Mark Terry

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tuesday's Trivial Question

April 21, 2009
Who among you has actually used a typewriter? If yes, was it electric or manual?

Mark Terry


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

I used a typewriter for decades, up until 1989 or 1990 when I finally got a computer. For most of that time I used the same machine - a Smith Corona manual portable with elite type.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Sure, I've used a typewriter. I've used both manual and electric. Once upon a time, when I was a kid, I had this awesome Remington manual--one of those black ones. I felt like a REAL writer when I typed on that thing. The one I wrote high school papers on (dating myself) was my mom's manual. I had IBM Selectrics (electric) in my early Army days. THOSE THINGS ARE AWESOME, and I'd take one now, if I could find the ribbon for it. Computer printers don't beat typing envelopes, if you ask me...

6:53 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

I made it through college (1978-1983) with the cheapest electric in the Sears catalog. How I longed for an IBM Selectric...

I keep a fairly decent Brother on standby just in case my PC ever shits the bed.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Linda Pendleton said...

I have used both. And thank goodness for a computer!

7:37 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

One of my favorite toys when I was a kid was a Toys-R-Us brand Geoffrey typewriter. It was manual, and I mostly typed in red, because the ribbon didn't work exactly right, and so it typed in half-red, half-black, which I thought was the coolest ever.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

You know I have a typewriter! Although last time I tried to use it, the ink was very faint (new ribbon nonetheless) and I'm not sure if it's the ribbon or the pressure. It's manual and a pain to type on, but pretty to look at.

7:49 PM  
Blogger B. Nagel said...

The furniture store where I worked had a bunch of old manuals in storage upstairs, so I toyed with one up there.

I have an electric (Coronamatic 2200) that my grandmother gave me. The smell, the hum and the clicks help me get a project started and then I can move to the computer.

If you ever think your typing is quick and free of mistakes, try a typewriter. MS Word Autocorrect has turned my spelling chops to mush.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

I learned in high school on an electric. I can't remember the brand, but the workhorse of the time was the IBM Selectric, which was a beautifully responsive machine. At home we had a manual, with keys so stiff you had to punch them with your fingers.

Remember changing ribbons and correction tape? Remember white-out?

9:45 PM  
Blogger Maria Zannini said...

This is a trick question, right? You just want to know how old we are. lol


Manual. And the keys stuck.

5:04 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Both. I had an electric, which I packed off to college with me, and in the journalism program, we had these GOD-AWFUL manual ones with stuck keys.

And now, I know I could not go back. I use the delete key and backspace so much. I am a really fast typist, but still very much error-ridden.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I learned on a manual unofficially. Then when I took a typing class at night school in high school I learned on IBM Selectrics, which were pretty nice typewriters. All through college I had a Smith-Corona, but by the end some of the keys were funky and the typewriter wouldn't type in a straight line.

In the late-80s, maybe even early 90s I had a Smith-Corona that I hooked to a SC word processor. It had a monitor and you typed into the typewriter and it came up on the monitor and you used the typewriter as a printer.

I'm far happier with computers, too, although I think it's made writing, printing, and corrections so easy that now everyone thinks they can write a novel.

5:54 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

I used a manual to learn typing when I was eight or so. (My mother had one, plus a collegiate learn-to-type book, which I oddly thought was very fun.

I did a six month stint in a law office, and I used an IBM typewriter. Very fancy, LOL. I had a Brother in high school for papers.

Now I write using Q10 instead of word, with the typewriter sounds on and a typewriter font. There's something about that sound...

8:01 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I'm not familiar with Q10, although I think the clacking sound would be kind of neat. When I'm not using Microsoft Word I use the Mac's iWork Pages, which is quite similar to Word. Some things I don't like much, but they're both fine. My favorite word processing program was actually WordPerfect, which I thought was more intuitive and superior to Word, but everybody switched over to Word and it makes my life as both a writer and an editor to primarily use what everybody else primarily uses.

9:34 AM  
Blogger spyscribbler said...

Q10 is just a tiny text program that's free. It doesn't even do rich text, so I have to open and re-save in Word before I send it off.

I like it because it gives me a distraction-free writing environment. I'm prone to distraction. It's just you and your words on a dark screen: no toolbars, buttons, etc. I'm not sure it would work for non-fiction, but it works for fiction nicely.

It's fun to play with. You should check it out for fun some day!

9:56 AM  
Blogger Richmond Writer said...

Both. I used a few cuss words on the manual because I can't type and there was not enough white-out. I used even more cuss words on the electric because the keys typed so easily I made even more mistakes and now needed 2 bottles.

The word "backspace" on my keyboard is worn away.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

I got a portable manual typewriter as a teenager -- and which worked for me all through college and grad school until eventually (in my thirties) I used XEDIT and a university's mainframe computer system to type my master's thesis.

I took a typing course in summer school in high school and for those six weeks or so got totally spoiled for my little manual machine by the electric office typewriters in the classroom -- And then, one day toward the end of the class, they gave us a chance to try these brand new just-delivered IBM Selectrics -- this was Kingston, NY, home to an IBM site and they presented the school with two classrooms worth of IBM Selectrics. Wow! That futuristic machine made the run-of-the-mill office electrics seem dated and as slow and plodding to use as my manual machine.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Linda Pendleton said...

I prefer Word Perfect but as you said, Mark, had to go with the rest of world and use Word. I still sneak in Word Perfect at times. I've always thought it is more user friendly than Word. I started out using WordStar in '85, after the various typewriters, and carbon paper, white out, and all that.

1:34 AM  

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