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A Literary History of Word Processing – NYTimes.com

Ever wonder who was the first author to use a word processor to write a novel? If that question sounds weird well, kids, let me explain. Back in the olden days there were these things called typewriters and many authors used those to write their long form stuff. That was the tool of the trade. But at some point there were brave early adopters. The problem is that to pinpoint with historical accuracy who was the first to save that .doc file on a floppy is not as easy. So far it looks like Stephen King was one of the first to jump in.

Given the spottiness of the record Mr. Kirschenbaum is hesitant to proclaim Mr. King the computer-age equivalent of Mark Twain, the first major American writer to complete a work using the new technology. But Mr. King’s 1983 short story “The Word Processor,” Mr. Kirschenbaum ventured, is “likely the earliest fictional treatment of word processing by a prominent English-language author.”