It's almost amusing to recall the days when secretarial computer work mostly involved data entry and/or printing. (In this case, data entry inspired the neck-cramping computer setup seen here.) Both of those activities were designed to bridge the world of the computer and the world of paper.
By the mid-1990s, the introduction of low-cost scanners paired with optical character recognition (OCR) software helped relieve the tedium of typing in paper-bound data by hand.
Today, such scanning happens far less frequently, as most text-based data originates in the computer space to begin with. And many times it stays there, too: office workers regularly publish data electronically to the Internet or share it over local networks and email, making routine printing (and routine data entry) far more uncommon tasks in the year 2012 than they were in the 1990s.
Discussion Topic of the Week: Was there ever a time when you were forced to do lots of manual data entry? Tell us about it.