Jerry Jameson tripled his income, avoided divorce, and became buzzword-compliant by adding a bit of XML to his existing CP/M-based WordStar setup.
"Once I realized that XML was just text, it made a lot of sense to me. I've been sending and receiving text files for years, since no else is smart enough to use WordStar any more," he reports.
Jameson's wife, Joanie, reports that XML has changed their life for the better. "It was getting so he couldn't get work, since plain text just didn't sell. He'd spend half his day outside cleaning and firing his rifles, and the other half staring at his Kaypro, muttering. I was ready to flee with our kids," she says, smiling.
"I've never been a big fan of the new stuff, not since I got this 4Mhz beauty," says Jameson, stroking the faded keys of his Kaypro 4. "I nearly got the optional 8088 chip for running MS-DOS on this, but now that I've seen all that Windows stuff, I'm glad I didn't."
Jameson admits that his refusal to change with the times has cost him business. "People still sometimes take WordStar files, at least people who like me, but there's a lot of whining about it. They seem to think that writers need to be 'integrated' into all that newfangled trash the vendors keep selling. I'm a big fan of civil rights, don't get me wrong, but I sure don't want to be integrated with Microsoft, IBM, and Apple."
Joanie's desperation led to Jerry's interest in XML. "She kept buying these damn computer magazines and making me read them, telling me I needed to 'stay current'. I have email, you know, I'm not completely disconnected. Anyway, I saw this article and one of my customers had mentioned it so I had one of the kids look it up on the Internet at school."
Figuring out XML turned out to be pretty easy for Jameson. "I can't see what all this DTD and namespace stuff is about, but as long as I type it in right, the customer doesn't complain and I can get on with my work. Everyone seems to want a slightly different flavor, but it's just text to me. Me and my lovely WordStar."
This satirical work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Copyright 1999-2003 by Simon St.Laurent.