In the late 70s and 80s I made my living typing, mostly at law firms,
so I saw the whole evolution firsthand. When I started it was
typewriters with carbon paper and Wite-Out. Then came IBM Correcting
Selectric ball typewriters and Xerox machines, then IBM Mag Card or
occasionally the MT/ST tape version, then came the DisplayWriter or at
bigger places Wang minicomputers with terminals. Somewhere in the
mid-80s I started seeing laser printers at big places.

In 1967, Jim Henson made a promotional film for the IBM MT/ST with
music by Raymond Scott (at that time, the only person in the world
with a polyphonic sequencer).

In the mid-80s I was freelance and worked at many different law firms
in San Francisco and New York. Some of them had less popular systems
such as the Xerox 860, which had the first WYSIWYG display and
touchpad I encountered, and the Exxon Qyx, which had a little LED

Finally in the late 80s the law firms virtually all switched to PCs,
WordPerfect, and HP LaserJet printers. For a couple of years I worked
as a WordPerfect consultant, helping firms migrate from dedicated word
processors, converting files (migrating documents from 8"
DisplayWriter disks to 5-1/4" disks in WordPerfect format was a black
art), writing macros to automate basic tasks, and writing printer
drivers for off-brand laser printers. One reason WordPerfect beat
WordStar, Word, et al. in the legal market was that it was fairly
simple to get it to generate numbered legal pleading paper in a laser
printer. There was even a special graphics card that did an
approximation of WYSIWYG.

On Mon, Apr 6, 2020 at 9:32 AM L Larson <> wrote:
> Wow, this brings up SO many memories...
> Does anyone remember Micom, where an 8" floppy could hold as much as 100 
> pages of straight text? How about Displaywriter, one of the first to move 
> from a dedicated system to a PC? ...

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