Age of Miracles

The Processor Technology SOL-20 came into my life when Darlene went out. … I simply type on the keyboard and the words appear on the screen … It is faster to type this way than with a normal typewriter, because you don’t need to stop at the end of the line for a carriage return … and you never come to the end of the page, because the material on the screen keeps sliding up to make room for each new line … My computer has a 48K memory … after allowing for the space that The Electric Pencil’s programming instructions occupy in the computer’s memory, the machine can handle documents 6,500 to 7,500 words long … I press another series of buttons and store what I have written on my disk drive … The system transfers data from the computer to the disk, or vice versa, at about 1,000 words per second, so it is no nuisance to pause after each fifteen or twenty minutes of writing to store what I’ve just done. Each of the disks in my system can hold about 100K of information … In addition to The Electric Pencil, I bought the software for a computer-programming language known as BASIC. The B in BASIC stands for Beginners (the full name is Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), but I have not yet found a mathematical project for which BASIC is inadequate … hoping for a world in which my sons can grow up to have a better computer than their father had.

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