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January 24th, 2001

Typewriters

Before there were computers, before there were word processors, people used things called typewriters. While they weren’t as advanced as Microsoft Word, they certainly were a staple in every newsroom in the world. Naturally, they offered a nice alternative to hand-writing things like letters, too.

My first typewriter was an old Remington, a hand-me-down from my sister. It was a massive grey metal one, but still mildly portable. Ribbons were impossible to find, and I remember the G and H keys got stuck far too often. The thing was still great to use, because it was so freaking simple. No paperclip assistant, no auto spell check, nothing. If you made a typo, you went back and used the X key to "erase" it or, in severe instances, Liquid Paper. I also remember having to work with carbon paper – ick!

I later got a new typewriter. I believe it was from the toymaker Buddy-L. It was all plastic, and the ribbons were teeny compared to the old metal one. It was probably as state-of-the-art as a typewriter could get (for kids) at the time… but it was also soulless compared to the old one. It fell into disuse when I got my first ever output device for my Commodore 64, which was actually a plotter!

It’s funny that I think of my first computer the same way. My current one is just as soulless.

Anyway, here’s a rather cool typewriter history page to explore. Also, a page debunking some myths about the QWERTY keyboard. And Olivetti still makes manual and electric typewriters, if you’re so inclined.

Ding! -pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

Typer July 25, 2007, 10:56 pm

Where do you get that correction paper now?

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