Random Friday memory 34: RAM 32k was cool in 1993!

In the unlikely event of your sighting a copy of The teaching of reading in the Botany Cluster [compiled by: Neil Whitfield], note that all 111 pages were personally typeset by me in 1993 on the dining room table at my then Elizabeth Street Surry Hills residence with much changing of daisy wheels on a beast like this:


The good people at the Disadvantaged Schools Project at Erskineville had to work from my printouts because their computers could not read my Brother floppy disks.

The Brother WP-80 was “the typewriter that wanted to be a computer” – obsolescent when, thanks to M, I obtained one c. 1993. I chose it because I was terrified still of computers – a condition that lasted until around 1999 – but did understand typewriters.


The Brothers and I lived here.

Compare Technology Flashback: Brother WP-80 Word Processor (1992).

It was so cool! I could actually type papers, save them and print them RIGHT FROM HOME! I didn’t need to go to a computer lab. Better yet, I could even save my files on a disk. The WP-80 even had a–get this–SPREADSHEET APP! It wasn’t called an app back then, but you get the idea. It was magic. I had my own little computer and I didn’t have to spend over $2000 dollars for one (which is how much complete computer systems sold for at the time)…

I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1997 and don’t remember what happened to my beloved Brother WP-80 machine. It represented such pivotal time in my life. Every time I print out a resume, I always see the ghost of my Brother WP-80 in the background. If any family members or friends reads this and knows what happened to my machine, please let me know. To you, the Brother WP-80 is only a machine; to me, it is a lot more.

Mine eventually got taken away in a council cleanup.

See also Oh, Brother!

We bought a Brother Word Processor, took it home to our apartment and began to plunk out page by page – we needed to get 40 pages done between the two of us.  But never fear, we had a brand new Brother Word Processor.  This machine was a beauty!

She had a “5 X 9” CRT Screen, on-screen tutorial, grammar check, spreadsheet program (that I could do budgets on!), and among other things, a fold up locking keyboard on hinges!  Whew – doesn’t that sound exciting!  It was a laptop before laptops were around – granted it weighed just a little less than my first car – but it had a handle so that, if by chance you were strong enough, you could carry it around.

In the later 1990s I went transitional with these:


Brother PowerNote and Super PowerNote.

32k of RAM!!!! Supplemented of course by floppy disks now using ASCII and thus shareable with PCs. Kind of… These did me to 1999 and sometimes even a little beyond. My ESL records at SBHS were from 1996-99 created on these limited but rather good “laptops”.

The Brother PowerNote Laptop Word Processor can actually be classed as a computer in that it provides more then just one application.  This machine gives the user a full range of function including a full featured word processor (spell check included), Lotus Spreadsheet, Contact Manager, Calendar and Day Scheduler, World Clock with alarm features, Communications software compatible with Hayes modems, and Fax software also standard.

One thought on “Random Friday memory 34: RAM 32k was cool in 1993!

  1. Pingback: 35 random memories recalled! | Neil's Commonplace Book

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