I was intrigued and a little sad to read that one of the last remaining manufacturers of typewriters is to cease production (see http://www.kurzweilai.net/passing-of-the-typewriter?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=f95da126f9-UA-946742-1&utm_medium=email).
At the age of 42 I am old enough to remember when typewriters could be heard, clacking away in offices up and down the land. Indeed I was taught how to use both a manual machine and an electronic one. At the time I hated the machines. I can recollect getting the ink from the carbon paper all over my hands and the paper not going in correctly into the typewriter. I’ve also memories of getting corrector fluid/powder all over my hands, oh happy days!
Typewriters certainly have their limitations, however, as pointed out in the above piece they do possess a number of key advantages when compared to word processors. Typewriters made you think very carefully about what you wanted to get across prior to setting one’s thoughts down on paper. If you made a spelling error you had to reach for the liquid paper or if there where a significant number of errors rip up your work and start all over again! Today one just corrects one’s work using the spell checking function. However the problem with this approach is that it can make us all rather lazy. The spell checker will pick up any mistakes we think to ourselves so we don’t (always) take that little extra bit of time to consult a dictionary prior to commiting our efforts to print. Again if the electricity supply fails we have no recourse other than to reach for a pen and paper or, alternatively to grab that ancient manual typewriter which may be mouldering away in the cupboard!
As a blind person I do value my computer as it enables me to communicate with greater facility than a typewriter. Again one can’t send e-mails using a typewriter! However despite the many advantages of computers I do, as I say feel rather sad to think that the typewriter has been consigned to the dustbin of history.