We were just beginning to get PCs (the original 2 floppy drive units) into our offices, so I figured it was time to train the staff! We held daily classes and tried to get everyone comfortable with the typewriter replacements. Daily I stressed that the floppy disks for data came totally blank, so they needed to be prepared. This offered the opportunity to ram home the point that the word 'FORMAT' was not a word to be taken lightly.
Soon after the huge 10 MB hard drives began to appear, and I strongly cautioned all staff about all the important information stored on the hard drive and that they should never consider formatting this drive.
About the same time came the big argument, do we use MS Word or Word Perfect for our word processing program and the decision was reached that Word Perfect was the way to go.
Since everything was still new and the clerical staff really resisted the PC in favor of their old IBM Selectric typewriters, we showed them how easy it was to correct the errors in a 10 page document on the PC, they bought it immediately. After several months, everyone was getting very comfortable with their PC so I decided it was time!!
I wrote a little BASIC language program that loaded from a small WP.bat file I wrote that looked exactly like Word Perfect, down to the line and character counter in the lower right corner. I selected my most confident clerical supervisor and added the little program to her computer early the next morning.
When she came in, she booted and got ready to do her normal duties. Only problem, I wrote the program to accept 25 characters, then reset the screen (blank) with large words - "Viv, stop that" - after a 5 second pause everything went back to normal. The second time, it allowed 35 characters, then - "Please, you are Hurting Me". This continued 2 more times and the 4th time she tried to type, the screen lit up with all of the colors of the pallet with large flashing words in the center - 'FORMATTING YOUR HARD DRIVE"
You could hear the screams up and down the entire hallway. Still not sure that she has ever forgiven me
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