Typewriters, word processors and computers


Spent the day running all the adware, spyware and virus scanners I have access to on the ol’ computer. Found a bunch of bad stuff and got rid of it. Not sure yet if the machine is fixed. Last I checked, it was recognizing the floppy drive, but couldn’t recognize when I had a disk in it. We’ll see what it’s like after the next boot-up.

Got several responses to my last lament about computers vs. typewriters. That was fun. As I said, I wrote the first draft of my first novel on that old Smith-Corona Electra XT. I then retyped it on a brand new Smith-Corona PWP 3 word processor. Ironically, that novel is The Prometheus Syndrome, which I am reworking now.

I wrote four more books on the PWP 3. Anyone else have one of those machines? They store data on a 3-ince diskette. Yes, 3 inches. That’s right. Completely and totally incompatable with a PC or Mac. When I worked for Conoco they had a state-of-the-art printer/scanner/fax machine. So I took in manuscripts of my first four books and scanned them. It was tedious and not perfect, but, as I rework TPS, I’m finding it worked pretty well. Better than retyping them again. There was one early book I didn’t scan; it just isn’t good enough.

Before the Electra XT, I had a brother electronic typewriter. It seemed really cool when I bought it. It was “slim line.” And you could see 10 or so characters on a little read-out panel before they were printed to paper, so you could check for mistakes. Man, that thing sucked. It printed in very loose dot matrix that no publisher would look at. The printer cartridges were expensive and became obsolete fast. The machine would print without a cartridge if you ran thermal paper through it, but who wanted to buy that stuff? The machine was a graduate present when I squeaked out of high school in 1984. I remember it was priced at $165. This was back when the cashier actually had to imput the price in the register. The cashier couldn’t read the 1 and so charged us $65. Screw you, Wal-Mart! Obviously, the loss of that $100 hasn’t hurt them.

One thing I did accomplish today was cleaning out my Yahoo sent-mail folder. And I got my new DVD/CD/Writer to play DVDs on my computer. That’s what I needed. Another reason to sit here in front of this machine. OWFI contest entries. Umm. Yeah. I’ll work on those tomorrow.


0 responses to “Typewriters, word processors and computers”

  1. Smith-Corona WP.
    That machine from hell was given to me and so I was forced to use it now and then. The keyboard was so stiff that I felt like my fingers would fall off. Talk about a waste of time and money. I remember those small disks that came with it and how all the effort I put into using them was for naught since the next machine could not decipher them. That had to be the worst word-processor ever made on the planet. I shudder to think that I would ever have to cope with one of those again.
    A Selectric devotee.
    Frosty

  2. Smith-Corona WP.
    That machine from hell was given to me and so I was forced to use it now and then. The keyboard was so stiff that I felt like my fingers would fall off. Talk about a waste of time and money. I remember those small disks that came with it and how all the effort I put into using them was for naught since the next machine could not decipher them. That had to be the worst word-processor ever made on the planet. I shudder to think that I would ever have to cope with one of those again.
    A Selectric devotee.
    Frosty

  3. Aside from the IBM Selectric my parents owned (and I learned to type on) and those through school, my only experience with a typewriter is one I bought about two years ago off eBay. I was looking for one that would at least look good on my desk and make my kids furl their eyebrows trying to figure out where to plug the monitor in.
    1936 Royal Touch-o-matic. I had to restore the carriage return, but it works well. The ribbon is standard, so it’s easy to purchase from Office Max, etc., and the “Touch-o-matic” feature is slick enough to actually make the 20-pound “portable” typewriter work without much effort.
    The only thing I still have to get used to is the “l”… I guess in the 30’s, they didn’t have 1’s. It was all “A, B, C and 0, 2, 3”.

    • Royal typewriter.
      My elderly Royal does not have it either. One thing for sure, you’ll still be able to type if the power ever goes out. Enjoy it, you’ll get a decent workout when you use the little angel.
      Best.
      Frosty.

  4. Aside from the IBM Selectric my parents owned (and I learned to type on) and those through school, my only experience with a typewriter is one I bought about two years ago off eBay. I was looking for one that would at least look good on my desk and make my kids furl their eyebrows trying to figure out where to plug the monitor in.
    1936 Royal Touch-o-matic. I had to restore the carriage return, but it works well. The ribbon is standard, so it’s easy to purchase from Office Max, etc., and the “Touch-o-matic” feature is slick enough to actually make the 20-pound “portable” typewriter work without much effort.
    The only thing I still have to get used to is the “l”… I guess in the 30’s, they didn’t have 1’s. It was all “A, B, C and 0, 2, 3”.

    • Royal typewriter.
      My elderly Royal does not have it either. One thing for sure, you’ll still be able to type if the power ever goes out. Enjoy it, you’ll get a decent workout when you use the little angel.
      Best.
      Frosty.

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