My first two books were released in early 1984. And with the small advance I got upon publication, plus a bank loan for $5,000, I bought my first personal computer and set it up on a card table in a corner of the bedroom.
It was an IBM clone. No hard drive. Two 7.25″ floppy drives. A monochrome display (mine was black with orange type). Along with the computer, I got a daisy-wheel printer that used continuous form paper; you had to separate the pages and the little feed strips after printing. It was slow as molasses. I think it printed about two pages per minute. Took forever to print a full manuscript and shook the whole house as it labored away.
What a different 30 years has made!
[Tweet “Throwback Thursday: What was your first computer?”]
Today, I work on an iMac with a 27″ display that cost about 40% of what I spent in 1984 and can do almost anything but fly (slight exaggeration). And although I have a LaserJet printer that can spew out pages in near silence and with surprising speed, I don’t have to print a manuscript any longer. I just attach the Word doc to an email and shoot it off to my editor. Save a tree!!!
Best yet, when revisions come back to me, it isn’t my entire manuscript with the pages covered with blue pencil marks and notations. It’s my Word doc with Track Changes turned on. Mercy! How I have come to love Track Changes.
Please tell me: What was your first computer? What can your computer do today that your first computer couldn’t do?