I remember a time when a” computerized” paper was just an option for students, and that the standard was a handwritten paper, or, in more formal writings, type-written ones. I used to get extra points from teachers just because my paper was “computerized”. Those were the days of the DOS, (Disk Operating System) where you have to insert a 5”x5” diskette just so that the computer can operate, and the Wordstar and Lotus, the main document and spreadsheet programs that made the typewriter a dinosaur. The PC’s speed barometer then was whether it was a 286 or 386, and later the faster 486. Navigating was made by typing commands on the “A/B/C prompt” or pressing the control or alt buttons of the keyboard. Knowing how to navigate by using these commands and controls somehow made one an expert on computers and allowed a claim to a special skill or talent.
For a time, this was the standard for computing machines, until the first Windows program (was it Windows 3?) appeared which made using a computer an ease. Windows also had the Winword and the Excel bundled with the Operating System with the same navigating ease. Contrast pointing the cursor and clicking buttons to work and navigate the computer against having to memorize and type “directory\q\s” on the letter prompt or pressing “ctrl F” to go to the files then “ctrl S” or whatever letter that corresponds to the command.
With the development of faster, bigger memory computers came more complex application of the computing machine. Wordstar and the DOS became obsolete and computerized works became more common, until eventually computerized work was the standard, the required form. I wonder what the reaction would be if I submitted a type-written pleading or paper today.
The interconnectivity of computers through the internet allowed also not just writing but also publication of a work in an instant, for millions, nay potentially billions of people to read. Sharing and accessing information has never been so easy. This may be good news to many, and I agree to its positive consequences. However, in this instance - writing a blog for INFOTECH- I wish otherwise. I feel a bit uneasy knowing that random thoughts I write become accessible for others to read. If only for this, I long for the handwritten papers submitted to professors for compliance, knowing that only them can read and judge my thoughts. However, as is with familiarity and constant use, I'll probably get used to this in the near future.