Old tech & new tech
Back when dinosaurs walked the earth, in the days before Windows when DOS and the command line ruled, there was a database language called Clipper. It was a quite powerful language, and zillions of businesses wrote custom programs in Clipper that ran their businesses.
And now, 10 -12 years later, many businesses still run these prehistoric Clipper apps, and often these apps are mission-critical – without them the business would not function. Seriously!
However, with new fast processors and new generations of operating systems, Clipper apps can act oddly or stop running. Windows XP, in particular, doesn’t like DOS apps and may grumpily refuse to run them.
I used to program in Clipper (still do for those that want it) and now have a thriving sub-business converting Clipper apps to Windows. Without the Internet, this business would not exist. Go to Google, and search for “Clipper migration”. My business website appears both as a search return and in the ads on the right hand column. The ads cost about 10 cents per click-through, in other words they appear for free, and I’m only billed for when someone clicks on the ad. I get steady inquiries from all over the world from these ads and from Google. (I took my own advice, as I also create and manage pay per click ad campaigns)
Which leads to more reasons why the Net is essential for my business. Clients can email me files, I convert them, then email them back. It matters not where they are. Email is handy to keep in touch, however Messenger (whether it be Yahoo, Microsoft or AOL) is even more useful. A few minutes ago I had two Messenger windows open simultaneously, one to a client in London, another to a client in India. We got accomplished in a few minutes what would have taken a few days by email and it’s free.
And another client who found me on Google is just a few miles away, so I can drive there. However, without the Net we’d have never met.