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And Nothing Remains

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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