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The BBC has an article on the virtues of typewriters.

“Have you ever tried to hack into my typewriter?” asks Frederick Forsyth. “It is very secure.”

Read it here.

6 Comments on “Typewriters”

  1. Says:

    Nice article.

    One statement stands to be corrected: “It is this historical, emotional pull which draws a particular kind of student or aspiring writer to the typewriter.I don’t know why, but they usually seem to be men…”

    Well, I’m female and I desperately miss my old manual Smith Corona.

    One of the many reasons I love typewriters is the sound they make. Years ago, someone in the apartment across the street from me used to work on a typewriter. When I heard the keys start up, I would stop what I was doing for a moment to listen — like it was birdsong or a person playing the piano. No computer has ever made me feel like that.

  2. Rob Says:

    The sound, the smell, the slight resistance the keys have to actually being pressed, the way that you have a real, tactile relationship to what you’ve written…

    Have you scoured the junk shops to replace your Smith Corona? I keep meaning to hunt down a replacement for my Olivetti.

  3. Says:

    You know, I went to Google to check that I got the name right (I’m a compulsive fact checker) and the first hit was a sponsored link for E-Bay. I have never in my life gone to E-Bay. I don’t know why I clicked on it.

    And there it was: exactly the same make, model, year, even color of the one I learned to type on when I was five. I wrote stories on that thing until I was forcibly separated from it at the age of 15. Just looking at the photos, I can feel the smooth hollows of the keys under my fingers.

  4. Rob Says:

    Funnily enough, while you were doing that, I was looking at an Olivetti on eBay. I think you should buy it! (Yours, I mean. Not mine…)

  5. Says:

    That’s proof I’ve never been there: I didn’t even know how to write it properly! (Eeebaye?)

    I was just replying to you here last night, when, in perfect keeping with the topic of the delicate uselessness of computers, one of my cats went berserk chasing a microscopic flying insect and knocked my beverage onto the keyboard, utterly destroying it. (They keyboard and the beverage, actually. Well, I suppose she didn’t “destroy” the beverage so much as “disperse” it. Anyhow, I digress…)

    The good news is that I bought the Smith Corona!

  6. Rob Says:

    Congratulations! Now I feel obliged to buy the Olivetti.

    Many years ago, I managed to empty a large glass of cherryade over my computer keyboard. It didn’t end well. Then, last year, half a glass of white wine went into my laptop. Fortunately, it seems to have recovered.

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