Monday, August 22, 2022

Free thoughts revisited

In what is becoming a bit of a tradition at Xavier University, my friend and I welcomed students and faculty to the fall semester by typing "free thoughts" on our Underwood Champions—an offer that was met with puzzlement, indifference, enthusiasm, and gratitude.

Here are some of her thoughts:

And some of mine:

Friday, August 19, 2022

New podcast features Nashville Typewriter, Tom Hanks, Olympias, and the Manifesto

Thanks to Jakob Lewis for including me in his great new podcast for the Goethe Institut. The podcast is in English, but the written introduction is in German. In case you don't know that language, it says:

Searching for an alternative to the nearly overwhelming efficiency of the digital, Jakob Lewis runs into the "typosphere," an online community for people who don't just collect typewriters but also enthusiastically write on them. After acquiring several typewriters and even writing a letter to Tom Hanks on one of them, Jakob is completely converted to analog text production. 

And yes, after recording his podcast, he did get a response.

Listen now!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Another quasi-Lego typewriter

 Just seen on eBay:

So why are those little wings there? A touch of whimsy?

I rather like the classic-looking keys and the innovative twist on QWERTY.

We can add this toy (made in China, of course) to the other Lego and Legoid typewriters that are available. Collect 'em all! And remember: good life is always around.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Typewriter Manifesto on a typewriter

How wonderful is this?

See more on The Typewriter Database, where Julian Walkner writes:

This Triumph Gabriele 35 has an OCR typeface. OpticalCharacterRecognition. The typeface OCR-B was developed in 1968 by Adrian Frutiger. The look is less technical than the OCR-A font, which was one of the first fonts to meet the U.S. Bureau of Standards criteria. ... The goal was to design a typefont that could be automatically read by machines, and that would be aesthetically accepted by the human eye. The description is from the time the font was published and not some information that was gathered for an article 30 years later - it closes with the sentence: „We can hope that one day "reading machines" will have reached perfection and will be able to distinguish without any error the symbols of our alphabets, in whatever style they may be written“. 

Julian continues:

For those who wonder why the typewriter looks like this. Here's the story: When the machine arrived at my house, the plastic chassis was broken into 3 pieces. I was very happy that I had recognized the font correctly based on a few recognizable typeslugs on the photo. But what to do with the chassis? Ok, I glued it together, but now cracks are catching my eye. I decided to „tattoo“ the machine with words. But I'm not a writer. This particular typeface, on a mechanical machine, is a link between analog and digital. This font was developed to make it easier for computers to understand human „language“ . Now, 50 years later they do „understand“ us in various ways but we don’t want them to understand everything and all the time. Under this perspective, the words of The Typewriter Manifesto seemed the perfect fit to me.

Thank you, Julian. And the idea of writing the Typewriter Manifesto on a typewriter has actually never occurred to me before.