Flashback to Grad School, or “I Wrote My Thesis with That?”


Kayla’s rant about iPads and her description of college tech was striking to me. She ASSUMED (accurately) that anyone going to college these days has a computer. Yup, access to a computer isn’t a luxury for students these days, it is a necessity. (As she then goes on to point out, iPads, on the other hand, are luxuries.)

It got me thinking about my own college days. When I was working on my undergraduate degree we had a room in each dorm with four or five computers. For the most part they were used for math and science calculations rather than writing and it you wanted access to one you had to wait in line.

Six months after graduating from college I was in graduate school. By that time I had gone high-tech. Yup, no more typewriter for me! Instead I used this…


Yes, the Brother. WP1!

Sparrow Image captured from YouTube video

It was amazing(ly slow) and if you typed too quickly it just locked up until it caught up. Hard to imagine I wrote so many of my papers on it. Oh the times they are achangin’!

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

2 Comments on "Flashback to Grad School, or “I Wrote My Thesis with That?”"

  1. Joel McLaughlin | March 29, 2011 at 9:20 am |

    Wow. I feel fortunate to have access to systems with Wordperfect on them! Even then I wrote my paopers in a wordprocessor….but they were just more than glorified text editors since most papers were printed on a Dot Matrix printer!

  2. I started writing my papers online around my junior undergrad year. I had to use vi on a UNIX system and the nroff text processing language at first, but even so it was a big improvement over typewriting, and a *huge* improvement over handwriting. Especially *my* handwriting.

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