Saturday, June 23, 2012

A micro-mini-holidayette honoring an obsolete technology

The object shown above, kiddies, is called a typewriter. You see something there that you can interpret as a keyboard, don't you? And note -- it's the same QWERTY layout that's on your laptop or the virtual keyboard on your iPad. But you can type URL's on this device all day long and not be connected to a single website! And, what's more (or, perhaps, more accurately, what's less) you have to check your own spelling! There's no control key -- no copy and paste on this device.

And yet, somehow, your decrepit ancestors managed to transact business using these ancient devices -- and, believe it or not, typewriters were deemed a great advance over scratching letters out with a pen.

You kiddies think that keyboards only made muffled clicking noises, but a battered old portable, like the one shown above, made a healthy, percussive clicking noise as the keys really did strike the ribbon against the page (you rolled paper into the typewriter, kids, there was no separate printer) while the old IBM Selectrics had a bass hum to go along with its much different electric-click-striking sound.

So raise a glass tonight, kiddies, to the ancient and honorable typewriter and wish every gray head that you meet on the street a Happy Typewriter Day.

And hope they don't slug you.

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