Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Hunter's Computer

I've always been pretty fascinated by computers. I got my first computer in 1985/6, I think. It was a Commodore Plus/4 and was one of the strangest ones you could get. I think my parents were sold it by an over-enthusiastic salesman in York (I imagine he had a stock-room full of them and needed to get them shifted). Anyway, I learned to type and program on it and I could play "Jack Attack" so that was okay. 

It must have been about this time that Evan Hunter got his Apple IIe computer, I imagine. It had been introduced in 1983 and was to become the longest serving computer in Apple's range, staying in production until the '90s. If only their products lasted/were supported that long now. Curse you, built in redundancy.

We know this was the machine Hunter used, as an article in the Washington Post ("Ed McBain's Mysterious Method") refers to him using it in 1990. I don't really know why I find this sort of detail so fascinating. Perhaps because we still envisage the author as being sat in front of a manual typewriter, savagely bashing at the keys, cursing and scrumpling up another sheet of paper - the ding of the bell as another sentence is committed to the page. Of course authors, especially successful ones, would have moved to word-processors and computers as soon as they could. Douglas Adams was a famous advocate of technology, particularly Apple products, having pipped Stephen Fry to the post in buying the first Apple Macintosh sold in London.

So there you are. Have a read of the Washington Post article linked above and have a look at the Centre For Computing History's page all about the Apple IIe. Tools of the trade!

- Paul

No comments:

Post a Comment