Friday, February 15, 2013
VINTAGE WORD PROCESSORS
VINTAGE WORD PROCESSORS – I find the evolution of technology fascinating, not only for the machinery itself, also for the way these tools shape our thoughts/ expression. The first desktop computer I used was an Apple. It had large soft floppy disks that had to be changed out each time the mouse was used or a keyboard shortcut was entered. That enabled basic commands such as bold, italics, copy, paste and underline. There was no internet, no laser printer and (I’m pretty sure) dictionary or thesaurus features weren’t available. The saved files didn’t make it through all of the software changes from Apple to IBM to Microsoft to Word Perfect to MS Word. The first word processor had a small screen--the size of a calculator--which could view about five lines of text at a time. It had a built in typewriter, dot matrix paper that loaded on roll, with printed pages that unspooled like paper towels. After the pages finished, a thin strip of perforated paper along the sides was discarded, guides that allowed the pages to spool through the machine. The tools of writing have evolved so much. But, the computer enables me to be significantly more productive than those early days, using first generation word processors.