The first computer I ever used had a daisy wheel printer so noisy that I would move to the floor below when it was time to print out a draft of the pamphlet I was writing (for an “improbable thinktank”:http://www.cps.org.uk ). So start it up, you pressed *B* and then
The most astonishing thing about it, though, was the wonderful machine owned by the typesetters. “It’s like a great big hoover”, explained Ollie Knox, who ran the place. “You plug it in, and it sucks everything you have written away into the box, when it gets to the typesetters they can empty it out with all the markup.”
This was in 1984. He was describing an external floppy disk drive.
Anyway, someone seems to have plugged one of those into me in the last fornight, and it sucked out every particle of joy and hope, even from hard-to-reach corners. So I’ve been fully occupied trying to write two profiles at once, without the spirit to find time to keep this up. Hope things will be better from now on.