It's the 1980s, and this public utility's engineering department has discovered that these newfangled PCs can be useful after all, according to a pilot fish on the scene.
"We had to have permits to cut roads for pipeline crossings, and had to send in a specific four- or five-part form to the state," says fish. "This would usually be to the tune of at least 15 to 20 per month.
"The forms were tractor-fed, so why not build a program to print them on a dot-matrix printer and record them into a database? We did a little development work with dBASE III+ and Basic to do that.
"We even, in the days before our Novell network was in place, set it up to sneaker-net the permit information into the department check registry to cut out retyping the information.
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