I was born in the age before technology, where pen and ink was the norm’ and I suppose I’ve followed the trend, over the years, in the equipment I use to write. Initially it was pen and notepad but then that required transferring onto a typewriter so I began using a combination of both. This system, however, made longer manuscripts difficult as spelling mistakes were altered using correction fluid or, if really bad, a whole page retyped. I recall pages of crossing out on note pads and arrows pointing here and there when trying to change the order of paragraphs. Then along came the word processor and my world changed dramatically.
The machine was basically a typewriter but instead of key presses moving levers which in turn put letters onto a paper page it put words magically on a digital screen. The letters were black on a pale green background and it was such an innovation. No more crossing out or using correction fluid on the paper. Deleting lines of text was easy and no longer messy, just a simple key press. The clatter of typewriter keys was reduced to a quiet, well almost silent, gentle click of the keys. Scrolling backwards and forwards through the text was simple and some word processors even had a spell-checker. Once all was well with the text, paper was loaded and the finished article was printed minus any mistakes. If any were found, a few moments correcting and reprinting were spent to get the perfect written paper. Added to that stories could be saved on ‘floppy disc’ which weren’t floppy at all but hard plastic, A metal cover slid back once the disc was put into the machine so that the discs contents could be read. This allowed several stories to be kept and edited as necessary.
The next, and natural, progression was the personal computer(PC) and software. My first PC was made by Gateway and it was a nightmare. Not through any fault of the manufacturer but my inexperience, I was always deleting the wrong things so it didn’t work properly and I spent hours on the phone to the help-desk. This was sometimes tricky then as my Internet connection was dial-up, via the phone line, so it wasn’t possible to use the internet and the telephone at the same time. Luckily the PC has become part of day to day life, and I’ve become more proficient in their use.
Now I rarely use pen and paper but instead I use my phone, tablet and lap-top. I no longer have a desk top computer as the lap-top is far more versatile, allowing me to write wherever I am, whenever I want.