Monday, September 17, 2007

How Computers Transformed Baby Boomers:

This summer I was talking to some young Google employees, and at one point the conversation somehow turned to the antediluvian document-creation processes of an older generation: mine. So I (born 1951) told these twentysomethings that there was a time when people wrote on machines called typewriters, beginning at the beginning and plowing through until the end, at which point they would mark up the manuscript with pen or pencil for the next run through the typewriter. If there was a need to recast a couple of sentences or even an entire paragraph, you would type on a new sheet of paper, cut the new text from the page with scissors and use Elmer's glue to paste it over the original not-so-hot lines. "Oh!" said one of the Googlers, of 1980s vintage. "So that's where 'cut-and-paste' came from!"