Volume 33, Number 8, August 1998
Software Solutions...DATA, DATA Everywhere
by Frank J. Romano
The ways we process information continue to change at a rapid pace.
The ways in which we receive and process information continue to change at a rapid
rate. Voice mail, faxing and electronic mail (e-mail) are all outgrowths of the computer
revolution. I recently received more than 80 e-mails from people responding to an article
I wrote. My first reaction was: who would have ever dreamed we would communicate this way
even 20 years ago? How our world has changed. Ponder these predictive pieces of
- Forty percent of U.S. households control 70 percent of the disposable income. These tend
to be affluent, educated Americans with access to the latest technology and the latest
information. They are the techno elite.
- Of total personal consumption, about seven percent goes for movies, theater and sports;
two percent goes for magazines; two percent for books; and 0.8 percent for newspapers.
Sixty percent of all adults read a newspaper daily and 75 percent read a newspaper at
least once a week. U.S. adults read or scan an average of ten magazines a month. We watch
more than we read.
- Most of us have only about 3,500 hours per year of personal time that can be devoted to
reading, TV, listening to music, etc. That includes weekends, holidays and vacation, plus
whatever you can grab during the work week. Thus new media compete with old media for our
- Cost per thousand-baud telecommunications was $500 in 1980 and was about $20 in 1997.
Eventually it may be cheaper to transmit information than to record or print and deliver
it to you. CD- and DVD-ROM could yield to online delivery over time.
- In 1986 every encyclopedia published was only in print. Today, only five percent are in
print, 45 percent on CD-ROM, 40 percent on a CD-ROM bundled with your new personal
computer and ten percent accessed over the WWW. The encyclopedia is essentially free for
some people. Eventually 100 percent of all encyclopedias could be digital.
- People who work at or from home for any amount of time represented 28 percent of the
workforce in 1988; in 1997 it was 41 percent. It could hit 50 percent by 2000. Not all
work in home offices as such; some are telecommuters.
- Students per computer in 1984 averaged 125; today it is less than nine. More people are
entering the workforce with computer skills. Eventually, they will not be able to enter
the workforce without computer skills.
- The average number of working hours per week in 1964 was 38; today it is 52. There are
more two-person wage earners in a family and the home office is an extension of the real
office. We work harder. We need to work smarter.
- U.S. movie ticket revenues were $7 billion in 1997. One out of four U.S. adults goes to
the movies once a month. But they rent one video cassette a week as well. U.S. bookstore
sales: $12 billion, 24 percent of which is sold in two summer months. The electronic book
will be based on the three Bs: bedroom, beach and bathroom.
- Average daily household television ON-time is six hours and 39 minutes. This number is
actually rising and represents 2,427 hours out of the 3,500 hours of personal time
available. We actually watch the TV an average of four hours a day. One weekdays, adults
listen to the radio for an average of three hours and 20 minutesin many cases, in
their automobiles. Listening to Howard Stern while driving may be a moving violation.
- One in ten households has a desktop computer with a modem. Just because it is in the
home does not mean it is available for business use. Since 1995 the number of email
messages has exceeded the number of print e-mail messages transmitted in the United
- In only seven percent of U.S. households is the TV only for broadcast reception. In
most, the TV is connected to cable, videocassette recorder/player and/or a videogame
system. It is not too difficult to predict that the TV will become a window to the
internet. Then we will really see family fights for the TV.
- Seventy-three percent of U.S. teens have a CD player. Each of us spends $55 a year on
recorded music. Actually, my kids more than cover their share. How about a CD of just
- Thirty-three percent of U.S. teens have a home computer and a short attention span, and
spend their time looking for dirty pictures. Kids and parents will compete for the
- Average life expectancy for men today is 63; in 2010 it will be 67. For women, 67 and
71. If we develop a customer, they may be around for a long time.
- Worldwide population of personal computers is now 250 million; by 2010 it will be more
than 400 million. That counts old machines as well. Most are too old to do what we want to
- Number of McDonalds fast-food restaurants: 14,000; by 2010: 30,000. We want what
we want when we want it. The same will be true of information.
- Gambling revenues in 1994 were $39 billion. By 2010 it is expected to be $127 billion.
- There are 1,200 communications satellites. In 2000 there will be more than 2000.
Everyone will be able to connect.
- Of all the people ever born on the planet Earth, 51 percent are now alive. Thats
why you cant find a parking space when you really need it.
Frank J. Romano is a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and founder
of Electronic Publishing magazine. Reprinted with permission of Electronic Publishing
magazine, March 1998.
SOFTWARE Buyers Guide
Software for the industry is increasingly more comprehensive and specific to user
needs. A sampling of some of the latest products follows.
New System From GDS
GDS Storefront Estimating of Oceanside, CA, has introduced version 12.1 of the GDS
Storefront Estimating System for Windows® 95, 98 and Windows® NT. According to the
company, the software allows users to switch vendors at the click of a mouse, transfer
jobs from one vendor to another and have up to nine vendors at any given time. The company
says the system also permits operators to build elevations sequentially, choose up to 54
kinds of glass, calculate labor based on default values set by the user and set global
preferences for automatic creation of DXF (CAD) files.
Vista*Vision From Vistawall
Vistawall Architectural Products of Terrell, TX, offers the Vista*Vision 4.0
estimating/price catalog software for glazing companies. According to the company, the
software offers standard paint pricing, the ability to change the finish on a single line
item and the ability to change the finish or system for any elevation. The company says
the Vista*Vision also can cut quoting time in half and it allows the user to make
additions to the database easily.
Software From First Systech
Phoenix, AZ-based First Systech Internation-al, Inc. says it is a leading provider of
industry-specific software and services for companies that manufacture and distribute
windows, doors, millwork, building materials and extrusion. The software controls
information from the shop floor to the back office. It is graphically based and can run
Windows® NT, Unix, Win 95 or Win 98 in a client-server environment.
It includes order entry, production scheduling and manufacturing, purchase ordering and
inventory control, accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger and payroll.
Other modules include electronic catalog for remote order entry, bar coding for inventory
and shop floor control.
© Copyright 1998 Key Communications, Inc. All rights
reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.