it printed in cuneiform.


That monstrosity is a Brother WP-1 word processor. I recently found this picture online, and boy, did it trigger some memories.

I got one of those babies in the late 1980s, when I was just out of high school. I kept it throughout my four years of military service, and it got dragged to every duty station where I spent more than a few weeks. And “dragged” is the right word here–it was an all-in-one unit with an amber-and-black CRT, a floppy drive, and a daisy wheel printer, and it weighed probably close to forty pounds. (It did have a convenient carry handle, so it was somewhat portable, but let me tell you that this thing was no MacBook Air. It tested your commitment. You really had to want to write if you chose to take your word processor the weight of a car battery with you.)

I filled up many a 3.5″ disk with my early attempts at Fictional Noveling, let me tell you. And I only got rid of the trusty Brother when I got my first PC, a 486 DX2-50, which had Windows 3.1 and Microsoft Word on it.

Man, I’ve been at this writing thing for a while. I already had dreams of making this writing thing a profession when I was still in high school. And it only took 25 years of pounding away at the keyboard!

5 thoughts on “it printed in cuneiform.

  1. 1st liar dosn’t have a chance.
    Mine came with a bronze chisel, hammer, and instructions on basic Hieroglyphics…

  2. I see your Brother WP-1 and raise you an IBM System 6 dedicated word processor.

    The company at which I worked bought one of these in the late ’70s. At the time, we and the local community college were the only ones in the county to have one. The printer, as I recall, was attached perpendicular to one end, like a desk extension, making the thing even larger. It did do a really good job, though, especially with mail merge (for mass mailings), which was a lot of what we used it for.

    At least your Brother system didn’t have to be delivered by a moving company. :)

  3. I used to work on a device called a Lexitron. The spinning-ball printer pounded the paper like an IBM Selectric, and it had to be housed in a foam-lined faux-woodgrain pressboard cabinet to shut down on the noise-level. Ear-pro would have helped, especially since my boss was an insane fat woman who yelled all the time.
    Then because the Big Private University was so hi-tech, we got an XT loaded with Wordstar…