is priority number one, people, because waste is a thief.
I showed this already to my man, here. You liked it, didn’t you?

You can swallow a pint of blood beforeyou get sick


Honeywell sure did a good job of making their brand prominent in office computing.


I’m tempted to punch my caps lock key now and then


Capslock is good. Together with AutoHotKey on windows (and various scripts on linux) it works as just-about-perfect “macro” key to be used together with other keys, for various automation or semiautomation tasks and for entering often-used longer phrases (e.g. company domain name).

Edit: I actually wish there were more keys on standard keyboard layouts that would be comfortably positioned and free to map functions at. The “window” and “menu” keys to a degree fulfill this but they are still too few and far between…


They weren’t empty promises. The paperless office has been there for the taking for years now; the problem is human, not technological.

The boss who insists on having all his emails printed out, the administrative assistant who can’t figure out how to make a PDF form (or doesn’t even know that those are a thing), the law firms and realtors who are under the bizarre delusion that a faxed signature somehow carries legal weight where a scanned signature does not, the facilities manager who thinks bidets are some kind of perverted French socialist sex toy… Without those hidebound throwbacks, the only paper in a modern office would be for doing origami in the Meditation Room.


Going paperless is certainly possible. I run a small software company and we don’t even own a printer any more. We do own a scanner (the wonderfully portable scansnap that Mark F. recommended a few years back). Any meaningful mail that comes in gets scanned and then promptly recycled. The few times that I’ve needed to produce a print document, I visit the local business supply company and pay per sheet.


+1 for AutoHotKey - it definitely deserves to be better known.

Would an external numpad work?


At least near the university where I was getting my masters all three print shops were way too scared about nosing around for copyright infringement on anything long enough that needed binding. It cost more and was a pain to operate but I ended getting a cheap Epson B/W laser printer.


Is this an ad from Omni? Seems like the kind of stuff they had on there if I remember correctly.


The terminology I love is “punch a key.”

I always thought it was a holdover from the days when these things were used for data entry.


Yes and no.

The main problem here is the physical distance of the numpad keys from the keyboard itself. Moving hands takes time and effort, the keys should be within easy reach of fingers. Yes, that real estate is somewhat clogged already, but its edges are underused.

Thought. The square keys could be a little squashed on the vertical side, gaining space for one more row…

Also, haptic stickers are doing wonders for touch-typing, for knowing that you press Home and not F12. Little pieces of double-sided tape with attached something, or nail polish with added sand, or so…