Write with light

“The Kaypro … let you write with light on glass, not ink on paper, which was mind-blowing. It felt both godlike and ephemeral.” (Andrei Codrescu)
In the early 1980s, Andrew Kay developed the Z-80 based 64 KB Ram-equipped portable computer. His screen has 25 rows and 80 columns. Together with word processor software WordStar not only new possibilities for authors are opened up. The community discusses the development critically, in particular with regard to the new manuscripts that have been created, but also with regard to their genesis.
The literary history of early word processing is the subject of Matthew G. Kirschenbaum’s new publication “Track Changes”. It documents key moments of authors dealing with the new digital technology in the late 60s to the 80s. This book is subject of a seminar this winter term 2017/18 at Technical University of Darmstadt.
On the Kaypro numerous novels and screenplays were written, such as Arthur C. Clarke’s work “2010: The Year we Connect” (1984), a science-fiction film about an expedition to Jupiter, and George R. R. Martin wrote his novella “Game of Thrones” with WordStar.
In the seminar Techniques of Philological Research and Data Processing students of the Digital Philology can get an idea of the historical technology and the associated framework conditions as part of a media archaeological excursion.

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