Typewriter Anyone?

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acockey

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As recently profiled on CBS Sunday Morning news program, there is a video up if you search the word "typewriter" just google "CBS Sunday Morning,typewriters are making a comeback as a function of writing. Is anyone itching to try this stripped down version of writing? Or is it too much of a hassle for you to consider?

I am in the middle of an ebay war for a Royal typewriter, and for about 20 bucks I am willing to give it a go (us dollars).

I mean if it's good enough for Ernest Hemingway, why not me?

(too afraid to post an actual link, Sorry :()
 
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KTC

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i love typewriters. i started writing on one. (i won't admit that there were no such things as home computers and typewriters were the only option back then...i just won't!)

I have always said that if i walk into an old used/antique shop and found a working typewriter, that i would pick it up. don't know if i would do the whole online bidding thing for one...but if it was right there in front of me, i don't think i could leave the store without it. it's a lovely physical addition to writing...one i miss. carriage return really is a beautiful thing.
 

Barbara R.

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As recently profiled on CBS Sunday Morning news program, there is a video up if you search the word "typewriter" just google "CBS Sunday Morning,typewriters are making a comeback as a function of writing. Is anyone itching to try this stripped down version of writing? Or is it too much of a hassle for you to consider?

I am in the middle of an ebay war for a Royal typewriter, and for about 20 bucks I am willing to give it a go (us dollars).

I mean if it's good enough for Ernest Hemingway, why not me?

(too afraid to post an actual link, Sorry :()

You don't think if Hemingway had the option, he'd have chosen a computer? I wrote my first book on a typewriter with carbon copies. One little mistake and you had to retype the whole page. Forget about stuff like changing someone's name; might as well shoot yourself. The good old days...not!
 

Anninyn

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Nope, would rather use a computer. Hard copy has it's advantages, but more disadvantages for me.

Most of the people who write with typerwriters were doing so because the computer hadn;t been invented. The typewriter (and then the electric typewriter) was the high-tech way to write then.

The other problem is that fewer and fewer companies are producing the ribbons for them. Like being out of ink when you want to print but worse because you might have to wait days to get typewriter ribbon.
 

acockey

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@ Anninyn have to disagree with you on the "old people" point.. as on the report a few young college students commented and participated in the craze.

@Barbara R. I think a pen for me to write in the mistakes would stop me from writing the page over again... Just a inexpensive experiment for me. Also I think I'm going to retype the thing into the computer anyways
 

caffeine

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I'd like to get a typewriter one day, but it would be more to put on my shelf and occasionally type on for novelty, or to show my buddies the stuff I randomly collect. I'm a computer user through and through, and a computer just benefits me more.

Also, I type on mechanical keyboards. Sure I don't get the 'ding' on a carriage return, but I get that wonderful and gorgeous CLACK on each keystroke. It's more than sufficient for me.
 

Sunflowerrei

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My grandmother had a typewriter. I think my uncles and dad used to type up homework on it occasionally. Well, she let me tinker around it on a few times. I've never used a typewriter to actually write a piece though. Not sure what I would do without a delete button.
 

kuwisdelu

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My friend recently got a mechanical typewriter. I tried typing on it this summer. Yeah, not for me. My fingers are not that strong, and I found the keys too awkward to easily hit, too. Still cool, though.
 

Chasing the Horizon

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Well, if it works for you, then have fun with it.

I get frustrated enough when I have to type something on a different keyboard than my usual one. I imagine I'd last about 30 seconds with a typewriter before I threw it across the room, lol.
 

benbradley

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I've got a couple of half-working Selectrics under a shelf somewhere, and I looked online expecting to find selectricsecrets.com or SOME site that told all about the innards or had some repair manual scan, but no, all I found was businesses that want to charge big bucks for repair. These things have been around for 50 years, and haven't been made commercially for at least two decades.

I glanced again, just found this video at the end of the Wikipedia article:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRCNenhcvpw
I should exercise my Google-Fu again, maybe there's more info!

But yeah, if you're looking for a typewriter, you might consider an electric, it's easier on your fingers. Unless you're writing a murder mystery which requires a choking death by someone with especially strong fingers. <sentence fragment intentional for effect>
 

Anninyn

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@ Anninyn have to disagree with you on the "old people" point.. as on the report a few young college students commented and participated in the craze.

@Barbara R. I think a pen for me to write in the mistakes would stop me from writing the page over again... Just a inexpensive experiment for me. Also I think I'm going to retype the thing into the computer anyways

Never said anything about old people. I just said that people like Hemingway were using typewriters because computers didn't exist when they were writing.

In my experience most of the young people who make a big deal about using typewriters are kind of... pretentious. Not all, by any means, but I spent a little time in some writers groups that were full of the 'golden prose' and 'no-one understand my genius' and 'I write when the muse takes me' types who sneered because I write fantasy, and overwhelmingly every 20-something there also made a big deal of how they used a typewriter.

'Computers are just so cold and sterile, just so mechanical, you can't do any real writing on a machine...'

'a typewriter is a machine.'

And so on.

If it works for you and helps you get the words out more effectively, so be it, go for it, it's not my choice. But I wouldn't give up the ease of writing on a computer unless I had to. I quite like being able to edit my work on the fly, research instantly and not - in these days where it's increasingly necessary to have your work in some kind of digital format - not have to write the whole thing up again on the PC when you're finished. The freedom to make mistakes, knowing they can go away again is also brilliant.
 
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Jamesaritchie

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I love typewriters, and still use one often. Most of the young who use them are not pretentious, they've simply discovered something science has proven. . .it's easier to access the creative center of the brain with a typewriter than with a computer.
 

Lidiya

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You don't think if Hemingway had the option, he'd have chosen a computer? I wrote my first book on a typewriter with carbon copies. One little mistake and you had to retype the whole page. Forget about stuff like changing someone's name; might as well shoot yourself. The good old days...not!

I'm at that point where I've decided to change my MC's name...and I would have died if I only had a typewriter available xD
 

Jonathan Dalar

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I started out on typewriters. Hated them then, even more so now. As much as I edit and change things around and such, a typewriter would burst into flames with overuse.

Give me a computer any day of the week, and twice on writing days.
 

WildScribe

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I love typewriters, and still use one often. Most of the young who use them are not pretentious, they've simply discovered something science has proven. . .it's easier to access the creative center of the brain with a typewriter than with a computer.

Oh, puh-leeze. Care to cite?

I think typewriters are nifty, but I would never write seriously on one. I used to write out cute little stories on the one in my grandma's house when I was a kid, but nowadays, I much prefer the ease and speed of editing, formatting, and submitting with the computer, not to mention the saving of paper and ink, the crazy amounts of free storage (I keep my documents in Dropbox), and the ability to work anywhere I can drag my laptop. Thanks, but... technology rules. :)
 

dangerousbill

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...typewriters are making a comeback as a function of writing. Is anyone itching to try this stripped down version of writing? Or is it too much of a hassle for you to consider?

I used a typewriter from 1954 to 1986. I wrote my first high school assignments on it, and my PhD thesis. But when the first word processors came along, the typewriter went into the dustbin immediately, except for things like envelope addresses and labels that were easier to do on the typewriter. The word processor has too many advantages over the typewriter for the latter to be a serious contender, except for masochists.

I'll bet if Hemingway had a PC, he'd have left his typewriter on the railway station platform instead of the famous suitcase of manuscripts. In fact, he would have had all those lost manuscripts backed up on two or three sets of floppy disks or even Carbonite.

The first word processor I used was a clunky markup-language creature called Script, that ran on an IBM 360/370 mainframe. I still preferred it to the used Selectric that was soon converted into a bookend.

But if you insist, I can tell you that Office Max still sells two color ribbons.
 

jaksen

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I stopped using them in 1992 when I got my first word processor. I had used typewriters since the mid-60's, when as a child I got an office model, heavy-duty Royal. It sits in my mother's cellar atm.

I then had a few electrics, but the best was another office model, bright red Olivetti.

But on all my typewriters I frequently broke the keys as I type so hard and so much. My father had to solder the keys back on; my husband had to learn the same skill. My children learned to go to sleep with the clickety-clack of typewriter keys in the background.

Now we have PCs and I am never looking back. I have done my 'typewriter time,' replete with white, powdery correcting tape and buying ribbons by the box full, etc.

(And, Bill, the program on my word processor was GeoWorks. On the floppies I used to save my stories the stories are unreadable except in trusty old Notepad.)
 

chicgeek

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People are always talking about the merits of writing this way or that... I've had a lot of people urge me to "draft longhand" (aka write with pen and paper). That it helps facilitate "different thought processes". I'm not saying that's entirely untrue, but I just don't care enough, lol. Same goes for typewriters.

My problem? I like to be able to write as fast as I think. I hate writing something out by hand, because I don't have great penmanship, I'm a lefty (so the ink inevitably smears), and I end up with a bad hand cramp because I can't catch up with the words as they flow out of my head.

That may not be an issue on a typewriter, but I'm also a perfectionist. I often go back and revise very lightly, just little bits, here and there... I value that freedom. My fear with a typewriter is that I'd feel like every word that came out had to be precious... precise, given the limited medium. Some people say they like that. I think it would drive me crazy, personally. I love having a blank document and being able to wipe the words away or throw them around as I see fit. That kind of freedom is necessary in my writing process.

I don't think any one way is the best way. And I have to agree with what others have said -- people wrote on typewriters when they didn't have computers. Just like they wrote by hand when they didn't have typewriters. If writers had had computers in the days of yore, they would have used them. They're just more efficient.
 

acockey

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I like everyone's point, I think for 15 bucks its worth a go just to see how it stimulates my creativity... If nothing else it'll make a good decorating piece for my house :)
 

rwm4768

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I can't imagine using a typewriter. I'm in love with the backspace key. I also type very fast, so I tend to make mistakes, though I seem to be getting better and better. I still don't think I'd be good enough not to make mistakes on a typewriter, though. After all, I couldn't even get through this post without having to use the backspace key.
 

dangerousbill

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I like everyone's point, I think for 15 bucks its worth a go just to see how it stimulates my creativity... If nothing else it'll make a good decorating piece for my house :)

For $15, go for it. It may need some cleaning and the keys straightened to make it work, but besides being decorative, it can be used for addresses and labels that are a PITA with a computer printer.
 

muravyets

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I love typewriters. I love their looks, their sounds, the way they feel, and the way the print looks. The only thing that stops me using any of the three manual typewriters I have is lack of ribbons. It's one of my future projects to figure out a relatively easy way to make my own inked ribbons.

By the way, I also write with a fountain pen. ;)

Also... USB TYPEWRITER!

No, seriously, this is the coolest thing in the world short of a cure for diseases: Video.
 
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rossignol

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Oh, I love them. Clack-clack-clack-clack-clack-DING!

I would never really work on one, though. It would cut my productivity by at least half.
 
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