I am sorry this short memoir is not about political correctness 😉
About this time of year, 25 years ago, I used a computer for the first time. It was an IBM Portable with an external color monitor placed on top of it. It was jokingly referred to as "draggable" ("släpbar" in Swedish). It had two 5 1/4 " floppy bays, and no harddrive. It had MS-DOS. Thus, one had to start with A:\ and B:\ (and no C:\ of course) in a way that I found confusing and boring. I have happily long forgot all about that. I only used the PC for word processing, with Word Perfect.
It was not my computer, it stayed in a very small computer lab at a small academic institution. During the spring of 1988 I used it for writing an essay that, with references, turned into about 70 pages. I had divided it up in different files. The editing was of course a lot easier than the old handwrite/cut-and-paste/type/cut-and-paste/photocopy etc... But the editing in MS-DOS/Word Perfect still was quite annoying.
I had been "convinced" by some colleagues that the text interface of MS-DOS was the real thing. The small Macintoshes (Plus and SE dual floppy) on the other table across the room were not to be taken seriously. But the students using the Macs seemed quite happy and not dumber than the rest of us. As time went by, I kind of envied them the WYSIWYG technology. Handwriting and typing were both a kind of WYSIWYG. DOS was not so. The Mac users printed out their writings on an ImageWriter II, a matrix printer that did fonts. The DOS users had a common matrix printer, which only printed one font for all. The network was feet-and-floppy based. A networked laser printer was installed the following year, if I recall correctly.
During that spring I got more and more frustrated with DOS, but could not be arsed to rewrite the paper (as in text, not the actual paper). 25 years later, I still haven't learnt correct finger setting ... 😳
Even if MS-DOS was, from a text editing point of view, rather hopeless, I got a whiff of how powerful and useful computers can be, even on a desktop. Personal computers had been around for more than a decade, but in the late 1980s most people still did not use them, and even less, owned such machines . The computer revolutions have come in waves.
Gosh, 25 years... And I was way past my teens, the age when maybe most people start using computers. These days some seem to use tablets right after they are weaned.
I wonder what personal computing will look in 25 years? Let's hope it is more freedom and less centralization. More understanding and less technological somnambulism. More common sense and less trendiness. Time will tell. Or as we say in Swedish: "Den som lever får se", literally "S/he who lives will see/know". In French: "Qui vivra, verra".