Happy Typewriter Day 2018!

a sheet of paper in a typewriter

This year Typewriter Day is a bit special because it is also the 150th anniversary of Charles Latham Sholes‘ patent of „the typewriter“.

I celebrate this day with my wife’s brother AX-15, an electronic machine that she gave to me yesterday. And though I am a fan of mechanical typewriters I could not say no to this.

Typing with this electronic machine is a bit unfamiliar. When typing fast, the type wheel has a little delay and I start waiting for the machine. The advantage of the brother compared to electric machines is their quiet job. My father’s IBM Selectric had the always on motor that called for action, even if my brain was not ready to type the next word.

And a plus of the type wheel compared to my mechanic typewriters is the ability to switch from 10 to 12 chars per inch, so I can change the look of the typing. Of course, I can switch between my mechanical typewriters, or use the half space.

And typing without electric power and using the ink ribbon instead of the one time carbon ribbon that also has the full plastic body seems a bit more ecologic.

New Year, new tool – the AlphaSmart is in the house

An electronic writing tool with a large keyboard and a small screen, the Alphasmart Neo

This AlphaSmart NEO is awesome. 25 USD + shipping. The 3 AA batteries work for about 700 hours. With no distraction, the effect is like typing with one of my mechanical typewriters, just not that noisy. I use it for my diary – I will try to make writing it a habit. And it is great for a braindump.

And Joe Van Cleave’s idea making file 8 the index is so clever. Thanks to his video I have changed the font to Micro, showing 7 lines with a readable font.

Besides, the NEO can also be used as an external keyboard via USB. Love it.

There are two articles from 2015 about using the NEO: David Kadavy writes about 4 sucky things about this $19 piece of junk that make it AMAZING for writing; and Kevin Eagan’s In Praise of My Alphasmart Neo. Not to forget the AlphaSmart – Writing Tools group at Flickr, counting 1,446 members.

Of course, the firts draft of this was written on my NEO.

It was a dark and stormy night …

Joe Van Cleave, an inspiring typewriter and photography blogger and youtuber started an assignment series. Every other week he gives out a topic, and then it is ready – steady – type!

This is my first contribution, assignment no 5 is about the phrase “It was a dark and stormy night”. First used by Washington Irving, it became famous and parodied after Edmund Bulwer-Lytton began his novel “Paul Clifford” with this phrase.

A typewritten text

What you can read here is my 1st draft with some corrections, written down in some 15 minutes, so don‘t take it serious 🙂 It was typed on my orange Robotron Cella, designed by Karl_Clauss_Dietel and built from 1983 – 1985 in GDR. The font is the Kristall, one of my favourites.

Writer’s little helper (Facit TP2)

A typewriter on a table

Today I had help from one of my favourite typewriters, the Facit TP2, writing a letter to a friend. I love this about 50 yrs old machine for the precise work, the workmanship, the crispy font and the great details Swedish engineers thought about. I bought it with the case and the Swinging 60’s manual for just 30 EUR.

Robert Messenger has written a great article about the Facit TP1 and TP2 on his admirable ozTypewriter blog.

My first Typecast

An old black typewriter on a wooden table

I enjoy reading typewriter blogs like Joe Van Cleave’s, Richard Polt’s or Robert Messenger’s (just to name a few). And so, for quite a while I thought about typecasting, but never had a real reason for it. Except, I have some typewriters that I use a lot.

But then, the book “S” by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst came along …

A typewritten page

Well, I will see, if I will continue the book for now – there are so many more good books waiting …