Most people if asked to take a guess about the origin of the word processor, would probably claim that it emerged with the development of computing technology.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
The automation of various aspects of word processing began long before mathematicians put together the modern computer. But to set off the discussion on the history of the word processor, it might help to first understand what this term means.
Essentially, a word processor is an electronic device or an application that helps in the composition, formatting, editing, and printing of documents. All this did not come about with the information age, although it certainly grew by leaps and bounds after the history-changing milestone.
Medieval Origins Of Word Processing
As far back as the middle ages, automation’s were introduced in word processing. Henry Mill invented the typewriter, but it was not very popular. Still, this marked the first step in the history of the word processor because for once, an actual person did not have to be in contact with the paper in order to write something down.
The First Word Processor
The first successful typewriter was made in 1867 by Christopher Latham Sholes and two of his friends. In fact, this version was sold commercially in 1874.
Unfortunately, this word processing invention would not let its user see his work until he/she was done since the printing was done on the underside of the roller. Even stranger, the device was marketed by a gun company.
The next few improvements on the word processing technology involved making this typewriter much better. For instance, while the initial version could not print both lower case and upper case letters, an 1878 version with a shift key to take care of this problem was introduced.
Two years later, in 1880, the typewriter could print on the upper side of the roller, and the typist could finally see the results of their work before they were done printing.
Another improvement to the typewriter came in 1897, when the tab key was introduced to make it possible to introduce margins on pages of text.
By 1900s, the typewriter had become mainstream, in no small part because this form of word processing was much faster and more legible. In the 1920s, Thomas Edison introduced the electric typewriter.
However, he had patented the idea way back in 1872, but the idea had not worked out until several years past the twentieth century.
However, the IBM Electromatic would soon be an improved replacement to Thomas Edison’s electric typewriter in the 1930s.
This particular model proved to be a hit commercially because it considerably improved typing speeds.
Word Processing With Memory Function
But the greatest leap towards word processing as we know it today would come a little sooner in the form of the automatic repetitive typewriter, introduced by M. Shultz Company.
The breakaway innovation in this typewriter was its memory function, which allowed it to print the same information onto a paper automatically later on.
The stored keystrokes would activate the typewriter keys as if someone was actually typing on it. This eliminated the need to retype material over and over again, or using carbon copies, which have many obvious downsides.
So, typing many letters was no longer such a tedious, repetitive, and mind-numbing undertaking.
The next innovation in word processing sought to take care of the mistakes made during the typing process. To help with this was the Flexowriter.
This typewriter used a paper tape that had a delete key. Even passages of text could be done away with, but this involved cutting away the unnecessary pieces of text and putting the remaining parts back together.
IBM made the greatest improvement to this feature through its 1964 invention, MT/ST (Magnetic Tape/Selectric Typewriter).
In addition to a memory function, the typed material could finally be edited before it was finally printed onto the paper. Not surprisingly, this is the point at which the term “word processing” was introduced by IBM.
At the time, the phrase was defined as the processing of composing, revising, printing and filing written documents.
With the word processing concept having gone mainstream, more players entered the field. The technology was now cheaper.
Still, in 1972, one of the main inventions of this field was introduced when Lexitron and Linolex introduced a word processor with a video display screen that allowed the typist to make corrections without the need to print out a copy first. The information was stored on tape cassettes.
Word Processing And Computers
The cassettes could hold a page or two of text, but in 1973, floppy disks were introduced by Vydec, and they could hold up to 100 pages of text. With the larger storage, it was also possible to put word processing software on disks, which also helped the technology to merge seamlessly with the rapidly rising computing technology.
This happened in 1977, and the word processor was no longer a device, but rather a software that could be supported on various forms of hardware. The Electric Pencil, released in 1976, is considered the first word processor for microcomputers.
Over a decade or so, features like spell-checking were introduced, as well the ability to work on more than one document on the same screen.
It was also possible to combine word processing and information processing, and this has been the nature of word processing since then. Several word processing applications have been released since the late eighties, some of which are still in existence today.
Word Processing Today
The twenty-first century has also come with some innovations to the word processing concept. For instance, the technology has spread to other devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices.
As of 2016 word processing is now possible over the internet; and also with the help of voice and touch input technologies.
The evolution of software
While Word Processors were one of the first big software programs, the modern landscape sees many different types of software including website builders, mobile phone apps, software for movie editing and photography, warehouse management systems and everything in between.
In our next articles we will be looking at other types of software and their impact on technology today.
Today, technology has it that virtually everyone with the passion and skill is out there with the tech titans battling for the coveted spot on your computer or smart device, which needs software to function.
This has seen the advent of innovative software that revolutionized how users handled different tasks. Let’s take a look at the most successful software products of all time.
WordPress has become a largely popular and dominant blog platform that has seen tremendous user growth since its launch back in 2004.
Most of the Top 100 blogs worldwide are on hosted and published on WordPress.
Clearly, WordPress has come of age and has seen a lot of changes from what it used to be as an arm of the b2 blog. This has seen a lot of blogs being switched to WordPress.com
The Berkeley Internet Name Domain Server is inarguably the most widely utilized DNS server software on the web. You can rightly call it the globes de facto standard DNS server.
BIND has also been the main DNS server on UNIX systems since its debut version which was released in the early 80s.
Originally designed in the University of California at Berkley, BIND provides 82% of all DNS services on the internet.
MySQL is used by many large websites on the internet, which makes it the most used database server in the world.
Structured Query Language is the most popular language for database content management that allows or easy addition and access of content.
The thing that makes MySQL popular and successful is the reliability, fast processing, ease of use and flexibility.
Being an open source project, it is the database of choice for many website software projects like this.
The Firefox web browser has brought a lot of credibility to Mozilla, the browser being the major achievement for the software company.
Since its inception as Firefox 1.0 in 2004, the browser has taken a major market share from the previously predominant Internet Explorer.
It is more favorite with the tech savvy crowd. The major challenge it has is to battle for the market share with Google’s browser – Chrome.
Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers among other things; a client software. Basically, a user is able to create a folder using Dropbox on their computer and then synchronize it so that it is visible anywhere using any device.
The beauty of it is that the file will be seen in the same format that it was created and saved. You can either access the files through the Dropbox website or the Dropbox app on a mobile device.
One of the great things about Dropbox is that you can store large volume files and share them with other users with Dropbox addresses.
This is one of Microsoft’s popular products that have proven to be useful. It clearly remains an awesome to go to productivity software that enables users to do basic office tasks with much ease.
As with other Microsoft products, MS Office makes for an unmatched user experience and functionality. The software is much available even on other platforms like the Android OS for use on mobile phones and tablets.
Microsoft office also comes in different upgraded versions to suit your liking and requirements.
Windows 10 brought relief from the complexities of Windows 8, which has made Windows 10 grow much faster than Windows 7.
The selling point of this software from Microsoft is the fresh appeal on a familiar platform and the no- dollar upgrade price from either Windows 7 or 8.
The software has a wonderful browser, the Edge which boasts of eliminating security and functionality issues that were a weakness in the explorer. The operating system has also a better HTML5 compatibility to boot.
Plunging into the internet is a deadly and dangerous feat and nothing keeps you more secure than the Kaspersky Anti-virus software.
Over time, Kaspersky has proven to be a cut above the rest when it comes to dealing with Trojans, phishing sites, worms and rootkits.
Kaspersky is also available for use on different devices and operating systems like PC, Phones, Tablets that may use Windows and Android operating systems respectively.
Most of these software come at a price but they are really worth the while, others are open source software that come free or use.
Better still, some like WordPress may require that you have plug-ins installed for various functions. Most plug-ins come free on the internet while others have to be bought.
Whatever the case, all of these software systems are guaranteed to give you a different experience on your day to day use of the computer.
There is no denying that open source software has enjoyed superlative media coverage and editorial sympathy over the last few years. Indeed, the fact that big corporations such as Google and Microsoft are increasingly adopting open source philosophy stands as a testimony that it is not a fringe movement anymore.
And yet, rather surprisingly, there is a lot of misconception surrounding open source software among the common public, and, even the entrepreneurial class. The misconceptions about open source software pertain to a number of aspects including security, pricing and reliability.
It is important, therefore, that you understand exactly what you would be getting when you choose to be a part of an open source ecosystem. Let us take a look.
1. Open source does not equal free
Perhaps one of the most deeply entrenched myths about open source software is that it comes free of cost as opposed to proprietary software. The truth is that open source only refers to a freely available source code, and, not to the many applications that are routinely built upon it.
Companies regularly create applications using open source software that are sold for a price. The price being charged could be for certain features, or support that comes with it.
2. Open source software can be as reliable as proprietary equivalents
Often times, a lot of businesses tend to prefer proprietary software on account of their perceived reliability vis-a-vis open source software. However, this is clearly an out of date view for a number of reasons. For example, as stated above, a lot of open source software cost money, and the vendors charge money for after sales support.
These are legitimate software companies who are no less motivated in ensuring the success of their software than firms selling proprietary solutions.
Secondly, it can be argued that open source software is, in fact, more reliable than proprietary equivalents. On of the reasons open source software has taken off is because they have their own developers’ community always working on testing and fixing bugs as and when they are noticed.
Compared to proprietary software, where only a limited number of people in the company have access to the source code, the probability of security breaches flying under the radar is low in case of open source software.
3. You do not need expert level competence to use open source
Yet another persistent myth associated with open source software has been that it requires more than just basic level of proficiency in order to use it. Installing and using open source software these days is no different than their proprietary counterparts.
For example, if you have used Firefox browser or OpenOffice application, then you would know that they are intuitively designed, and supremely easy to use.
4. Large corporations have put their weight behind the open source movement
There is no bigger proof that open source has become mainstream than the fact that companies like Google and Microsoft are increasingly backing it.
Whether it is Google with Android mobile operating system as well as an array of open source security tools, or Microsoft making its .NET architecture open source, a lot of companies are embracing, in both usage and creation, the movement at an unprecedented scale.
In other words, you can be assured that this movement will see further refinement in terms of security and reliability protocols.
It seems that 2016 will prove to be quite an unpredictable year. However, it also seems that this year will prove to be quite fruitful for enterprise software. With the cloud and Software as a Service (Saas) already widespread within the business sector, new companies are now reaching scale and becoming more competitive. Now that this year is underway, it seems that there are quite a few other software trends in 2016 to expect and look forward to.
Value as a Service (VaaS) Replaces Software as a Service (SaaS)
Considers that vendors are now delivering the cloud and software by subscription, it seems that customers now have greater power. Multi-year contracts no longer matter, but now vendors have to be more accountable. Solution providers must now ensure that that they provide measurable business value to their customers. Today, just about every enterprise software program is either based on the cloud or vendors deliver it as a service by hosting it in the cloud. It is no longer as important how vendors deliver the software.
What matters more now is whether or not the software is delivering value, such as in the form of better revenue, efficient operation, lead generation or savings.
ERP Ecosystem Are Now Based On The Cloud
Soon there will a postmodern ERP ecosystem that will be based on the cloud. These systems will not have to be replaced; rather it will be adequate to build out an ecosystem based on the cloud around them in various areas, including CRM and spend management.
Perhaps entire systems will be replaced by the 2020, but for now cloud-based ecosystems are gaining popularity.
The User Interface Has Vanished
Focus has also shifted to software that can automate routine tasks, no matter how big or small, in order to augment human creativity, experience and insight. Big data and geo-location technology have completely replaced the user interface, enabling software to provide people with alerts and recommendations that are driven by data. If this trend continues, software will eventually be able to read a user’s mind, so they will not have to search and click in order to find what they require in the moment.
A user interface is like a joke…
The ability to vocally interact with systems can also be expected to improve.
The Cloud Has Enabled Companies To Compete
Companies who are already on the cloud now have immense stores of data and are able to gain insights into news areas by using Big Data technology. As a result, they have managed to become optimally efficient, and have been creating new revenue streams by seizing whatever opportunities they find. Unlike their competitors, these companies have become far more agile, while their cost containment and revenue development have also improved.
Legacy systems are only weighing companies down and those who have already or are going to leap to the cloud will be able to use data in order to surpass their competitors.
Spend Optimization Has Gained Importance
Over the past seven years, the economy has been expanding and monetary policy has become more lax, but the effects of the Great Recession of 2008-09 can still be felt. Global warming and terrorism have been on the rise all over the world as well.
It is being predicted that if companies make sure that they spend carefully in 2016 will not be affected and will be able to safely get through an economic crisis, if one tends to surface again.
Being a software developer is anything but easy. These people work very hard in order to provide software is that will keep their customers satisfied and happy. However, in order to be efficient, there are certain things software developers must know. The most experienced software developers know all this five things all too well. If you want to become a successful software developer yourself, make sure that you implement these five things, and work on them if you want to become better at your work.
1. Always Keep Up
A good software developer knows that software is and programs, as well as the Internet, change from day to day. If you want to be able to rub shoulders with the best software developers you will have two understand that things change from day to day and that you will always have to be able to keep up with current affairs. In other words, you will constantly have to be in the know of all the latest news and changes in the world of software development in order to be able to become a good software developer.
Some people cannot keep up with this pace, but nonetheless that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t at least try to keep up.
2. Work, Work & More Work
Software development requires a lot of diligent work. If you want to be a good software developer, make sure that you put an emphasis on work and try to really do a decent job when you are working. In addition to that, some software developers even work when they are not working. What they mean by that is that they actually think about all the adjustments and changes they could make in their software design, even when they are resting, watching television, or are taking a walk in the park. Therefore, in a way software developers never cease to work. If you are okay with it, perhaps you could try becoming a software developer yourself.
3. Have Some Time For Yourself
That being said, even time for yourself actually ends up being software development time. You never actually with the thinking process that you use in order to develop a software. In a way, that is also a good thing, because you are bound to come with the most creative solution if you think about it over a longer period of time. 4. It’s A Process
Software developers know that creating software isn’t something that will happen overnight, but that it is a creative process that requires a lot of time and diligent work. Once you accept that creating software is a process you will feel much less anxious if it takes a long time.
5. Collaboration Is Essential
One person can create software, however, usually teams work on developing software. This is why it is important that all the members of the team work together and collaborate.
The better the team work is, the better the end result will be.