The Word-Processor and I

In the previous chapter, " I Am a Signpost," I mentioned that a word-processor had entered my life and described the manner in which I faced it—head high, eyes flashing, fists clenched, and brain paralyzed with fear.

Let me give you the details. When Byte let it be known that, in their opinion, a word-processor would look good in Isaac Asimov's office, Ed Juge of Radio Shack, down in Fort Worth, Texas, thought, in his warm and loving heart, that that might be a good idea. * On May 6, 1981, therefore, a word-processor arrived.Or at least, two big boxes and a small one, each presumably filled with arcane incunabula, came.

I managed to hoist them from the lobby of the apartment house, where the delivery men left them, up to the thirty-third-floor apartment where I lived. Fortunately, that was not as difficult as it sounds, since I used the elevator.

I then placed the boxes in my office and practiced walking around them until I got the route memorized. To make sure, I practiced it in the dark, then with my eyes closed, then in the dark and with my eyes closed.

In a few hours, I was able to walk through my office without ever making contact with the boxes, or even looking in their direction. In this way, I was able to pretend that they didn't exist. Unfortunately, part of my library shelves were blocked by them, but I decided not to use those shelves. If I needed data contained in the books there, I could always make it up.

Only today, I asked Ed (whom I have come to know and revere) whether he, down there in his Fort Worth office, ever recognized the existence of Dallas. "Do I ever recognize the existence of what?" he asked.


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The Roving Mind
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