It wasn't very satisfying. The ink smeared easily on the surface and bled through to the other side. He took his allowance and purchased a lined table. This was a bit better. He could write on both sides of the sheet and the lines kept his lettering straight, for his handwriting was never great shakes, or perhaps it was greatly shaky. It was certainly difficult to read (and would deteriorate to total indecipherability as he became the Old Goat). Even at age twelve he knew this would never do.
Sometime in The Kid's twenties, when he had a bit of money of his own, he took a big step up to a shiny new Smith Corona portable. It was all white and looked so streamline with its smooth rounded corners.
If a typo occurred, one dabbed away with White-Out (also tending to smudge and coat his fingertips). If errors or changes were two large, he was required to retyped the blasted thing and to create duplicates meant the horrors of carbon paper (and even more messy fingers).
At one point The Kid even bought a copier. Oh, this was nothing like the Xeroxes to come. This was a clunky plastic bulk of a desktop contraption that required great heat to produce a copy on odd looking paper. He could only copy one sheet at a time and he could only copy eight sheets in a row before the plate got too hot and he had to shut it down to cool. Cooling could take an hour. (And sometimes he burned his ink and carbon stained fingertips on the plate.) [This thing was so ba-a-a-a-a-d, the Old Goat couldn't even Google an image of it!]
Oh how The Kid dreamed there could a magic way to type his stories and not have to deal with carbons and ribbons and heat pads, oh my. And one day along came this possibility...
At lease a first gleam of hope for the future...
The kid bought his first computer, the Atari 400.
It didn't really help at all in all honesty. It was pretty good at running Atari Games, though.
There was no monitor, it hooked up to the TV set. It had no internal storage. It had no printer. There was this flap with Atari upon it on the front. Lifting the flap reveled four cartridge slots inside. This was where the programs went.
The Kid, being all wise, had also bought an external tape cassette drive with it. This was what the program for Frogger was on, a tape cassette, that took forever to load. By the time it loaded you didn't feel like playing the game anymore, however, tape was also your only storage. You see, he could write his own Basic language programs on this beast and save them on a tape cassette. Big whoop!
It didn't do much for his writing. he could type out a short story and save it to tape, but there was no way to print it. What good was that?
The Kid was disappointed in this reality of the Atari 400, but it gave him hope for something better and sure enough, something better would came along in the years when he was transforming from The Kid into The old Goat.
To be continued.