Saturday, September 5, 2015

do not fear the digits



Quiz for über type geeks: what typewriter typed this?

25 comments:

  1. SG-1 with an "ea" key? But dang, nicely justified. Too nicely justified for a typewriter maybe?

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    1. It is typewritten, but not on an SG1.

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  2. Ah, the monospace justification trick! I actually learned that from an ancient DOS word processor handbook. (why I used to read those things I have no idea

    Facit or Torpedo? Or another typewriter whose Imperial Pica/Congress Pica came from the same supplier.

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  3. Torpedo 18, or Olivetti Lettera 22 or Studio 44...the tan ones. Or possibly Halda.

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    1. Too sophisticated. DSJ stands for Differential Spacing & Justification. This is monospaced typing; each character takes up the same width. And the justification wasn't automatic.

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  5. Replies
    1. The Danish character is æ, not ea.

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    2. Ow - and having just spent a week in Danmark too... (:

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  6. The ea makes it look like making the halfspace (or what ever it is called when you can squeeze 2 letters into one monospace) , but it looks more like it is all one slug similar to what I used for typesetting. I have no idea.

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    1. Yes, it's one slug. It stands for "each."

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  7. Just thought of one machine I have with a very similar font and some special characters...Hammond Multiplex.

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  8. No one has guessed the typewriter so far. Cold, cold, cold. ;)

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  9. An IBM Executive could do such an alignment, I believe. Also of course an IBM Composer. IBM Mag Card as well ... Something in that area?

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  10. The typewriter I have no idea. But the Heidegger is all over it like white on rice, man.

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    1. I don't think so. Heidegger would deny that calculation and technology are simply our creations and under our control. He claims that the technological worldview is a destiny that has been allotted to us.

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    2. I see. I thought you actually meant fingers by "digits" and thought you were thinking of zuhandenheit. Now I see that you are saying we should regard digital technology as an "artifactual extension" rather than something alien and threatening. But then, what's the revolution about?
      BTW, not to get nerdy or anything, the "ones and zeros fading into a dream" reminds me of a Simpsons Tree House of Horror I once saw.

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    3. I don't want to get too far into philosophy on this blog, but you are right that my text made the connection between digits and fingers, and that in Being and Time, Heidegger would be more sympathetic to the ideas I sketched here. It's in his later thinking that he views technology as a destiny.

      This text was experimenting with a somewhat optimistic and humanistic vision. I am not sure I'm really that optimistic. But even in this vision, there is a need for a revolution: not against the digital as such, but against passive acquiescence to an all-embracing digital paradigm, against the tendency to forget that our mathematics and our machines are our creations, against letting ourselves be ruled by our rulers (double entendre).

      "Not to get nerdy"? Too late for all of us!

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  11. Actually I think it's an Adler Universal. Fancy-shmancy one with "margin justification device."

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    1. Ooh! We have a winner for the typewriter model! But there's no fancy justification device—I just retyped the text until it came out right, inserting spaces as necessary.

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  12. http://collectionsonline.nmsi.ac.uk/detail.php?t=objects&type=browse&f=CATEGORY1&s=SCM+-+Printing+&record=45

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    1. Wow! I didn't know there was an Adler Universal with such a device. Mine doesn't have it. If the Universal with a justifier was manual, it would be the only such typewriter I've heard of.

      I would guess that the principle was the same as on the Varityper: you have to type a line first (but without making any marks on the paper), and then the machine calculates how much blank space you'll need to insert between words when you retype it making actual marks.

      When I'm next in London (next summer) I must visit the Science Museum.

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