Monday, 13 February 2012

Has Microsoft Word affected the way we work? | Technology | The Observer

Following on the typewriters and literary history of word processing thread I belatedly (via this week's Guardian Weekly) happened across this piece by John Naughton from the Observer

Has Microsoft Word affected the way we work? | Technology | The Observer

There's two take aways in the piece - personal word processing was most definitely around before 1985 - I for one remember writing documents on a BBC Micro in 1984 using a ROM based word processing application whose name I forget, and that professional writers, be they journalists or authors made the switch as soon as they could.

At the same time I was using a lightweight application on a BBC micro, we were using Wordstar running on top of CP/M on SuperMicro Z80 based computers in the lab to create complex reports and mailmerge documents, including using a daisywheel based printer to generate camera ready text in nice fonts for publication.

However, word processing, while it was most definitely around was not nearly as common a couple of years before when it was all TeX and troff, and access to, not to mention personal ownership of, computers was very rare.

Only with the advent of cheap computers like the BBC micro did wordprocessing start to become common. Only with the arrival of the IBM PC and it's clones did it start heading towards the pervasive ...

No comments: