Typewriter Talk

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08-1-2017 20:54:57  #21


Re: Why do electronic typewriters get short shrift?

Uwe wrote:

I don't want to sidetrack this thread, but most Olivetti standards and the larger portables have type actions that I can't stand, and the smaller portables have keyboard layouts that don't work for me. I buy Olivetti typewriters solely to enjoy their design elements and it's very rare that I feel any motivation to actually use one.

What do you think of the Studio 44? That would have to be considered a larger portable but I've tried several and their touch certainly fit under my fingers.


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

08-1-2017 22:38:48  #22


Re: Why do electronic typewriters get short shrift?

Platenboy wrote:

I agree with Uwe, I bought an electronic Casio typewriter and it was so dull.   They keys were very poor and you just questioned why you weren't using a computer.  When using a carbon ribbon, the print was actually nicer than the print produced by a laser because it had a slight sheen.  However, it was just so boring to use and I absolutely hated the few milliseconds of delay between pressing the key and it typing.  It just felt wrong.

I wouldn't mind trying an electro-mechanical one though.  I think I would enjoy the noises of the solenoids and the hammering of the keys and the uniform type.

I'm after a hybrid ribbon type that doesn't use those Cronomatic cassettes.  I'm not even bothered if it has a manual carriage return, in fact, the automatic ones seem so violent I wonder how long they last smacking against whatever they hit when they stop.

By hybrid ribbon type, do you mean a machine that uses both carbon and fabric ribbons?  About the likeliest typewriter you're likely going to find that in is a fifties to eighties upright office electric typewriter--and they will all have power return.  Though, you'd be surprised at the braking/cushioning actions the newer experienced-tempered models possess.  They're hiding in scattered-out pockets, but you'll eventually find one.  And, oh, are they heavy!!  About 50 pounds is the average.  And you're going to have some repairwork to do--oftentimes some pretty major stuff to fix.  So, if I were you, I'd stick with the Smith-Corona "Coronamatic" cartridge ribbons--fabric or carbon--and you can have a choice of power or manual return, without all the bulk, weight, and high maintenance issues of an older office machine.  They do their job relatively well, and ribbons are available, yes, over the internet.  There are still many of these typewriters extant today, and they still make these cartridges available.           
 
Believe me, I'm not telling you what to do.  No no.  I personally think everyone who collects typewriters should at least have some exposure to the old dual ribbon brutes such as the big Smith-Corona 400 & 410 series, the Remington 300, 25, and 26 series, the Underwood 702, the Royal 660, and to make things interesting, an IBM Executive and/or Composer.  I've had a number of these bad boys put char marks on my bench and my backside back when they were throwin' em out their offices.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

08-1-2017 22:57:16  #23


Re: Why do electronic typewriters get short shrift?

Oh, I forgot some Adlers (beautiful electrics), Olympia SGE-series, Hermes Ambassadors and 808, and I understand that in 1971, Consul made an electric typewriter.  I wish I could find one of those bad boys.  Saw a picture of one on an automated typing machine.  Hmmmm, let's see.  Oivetti--oh yes, beautiful machines--the Editor-series, the Documentor, Scriptor, and Raphael (sold under the Underwood name), and the Lexikon 92-c--both a standard and proportional-space single element machine--what a all-out 4-alarm nightmare to have to fix!!


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

09-1-2017 06:55:26  #24


Re: Why do electronic typewriters get short shrift?

M. Höhne wrote:

There are no solenoids in most of these typewriters. There is a spinning fluted shaft that gives the levers a healthy "thwack!" though. Yeah, it is a different, interesting experience to move back and forth between manual and electric typewriters. Those electronic ones that have that delay are infuriating. I suppose one could get used to it or maybe think it is normal if that the first typewriter one used.

I have a proportional spacing IBM model C which types with a perceptible delay. Of course no electronics involved here so I suppose it must be the proportional spacing, and I have no way of knowing if this is normal or means the machine wants some more cleaning. Does not quite rise to the level of "infuriating" but it is noticeable - that and the unearthly precision of the imprint vs. my very earthly stream of typos means I have not been using the machine that much though it is a beautiful piece of equipment.


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

09-1-2017 08:15:27  #25


Re: Why do electronic typewriters get short shrift?

Sorry, I think I hear the term hybrid somewhere and maybe I misunderstood, or it isn't correct.

I just mean one that take ordinary ribbons not those cassettes. 

 

09-1-2017 13:15:09  #26


Re: Why do electronic typewriters get short shrift?

Repartee wrote:

What do you think of the Studio 44?

Love the design, but I hate using it. You're right that it has a roomier keyboard, which is a good thing, but I find the type action to be terrible, on the wooden and stiff end of the scale. I have three Studio 44s (I always buy - or at least try - multiple samples of a model before forming an opinion on how they work), and I have endlessly tinkered with their innards because I stubbornly believed that they inherently possessed a better type action; however, much like the standard-sized Lexikon of that era, they have all remained frustratingly uncooperative so far. 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

09-1-2017 20:53:55  #27


Re: Why do electronic typewriters get short shrift?

Uwe wrote:

Repartee wrote:

What do you think of the Studio 44?

I find the type action to be terrible, on the wooden and stiff end of the scale. I have three Studio 44s (I always buy - or at least try - multiple samples of a model before forming an opinion on how they work), and I have endlessly tinkered with their innards because I stubbornly believed that they inherently possessed a better type action; however, much like the standard-sized Lexikon of that era, they have all remained frustratingly uncooperative so far. 

I am a mere piker with two but they both feel fine to me and better than many. What is wanted is an quantitative physical description of the variables which contribute to "action", which would be the <adjective> way of deciding if we have different tastes or different typewriters. Adjectives which occur to me are "only" and "easiest"... OK, I'm going with "only", and if it's the only way then it is also the easiest way because the others are infeasible.

What we also want here is a mechanical engineer typewriter enthusiast. Typewriter makers must have employed engineers and eventually academically trained engineers and something must have been written down - though much may have been lost word of mouth. An interested engineering professor would be ideal - a mechanical version of Richard Polt - who has the means and skills to do the literature search. Then our fictitious or notional engineer would realize that while human intelligence has not increased sensors and recording have and would carefully instrument a selection of typewriters...  all that is wanting is the funding. Perhaps we could first find evidence suggesting that typing on good machines remediates cognitive disorders and developmental delays, improves social skills and increases language ability. Let's get those NSF grants rolling!  


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

09-1-2017 21:06:26  #28


Re: Why do electronic typewriters get short shrift?

If your IBM Model 'C'  has two side-by-side spacebars, it is the proportional spacing model.  The 'delay' may be caused by a worn or dirty rubber power roll - or even condensation.

 

10-1-2017 20:54:14  #29


Re: Why do electronic typewriters get short shrift?

Thank you typewriterman, it's a proportional spacer alright.

I wanted to take another look but lack of space has driven me to put it in deep storage. I think now the strike of the type bar was actually as fast as you might like but there was something disconcerting about the movement of the carriage: it did not snap with each letter but sort of oozed along maddeningly, somehow managing to arrive at the correct place in time to type at a reasonable rate just the same. Since I never had another proportional spacer I'm not sure if this is a psychological artifact of the uneven movement - maybe my eye is catching the smaller movement for some characters and perceiving this as dragging? If it were supposed to be monospacing then it would indeed be dragging.


"Damn the torpedoes! Four bells, Captain Drayton".
 

14-1-2017 00:47:43  #30


Re: Why do electronic typewriters get short shrift?

With a proportional spacing typewriter, the carriage does snap with each letter--only sometimes, like with the letter I, it snaps two units.  With the letter M or W, it snaps five units.  On average, it snaps three units.  It may seem erratic, but it moves with the measured space of each individual letter instead of one space for all letters.  Believe me, it is doing the right thing.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

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