With my father’s work, first as an engineer and later as a programmer, I had exposure to computers from a young age. In elementary school I got my first experience typing up book reports and other homework assignments on the family computer, and the ease and utility of typing and printing things rather than writing them out by hand quickly became clear to me. Since my dad’s computers were always Macs, the only times I used Microsoft Word while growing up were when I was using a computer at school. Instead of Word, the computers at home had a program called WordPerfect, made by a company called Corel, which I found much easier to use and more intuitive. In fact, the only advantage I saw in Word was that it had GrammarCheck, which the version of WordPerfect on my home computer did not. From elementary school to the end of high school, all my typed papers were done in WordPerfect, and there was hardly a time when I had an issue with the program. After high school my parents purchased a laptop for me for college and since it had a Windows operating system, they bought me the then current Microsoft Office suite of programs, which meant I made the transition to using Word. It took some time getting used to Word, which felt clunky by comparison, but it was what I had to work with so there wasn’t a choice on the matter. Today I still have Word on my current computer and use it a fair amount, along with another program called TextEdit, but sometimes I think back to those old days of WordPerfect. I did a quick web search recently and I saw that WordPerfect still exists. Having never used a WordPerfect program since high school, I have no idea if the more recent ones are any good. Maybe they’re great, maybe they’re garbage, but regardless of what WordPerfect is now, I’ll always remember that old version of WordPerfect as my first major writing program on computer.

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