I get that internal combustion engines are bad and their days are numbered, but I remain unconvinced that everyone driving around on top of giant lithium batteries disguised as car underbodies is a better outcome environmentally.
I feel like that makes me a bit of a Luddite, which is a new place for me to be. Pynchon told me it's OK to be one. https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/97/05/18/reviews/pynchon-luddite.html
The obvious response here is “well, write one, then,” and if I weren’t so wrapped up in this manuscript right now maybe I’d try.
I’ve done a LOT of writing since I hit on my Mac Word 5 setup a few weeks ago. Only problem now is the carpal tunnel issues that have been slowly gaining on me for years are finally too obvious to ignore, I guess because of all the extra time I’m spending typing on top of my work days, and my crappy work from home desk setup.
On the bright side maybe I’ll get to buy another fancy ergo keyboard?
1980s: Ensure that the floppy disk was inserted properly, learned a few BASIC programs, able to type in letters into a word processor
1990s: Able to use several Office-style programs, use a mouse, send email, use a shell account, possibly program in C.
2000s: Able to connect to the internet and send email, browse the web, and order things online.
2010s: Type things into Google get answers, understand that there's incognito mode
2020s: be able to unmute your microphone
The Classic Mac is very welcoming in its way. Even MacOS 8/9 still retains it but not to the same degree.
I don’t know if it’s the familiarity of the environment from growing up in a Mac household, or the scaled back simplicity of the writing tools (compared to O365 and Emacs and whatever else I’ve been writing in), but I find myself really enjoying working this way.
I’ve got WordPerfect, MacWrite Pro, and Nisus Writer here as well, but they haven’t tempted me away from Word 5.1 yet.
I had totally forgotten how weird and cool UserLand Frontier is. The Mac had so many interesting outliners.
All this has me considering keeping an emulator and a few disk images on a flash drive and just dropping into my Mac writing happy place whenever the mood strikes me, regardless of what computer I’m using. Edit my files from anywhere because they’re all inside a fake computer from 30 years ago.
Once you tell Trust Center not to block them, up to date Word from Office 365 has no problem at all opening files I create in Word 5 (from 1992) running on System 7. Kind of amazing, kind of terrifying.
Just remembered the summer in high school (2004 maybe?) when I somehow got hold of a PowerBook 180 and churned out a big masterpiece of fiction (so I thought) in Word 5. That’s probably the best writing experience I’ve had and I think the hardware and software had something to do with it. I’ve been searching for that feeling ever since.