Saturday, October 2, 2010

You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!

I do the bulk of my writing on a netbook that slides easily into my purse.

Nowadays, it’s hard to believe I once considered this my lean, mean writing machine:

Smith-Corona PWP

Come on, I can’t be the only one out there who remembers life before everyone had a personal computer on their desk.

What was your first writing machine?


Charles Gramlich said...

I actually wrote a novel on an electric typewriter. My first computer was a Leading Edge, a PC clone at the time, with 2 5 1/4 inch floppies. I've got a couple of laptops now and a desktop. Use 'em interchangeabley

G said...

The first real thing I wrote without pen and paper, was a report for English class on Andersonville prison on an old fashioned manual typewriter (Smith Corona I believe).

I would love to get my hands on a cheap electric again. I can type wicked fast on one and it would be a welcome break from using a notebook.

Don said...

I honestly had no idea that was a personal computer. I figured it had to be a computer due to the keyboard. But I settled upon it being some type of advanced typewriter (at the time).

Lean mean writing machine. I sincerely believe that your talent and passion could craft a novel on a cell phone.

The netbook is sleek.

KeVin K. said...

My Uncle Al gave me his hand-me-down Olivetti Lettera 32 in 1968 as a graduation present.

He had bought this manual portable in 1964 to use while living in an electricity-less cabin in Doyle Springs, CA. He'd written his one attempt at a romance, That Summer (set in a place very like Doyles), and many of his early notes for Capable of Honor with the little green machine before packing it away and upgrading to an electric typewriter for his home office.

In the late 80s and early 90s it sat on a back table in my classroom -- kids enjoyed typing actual letters on paper. It disappeared one year over Christmas break.

Liane Spicer said...

I certainly remember. I wrote my first novel longhand in 1997 and then bought a Brother word processing typewriter to get it submission-ready. This was followed an old PC donated in 2001 by a friend who was upgrading, and it makes your Smith-Corona PWP look like a Mac Air.

My newest tool is a verrry slim 13" laptop (no internal optical drive keeps its figure trim) that I can slip in most bags and carry around without dislocating my shoulder. Bliss!

Anonymous said...

I hate working in long-hand, as my handwriting is abysmal. I even prefer the tiny keyboard on my old Psion 3c PDA, which was my trusty old "writing on the train to work" tool.

Nowadays I use a laptop as a desktop, if that makes sense.

Jewel Amethyst said...

I wrote my first novel (when I was a teen never to be published) in ink on binder paper. I translated it to print on a manual typewriter (one with the spring keys that went bap bap bap). Later I got a Brother electric typewriter from my sister. In 1994 I inherited a computer from another one of my sisters. It had 2 5 1/4 floppies (no hard drive). Bought my first computer the next year. It had a harddrive, 3 1/2 floppy and CD Rom WOW!

Now I write on a laptop and two desktops and email myself my drafts.

Terence Taylor said...

A series of portable manuals building my way up to a spiffy IBM Selectric 3 that was promptly burgled, leavin the way clear for my first Mac -- a 512K.

I loved the sound of typewriter keys hitting the page and have used a program for years that lets me assign typewriter noises to my computer keyboard so it sounds like a typewriter wen I work -- and just recorded new portable manual sounds from a friends old manual for my new MacBook Pro laptop -- it's a little Steampunk, hearing a sleek new machine pouring out the sounds of an old manual... ;)

Shauna Roberts said...

I had a manual typewriter in college. In grad school, I got a light-duty office typewriter, and that's what I wrote my dissertation on.

Our first computer was a Macintosh 512 "Fat Mac," the second Mac model produced, which had a whopping 512 kilobytes of memory and cost about $2500. (My current Macintosh has 8 Gigabytes of memory and cost about half that.)