Wordprocessing for Academics, Circa 1979

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Writing in the Bulletin of the History of Economics Society Volume 1, Issue 1 (Winter 1979), David Levy noted in "Computerized Text Processing for the Historian of Economic Thought", that the typing technology of the day worked fine for business applications, but that academics needed to become familiar with the really good programs used to create computer documentation. You know, the ones that contained the latest technology:

recent developments.jpg

I'm probably the last generation in the U.S. to have used an old-fashioned manual typewriter for typing up reports; I did so until we purchased word processing software and (what turned out to be an incredibly durable) Epson dot-matrix printer for our Commodore 64 some time in the mid to late1980's.

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Blogosfera (rápidas) from De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum on January 13, 2006 6:41 AM

* Lembra do meu post abaixo sobre os custos da guerra? Polêmica sobre os cálculos de Stiglitz aqui. * Um artista preso, mas que vende sua arte no eBay. * A era das trevas: 1979. * Manifestantes pró-mercados e anti-mercados.... Read More


I used to think the old smith-corona electric typewriter was the height of high-tech convenience! The exchangeable cartridges (one for typing, one for correcting) were oh so easy to use...

I tried some of those electric toys, but I actually prefered the feel and whomp-whack sound of the manual; sadly, most in the current high school generation cannot handle an old cracklin' bottle of whiteout with skill and dexterity.

I'm still waiting for word recognition software that can handle the mix of Long Island and Virginian accents I slip into when I get really excited about a subject. That will be high-tech.

Hey, wait. According to CBS modern word processing equipment not only was available in 1973, but was distributed widely enough to be among the second hand stuff available to state Air National Guard!

Not so fast. According to Dan Rather and CBS news, modern word processing equipment complete with proportional type and sub-script was not only available in 1973, but was so widely distributed that it was among the typical hand-me-down equipment located in state Air National Guard units.


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