CAN JOHNNIE SPELLSWELL? - OR IS THAT NO LONGER IMPORTANT?
Monterey, California. Are you old enough to remember when you
were not permitted automatic turn indicators on cars? You had to hold
out your arm to signal a turn. How about when a Ball-Point pen was
not allowed in Quebec Schools? That was only 25 years ago. Seventy
nine years ago they wouldn't even allow an automobile to enter the
province of Prince Edward Island !!
Remember the days when a kid couldn't take a hand-held calculator
into school? They were forced to use paper and pencil. Because it
had always bene done that way !! Some schools now prohibit kids from
taking their own laptop computers into classrooms. Problem: The kids
can find the answer quicker and in more detail than the teacher.
And, you know how frequently teachers and parents bemoan the fact
that Johnnie and Susan can't spell.
Well this may ruin your day but It's a Fact: Wasting years
learning how to spell may not be productive. In the communications
age it may be more profitable spending that time learning how to
Today this valhalla of laid-back California, which runs from
Monterey through Pacific Grove to Clint Eastwood's Carmel-By-The-Saa,
Is the home of one of this state's leading software developers,
working software, Inc. Partly because of the high tech developments
taking place here on the fringe of silicion valley, This state is
leading the U.S. into the 21st Century.
Working Software Programs range of programs include "Lookup",
which instantly finds the correct spelling for any single word. The
two dictionaries built into this program contain 93,000 and 60,000
words respectively. It is much faster than reaching for a GutenbergStyle dictionary. The program also contains a "guess" function. This
feature makes guesses based on phonetic spelling. It also catches
common typos, along with a "Wildcard" method which locates all words
beginning and ending with certain specified letters. For example it
would "Guess" and provide all words based on "Comm?er" by finding all
words beginning with "Comm" and ending with "er". When you select the
chosen word it is automatically placed into the original text. Not
only can't Johnnie do that the old way, the teacher can't either!
Two other programs work with a legal dictionary and a sophisticated medical dictionary. Still another program in the same family,
"Findswell" will find anything you have placed in your computers
memory. Try that with your own head!
One of the best features of all their software packages is the
price. Only US$49.95 for "Lookup". Others: "Spellswell", ect. in a
similar price range.
Do not go away with the thought that this is an isolated example
of what is to come. When you program robots to speak, for instance,
you use phonetic spelling. You spell like it sounds. Just like most
misspelled words. Well robots just love that intelligent method.
Take the word "Laugh". Now really, If you were an intelligent robot
wouldn't you see right away that "Laf" is the way to go? But humans,
brainwashed by their "Perfect" industrial age spelling ability may
find that a handicap in dealing with robots - or the future. The
new race of neural computers will not seek perfection (In spelling or
anything else) at a high price in time and cost, but will find the
"almost perfect" answer instantly and practically for free. Prepare
to change your rigid ways, the winds of change blow strong.
Dave Johnson, President,
Working Software Inc.,
321 Alvarado, Monterey, CA 93940.
Phone: (408) 375-2828.
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