Charles Petzold describes on his blog how he wrote his book The Annotated Turing, a commentary on Alan Turing‘s seminal computer science paper. The book is scheduled to be released June 10. Petzold began by literally cutting and pasting pieces of Turing’s paper. He worked on the book away from his computer for the first couple months.
As a programmer and author, Petzold has no aversion to using computers. He says “I gave up handwriting … sometime around 1982 when I first learned WordStar on my Osborne 1.” But he discovered that he thought more deeply about the subject of his book when he wasn’t distracted by typesetting issues. He’s a technical wizard, but he makes selective use of technology.