babble-intro-img
babble is rabble.ca's discussion board but it's much more than that: it's an online community for folks who just won't shut up. It's a place to tell each other — and the world — what's up with our work and campaigns.

Ode to the Type-writer

45 replies [Last post]

Comments

Catchfire
Offline
Joined: Apr 16 2003


Slumberjack
Offline
Joined: Aug 8 2005

Well do I remember learning on one of these, to cadence music.


Catchfire
Offline
Joined: Apr 16 2003

The typewriter's music is good enough by itself.

 

 

The Chinese Typewriter

Quote:
As you can see, the typewriter is extremely complicated and cumbersome. The main tray — which is like a typesetter's font of lead type — has about two thousand of the most frequent characters. Two thousand characters are not nearly enough for literary and scholarly purposes, so there are also a number of supplementary trays from which less frequent characters may be retrieved when necessary. What is even more intimidating about a Chinese typewriter is that the characters as seen by the typist are backwards and upside down! Add to this challenging orientation the fact that the pieces of type are tiny and all of a single metallic shade, it becomes a maddening task to find the right character. But that is not all, since there is also the problem of the principle (or lack thereof) upon which the characters are ordered in the tray. By radical? By total stroke count? Both of these methods would result in numerous characters under the same heading. By rough frequency? By telegraph code? Unfortunately, nobody seems to have thought to use the easiest and most user-friendly method of arranging the characters according to their pronunciation.

For all of the above reasons, using a Chinese typewriter was (and still is!) an excruciating experience.


Catchfire
Offline
Joined: Apr 16 2003

Catchfire
Offline
Joined: Apr 16 2003

A typewriter, which its makers say is the last to be built in the UK, has been produced at a north Wales factory.

Manufacturer Brother, which says it has made 5.9 million typewriters since its factory in Wrexham opened in 1985, has donated the last machine to London's Science Museum.

The museum said the piece represented the end of a technology which had been "important to so many lives".

Edward Bryan, a worker at the factory since 1989, made the last typewriter.

"If people ever ask me, I can always say now, as a strange question, that I've made the last typewriter in the UK," he told BBC Breakfast's Colin Paterson.

He said he had previously "tried and succeeded to make one with my eyes closed".

 


DaveW
Offline
Joined: Dec 24 2008

IBM Selectric, the best ...


sknguy II
Offline
Joined: Apr 20 2009

Pretty sad news about the last typewriter. Used to own a really quiet electrostatic typewriter... so maybe it wasn't a real typewriter. If I mispelled a common word it wouldn't let me type unless I pressed a skip button. Can't recall the brand, Smith Corona maybe? For some reason, when I thought typewriter floor mounted dimmer switch also came to mind.


6079_Smith_W
Offline
Joined: Jun 10 2010

But wait.....

It seems Edward Snowden is not only the champion of whistleblowers:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/russia-reverts-paper-nsa-leaks


Catchfire
Offline
Joined: Apr 16 2003

I know! I heard about this and was so excited. I can't wait for the iType to come out.


6079_Smith_W
Offline
Joined: Jun 10 2010

Is that that machine that fits your hand-held onto a typewriter? I have seen a photo of one of the prototypes.


Catchfire
Offline
Joined: Apr 16 2003

I have no idea! I just made it up. I figgered it would be a sleek white portable typewriter in the Remington mode...but with more plastic and every time your ribbon runs out of ink you have to junk it and buy a new one.


6079_Smith_W
Offline
Joined: Jun 10 2010

The one I saw was different - it had a dock for something much smaller, but you get the idea.

http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/the-typescreen-retro-typewriter-ipad-dock-0...

I like too, that it was (or at least had the appearance of) a mechanical device - not something which sent an electric signal to the pad.

 


lagatta
Offline
Joined: Apr 17 2002

The French film "Populaire" is a more-than-conventional romantic comedy, but it is typewriter-obsessed, revolving around typewriting contests in the 1950s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4Y-udrza78 The geeky retro stuff is the most interesting aspect.


infracaninophile
Online
Joined: Aug 31 2011

Snert wrote:

Trivia:  what is the longest word that can be typed using only the top row (QWERT...) of a typewriter?

 

Besides TYPEWRITER, I thought of another one: REPERTOIRE

 

Same # of letters, so it's a tie.


6079_Smith_W
Offline
Joined: Jun 10 2010

bump

http://boingboing.net/2014/03/08/harlequin-creature-a-zine-whe.html 

And while we're at it, how about that oscars' set?

 


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or register to post comments