In 1870, a Danish inventor named Rasmus Malling-Hansen introduced the world’s first typewriter. It was a wonderful invention, a great improvement over the slow, tedious work of printing with movable type and the even slower work of writing with pen and ink. It was considered such an innovation that an author from the time couldn’t help but sing its praises. This new, efficient machine, he wrote, helped him organize his ideas better and even played a role in “forming” the way he thought. What could be better?
But there was something better—the first word processing program was released in 1979, quickly followed by desktop computers,...
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