Scott Penrose


Scott is an expert software developer with over 30 years experience, specialising in education, automation and remote data.

Mechanic was a DOS Accounting package designed specifically for Auto Mechanics. It has a very nice interface and a lot of thought into speed and specific requirements for Mechanics. E.g. printing special cards for work to be done on the car, and where what was done/used could be recorded.

The most exciting thing I was a part of was the print driver (1990). It was written in Assembler, and provided what felt like multi tasking, by replacing the keyboard inputs with the print driver.

  • If a key was pressed - the driver returned to the application with the key
  • If there was a printer problem (out of paper etc) - the driver returned the error details
    • This brought a popup window (even though it was text based) to warn about paper
    • Cool bit is, you now in the driver again
    • But even cooler - the instant paper was inserted into the printer, the popup automatically disappeared.

In those days, when you clicked print, you were lucky to get 2 or 3 pages per minute on a good quality laser printer you would use on a PC. We found that doing it this way it was just as fast, only it effectively printed in the background, because applications like this are almost always waiting for key inputs.