Oh Brother

I feel obliged to reveal that the recent increase in my writing is a happy result of my “new” Brother (TM) Word Processor. I imagine many blog readers might be internet users and therefore may have forgotten or never known infant word-processing technology.

I don't know exactly what Russ's word-processor looks like, but it may be something like this

My particular model was manufactured circa 1995. It looks like the love-child that may have resulted if a lecherous old typewriter took advantage of a naive ink-jet printer. It has a 14-line monochrome LCD screen that’s 80 characters long, a 3×5″ floppy drive, word-processing capabilities, and a spreadsheet function. If you’re still not comprehending how out-of-date this machine is, then consider this: the spell-check function doesn’t recognize the word ‘internet.’

If perhaps you’re thinking of calling up Brother (TM) to inquire about purchasing one for your great grandmother or to use as a paperweight, you’ll be disappointed to hear that this piece of equipment has long been out of production. They’re quite a rarity. (Which is probably why the prison regulations allow them – I’m sure they won’t be available at all in a few years.)

Even though I paid small fortune for this hunk of plastic (roughly the cost of a new iPad – also a word it doesn’t recognize), I feel fortunate to have one. I’m in the small percentage of inmates allowed to such a luxury. The majority of inmates can only type and print documents on a computer in the library that doesn’t allow them to save their work and certainly isn’t connected to the internet.

So, no, it’s not an iPad, but it’s what I got, and I appreciate it.

Well, there is one small problem that’s mildly infuriating – the power source of the word-processor doesn’t seem to be shielded very well, so when I plug it in my radio turns to static. But at least it’s not frying my innards…right?


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