Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Writing Tools Over the Years

Bic Matic Mechanical Pencil
Yes, the most basic of writing tools. Add it with a pad of lined paper, or better yet one of those thick Mead notebooks and I was ready to go. Been using these basic tools off and on since third grade, about 1977 or thereabouts. Sure, I used plenty of other pencils and pens over the years, but this Bic was always my favorite. Still use it today from time to time, and I've got something like a hundred of them, some close to 25 years old; for some reason, whenever I move, I lose a bunch of them then head to the store to buy some more. Only to find my old ones eventually.

Olivetti Valentine
This was my very first typewriter. I got it used at a yard sale in 1984. I was 14, and I was thrilled nearly to tears. I had a typewriter. A portable typewrite. I was a real writer all of a sudden. Little did I know this Italian typewriter was actually a piece of junk. But I don't blame that on the company. It was just a used typewriter. Still, I had a lot of fun playing with it for the next couple of years. Don't know what ever happened to it. I guess my mom ended up with it somehow and has probably tossed it now after all these years.

Smith Corona SL105 1986
My one and only electric typewriter. My mom bought it for me new in about 1986 when I was in high school, and I think I was stepping into big things. This typewriter had one of those white mistake-fixer ribbon thingies in it, so if you made a typing error you could just hit the button for this special ribbon and it would jump back to white-out the error so you could type the corrected text. I thought I was in heaven. This was the first device I ever actually typed real stories onto. It lasted me a good long while, and my mother still uses it from time to time today since she's got in her office at her place.

Macintosh SE/30
The next 5 or 6 years were busy ones for me, graduating high school and going to college and having to work 2 or 3 jobs while also working at the school newspaper and the yearbook. I didn't have a lot of time for my own writing. Most of the writing I did during this period of my life was done at the university on whatever computers were available, my preference leaning toward Apple's Macintoshes. But in 1994, a couple of years after I graduated college, I was able to afford my own computer. It was used, but it worked great. It was a Macintosh SE/30, one of this little, boxy Macs from the early days of the computer and Internet revolutions. This computer only had a black and white screen, and that screen was really tiny. But it was perfect for just writing. I loved it. One of the best little engines I've had the pleasure to own. A few years later I sold it to a friend. Unfortunately, that old Mac of mine died on her about a week later. Too bad.

Macintosh Performa 6300
This was my next computer, another Mac, purchased about 1997. I loved Macs, so why not stick with them? This thing was a workhorse for me. I wrote tons and tons of stuff with this Macintosh. It was a fine, honest computer that lasted me a good while. I eventually trashed it when it died on me one fine summer day. Luckily I had everything backed up on discs. Remember disc? No? Then you're not old enough to.

Got this little blue puppy in 2001. Another great computer from the Apple Macintosh people. And another workhorse for me. I wrote tons of stories on this iMac, including two screenplays and three novels. I still have it today, mostly for storage and as a backup computer. Every once in a while I'll write on it, and I'd be glad to do so again regularly if I had to.

HP Pavilion a1130n
In finally joined the PC world in 2005 when I bought this computer. I had to. I was married, and my wife didn't know hardly anything about Macs. So now I do all my Web surfing and the majority of my writing on this PC. Despite my never-dying love for Macs, I have to admit this PC has been put to the test and has worked amazingly for me. I've written dozens of stories, hundreds of articles and one novel on my PC. I'll probably move back to a Mac again someday, whenever I can afford it, but that's just my preference. I have no complaints about my HP Pavilion.

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