Today is the first day of my new e-store. http://www.cactusjackceramics.com/ What a leap for someone who remembers dial phones and 8 track tape players! I grew up learning cursive writing and latter, typing. I remember telling my mother and father that the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a typewriter. It was a tangible link to Gutenberg and to movable type. A way for a Jack to climb the bean stalk and enter the world of giants. It was there to help write essays on Hemingway and Heller, to write articles for the school paper, and to make those little poems seem a bit more real in type. My illusions were soon to be dispelled when I was required to write a Masters Thesis! In those days every sheet was typed with a carbon as the only record of the work done. Misspell one word and you had to retype the entire page, or worse, any revision to a paragraph and the entire treatise had to be redone! An industry sprang up around how to "collate" pages. No Spell check! No Grammar check! God help you if you wanted to edit a footnote!!!
Today, recording, editing, typesetting, addition of photos, and web references can all be done easily on the computer. What Gutenberg did with movable type, any computer can do. You don't even have to know how to type. Voice commands can write out your thoughts on your screen, punctuate, spell, underline and even color the letters and add little smiley faces. In a flash your words can be sent to hundreds if not thousands of people all over the world. Even those in countries that do not use the same language can, with a button, translate them into any language or dialect.
So, to those who sigh and let their minds wander back to those "good old days", I say, in terms of the written word, WE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD!