Little did I know the degree to which the personal computer would come to dominate our lives – much less, how much cheaper they would become. The machine we bought that day used a DOS program (which I insisted on pronouncing like the Spanish word for “two” which drove J crazy) and big floppy discs. It was possible to play word games on it, but graphics were far in the future. Even so, “The Adventures of Zork” was so enticing CD taught himself to read overnight to play.
Screen-writing software didn’t exist – nor did the mouse. If the internet was out there, I was not informed. The transition from my electric blue Selectric typewriter – a prized possession purchased over two years of monthly payments – was painful. The Selectric seemed so much easier and faster than the computer. Ultimately, I had to give the Selectric away to force myself to learn this newfangled thing.
Today, it’s hard to remember the days when adding or deleting a paragraph meant typing the entire document again. Making copies meant smudged carbon paper or a trip to a copy store. Changing a font meant buying another IBM bouncing ball – in those days, a pricey thirty dollars a pop. I loved to change fonts and accumulated several.
You were required to check your own spelling.