My Ode to Microsoft Paint

We were all a little giddy at the time.

In 1985, I was in college trying to focus on my journalism classes and avoiding any responsibility for any future work endeavors.

I’d often sneak into the computer lab in the afternoon, hammering away on a clunky IBM keyboard. I wrote an entire science fiction novel at the time. I hacked into the computer lab back-end, the system that locked computers after hours. In these early days of computing, it was all DOS all of the time. You had no other options.

Then, one glorious sunny day that fall, two new computers arrived that looked and acted differently from the rest. They were outliers. The screen flashed an awkward Windows logo at first, the mouse moved a pointer with instant precision, and there was an app called Microsoft Paint that seemed to live on a wholly different periphery of existence. You could paint anything. You could draw anything. It was remarkable. If the hand of God had reached down through the dust-stained windows in what was an old Catholic monastery converted into a college and revealed the infinite epoch of time immortal it would have been a distraction (and perhaps a little weird). I was in love. MS Paint was here and nothing would ever be the same again.

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from Computerworld



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