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"How Technology Changed My Life"

Compare your technological evolution to this writer's life--from his first manual typewriter to his recently purchased 433 MHz PC.

This story appears in the May 2000 issue of

I recall the farewell party my office gave me when I quit to become a freelance writer. I was editor of a small weekly newspaper, and we all gathered around the coffeepot in the back of the composing room. The year was 1978, and because electronic composition hadn't yet reached the boonies, the smell of hot lead type filled the air. The publisher surprised me with a very nice gift: the manual hunt-and-peck typewriter I'd written my articles on.

Today that typewriter sits moldering in the cellar. Sentimentality is the only thing that prevents me from chucking it. (Though greed should motivate me: Just last week the oil man was cleaning my furnace when he came across this valuable antique. "A typewriter!" the young man exclaimed. "I've always wondered what those looked like.")

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