Chapter 10 – Input Method



I told my parents about registering for the computer class when I got home, father didn’t object this time, instead, he encouraged me to study hard and don’t give up halfway in the middle.

Father, as an engineer in the factory, knew exactly the importance of studying computers to work in the future. He gave me the class fee without saying anything else, and praised my sensibility of starting to study. In 1994, computers were not yet become the gaming devices that parents would say that are in the future, nor were they called electronic drugs. Computers were still very mysterious in the eyes of most people at this time, and were a symbol of high tech automation.

The computer suite of Shao Nian Gong was very small, with only around twenty computers, they were all a single colored Lenovo 386. There were only four or five people sitting idly when I entered, completely unlike the atmosphere with several tens of people in the sanda class the previous day. No wonder the trial fees were that expensive, it was any lower, then there wouldn’t even be enough to pay the teacher.

The computers in this era could be said as extremely boring for our generation, nowhere near as exciting as gaming devices. It was because of computers being so mysterious that a lot of children, and even parents, thought of it as a scientific device detached from the mundane life, only a few parents with foresight would send teir students here to study.

I sat down at a seat near the back, and turned on the computer. The familiar self-checking sound rang out, and made me really excited as I stared at the screen, waiting for the familiar little widow to pop up.

En? Why did the screen go black? I stared at the prompt in front of my eyes, then suddenly remembered, the computers within the country were sill in the DOS era.

Isn’t this making bricks without straws? I, who had gotten used to a graphical user interface, actually had to face such a prompt, it was fortune that I had studied DOS6.22 and TC2.0, or else I would have had no idea of where to begin.

I skillfully got out the folders menu in the hard disk, and saw that the only programming languages that could be use were BASIC and LOGO, TC wasn’t even installed. There were a few other programs that could be used to practice typing. BASIC was the language I was the worst at while studying and was also the least used one, even if when I did use it, it was through VB, so I didn’t have to remember the language itself. I have never even used LOGO, nor have I ever seen any co-workers use it.

“Liu Lei?” Suddenly I heard an extremely moving voice call out my name, and it was a voice I could recognize even in my sleep, from our cute classmate, Zhao Yanyan.

“Liu Lei, it really is you, why are you here?” Zhao Yanyan frankly sat down on the seat beside me.

“I should be the one asking you this right? Aren’t you learning to dance?” I stopped what I was operating and asked Zhao Yanyan.

“How did you know I’m taking dance lessons here?” Zhao Yanyan looked at me suspiciously.

Sweat begun to drip from my forehead, she nearly saw through me, logically speaking I shouldn’t have known that Zhao Yanyan was learning to dance here. School only started for a week, Zhao Yanyan never mentioned it to me, but in my previous life, I knew that Zhao Yanyan would learn to dance at Shao Nian Gong every Saturday.

I took a deep breath, and pretended like it was nothing, “I saw you when I came to learn sanda yesterday.”

“Oh, you’re learning sanda, I can’t tell. But that’s not right, Liu Lei, “Zhao Yanyan immediately spoke in a laughing, yet not laughing ton, “I didn’t even come to dance class yesterday, so Liu Lei, come clean, how did you find out?”

My god, this is impossible! I was adding insult to injury, it really was like when a clever person becoming the victim of their own ingenuity. However, at that momnt my savior appeared, an old geezer walked onto the podium, and said to us, “Good, be quiet everyone, I’m about to begin the lesson.”

As expected, Zhao Yanyan stopped asking me when he spoke, and took out a small notebook from a little backpack and got ready to take notes.

I was puzzled, Zhao Yanyan also came to the computer class? I never heard about it in my previous life? What’s more was that girls were generally uninterested in these things, and this could be seen from Zhao Yanyan being the only girl in the room.

“Why did you come to learn this?” I asked.

“Who’s rule decided that you could come and I can’t?” Zhao Yanyan whispered to me without moving her sight form the podium.

“It’s just that I can’t focus now that you’ve come,” I murmured.

“Why can’t you study, isn’t it great for you that a beauty like me is studying by your side?” Zhao Yanyan whispered to me as she listened to the geezer on the podium speak, so she spoke distractedly, and ridiculed me without thinking. However she noticed that there was something wrong with what she had said, and blushed right after the words left her mouth, making her very shy.

I pretended like I didn’t notice and continued, “It’s because I’m just looking at you during the lesson, so I can’t focus.”

“Who are you trying to trick?” Zhao Yanyan replied, “I don’t know who it that would sleep the moment lesson starts.”

“I can’t look at you in all lessons, you’ll get embarrassed, “I said shamelessly.

My words caused Zhao Yanyan’s cheeks to go bright right, and she didn’t reply for quite a while, before replying quietly, “Just focus on the lesson.”

“Computing is a mysterious study, we can use it to draw pictures, write text, process data, and even program programs that we like, such as games…” The words that the geezer endlessly spoke were nonsense even more nonsense than nonsense. On the other hand, Zhao Yanyan was enjoying it, and noted down something once in a while. Other people were the same. I laughed at them in my heart, you’ll understand what is meant by as dull as ditch water, once it comes to learning to write programs.

In the DOS era, what programs could be programed to make money? It was an era were the copyright laws weren’t developed, Huaxia didn’t have a large number of computers, and was also glutted with a lot of pirated software, it was impossible to force people to spend money on the legitimate versions, thus I went into deep thoughts.

My hands flew over the keys quickly, it was a subconscious action I would do every time I thought about problems, the screen was full of fhqutemvga that I have entered, it was the sequence that needed to be typed in Wubi to entered the three characters Zhao Yanyan. I laughed wryly, and gazed at Zhao Yanyan on the side, the girl was still listening to the geezer’s crap intently, and didn’t notice what I was doing at all. Thank god what I typed out was Wubi, if it was in pinyin than the chick would probably think that I was sick in the head, but she might also become so moved that she would repay me with her body, also this possibility was nearly zero.

I cleared the screen, it seems like my habit wasn’t good, if people around me learnt Wubi in the future, then I’d be seen through. Wubi! That’s right, I slapped my thighs. According to my understanding, there wasn’t a perfect pinyin input method in this era, a lot of people were memorizing the ways to type in Wubi in order to improve their typing speed. Yet the number of people that actually use the Wubi input method were a dime in a dozen in the future, they all used pinyin. Furthermore it was also way too far-fetched to get the people that worked governmental jobs that wouldn’t often type.

If I could move the pinyin input methods that would be seen in the Windows platforms like Zhineng ADC and Sogou pinyin into the DOS platform, then that would really cause a new trend.



References

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