But I Digress… My First Word Processor

CoCo-1

Scanning my collection of snapshots brought back many memories. The photo above was taken at a computer show in Chicago. The vendor was selling custom computer furniture. This computer system was virtually identical to the system I first owned.

In the 1980s, I was teaching electronics in a high school in Fargo, North Dakota. I am not sure how I found out about it, but I learned Prentice-Hall, then textbook publisher, was looking for authors for technical books. I started a project writing a book on basic electronics.

At the same time, I was experimenting with computers, and my first computer was a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer similar to the one in the photo above. The first one I purchased contained all of 16K RAM. I used a small TV for a monitor, and a cassette player designed to interface to the computer for data storage. I learned a lot about computers from the machine nicknamed CoCo.

Working on the book turned out to be more tedious than I liked, and having seen the power of word processors, I longed for their flexibility. Taking a short hiatus, I used the Microsoft BASIC interpreter built into CoCo’s ROMs to create a simple word processor. It was no Microsoft Word by any means, but it allowed me to work on the book a chapter at a time, saving and editing individual paragraphs.

Thanks for taking the time to review my Throwback Thursday post.

John Steiner

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5 thoughts on “But I Digress… My First Word Processor

  1. Hahaha funny… I completely remember this, at first glance I didn’t recognize it but that name TRS-80 rolls right off the tongue, like I’ve said or heard it a million times… Data on a tape player, get a life 1980’s. Fortunately computers got their shit together and we’re not collecting data on cassette tapes and or floppy drives any longer…

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