I come from Iron Age (Big Iron = IBM Mainframes) and have used 18 word processors over 35 years. If the PC represents the present era then BC could represent the Iron Age at ~20BC (not Before Computers). In '69 IBM created Script (word processing/formatting) SPF (Structured Programming Facility) and SGML (Standardized General Markup Language a precursor to HTML) It also supported from its RJE method a product called ATS. From there I remember it passing to NBI. I do not expect any converts to the Old Testament religions in discussing this prehistory, but I want to point out a few things mentioned in the 61 replies see so far by [key] word where a more extensive discussion may be requested (limits my off topic capability).
[One write says a word-processing programmer did not like the mouse] Does anyone annoyed with carpal tunnel syndrome like the mouse? Well no one anyone near me likes the constant screams of pain needed sustain more that and hour?s worth of writing. Reducing the keyboard to a laptop reduces me to using a very uncoordinated left hand only that does not help my inability to type anything worthwhile (oops ah current essay excluded) Yes that idiosyncratic hand shaking sure looks weird (should I take up Karate?) And when I have to stop a car trip to find a comfortable position for my arm I wonder when someone?s going suggest genetic engineering to reduce my fat stubby fingers to ET/wimp size. And by the way if you have plans for oversized keyboard I can make in a wood shop please send it along.
[Someone mentioned capitalism limiting software development suggesting that it should be free should definitely look up Richard Stallman (Free Software Foundation?s barefoot cross between Jesus and Charles Manson who is fond of animals, weird animals). Two things; free software means ?no software? (not software I would like to change to meet my needs) but ?no software? that competes with ?cost? software such that ?cost? software is never written since it should be free except for a donation and a required disclaimer. On those rare cases where capital is at risk or was once at risk I remember old software?s current purpose is to fund healthy retirements to the executives who have limited its availability.
[Really: Technical Improvement?] Of those 18 word processing systems I have used there are none that roll up all the good features of each one. Strange things are missing, [EOL] = End of line or putting the cursor at the end of the current line w/o having to arrow, space or mouse click to death. [WORD = Advance to beginning of the next word to step through a badly written sentence and rewrite it]. [Selecting for Cut and Paste] not wasting time botching a cut and paste session and having to start over or saving 100 versions to guard against error. [OOPS - Hitting some mystery key combination and losing the whole session. [Column editing ? Never mind use Excel and get a new arm.]
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