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30-10-2018 14:55:24  #1

Research when typewriting

Fellow typists,

when I'm writing texts on my typewriters that require some research to be properly written, I often find myself in an uncomfortable situation. On the one hand, I love typing on one of my typewriters, there's nothing that could beat the level of concentration I reach there. On the other hand, research often means turning to a (distracting) PC and browsing the Internet. The most prominent example is probably looking something up in Wikipedia, but occasionally I need to hunt down more specific sources. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this situation, so I'd like to ask how you deal with the problem. Do you clearly separate research from typing, print out everything you find, and then take all the prints to your typewriter? Do you place your typerwriter right next to your research PC, kind of defeating the purpose of using a typewriter? Do something entirely else?

I'm just curious. The Wikipedia problem can mostly be "solved" by buying a traditional encyclopedia using physical books, but apart from the fact that print encyclopedias are dying, quite a few (even commercial) resources today are only to be found online. Since the use of the computer distracts me, I'm looking for a doable way of separating online research and (type)writing. Currently, I try to keep my typewriter in a different room than my PC, but this only causes me running backward and forward between the rooms. So it's not an ideal solution.


30-10-2018 17:43:08  #2

Re: Research when typewriting

To start, I'm not a fan of Wikipedia. It's not a carefully researched encyclopedia, but a collection of contributions that rely on the scrutiny of other Wikipedia users for corrections and editing. Some articles might be extremely accurate, and others full of errors. It really depends on who is doing the contributing.

To answer your question, I do most of my typing at my desk, which means the computer is always at hand. However, when I'm typing elsewhere I usually just rely on a tablet if I have to look something up. I often work from books (see photo), so there are times when I multitask typewriters and research material. It all gets compiled later on during subsequent edits.

I think in your situation a small investment in a tablet (or using your smartphone) might be the solution.


"To save time is to lengthen life."

04-11-2018 22:54:13  #3

Re: Research when typewriting

As an ad hoc solution I place a typewriter on the table in front of my desktop computer monitor where the keyboard would normally go and put the computer keyboard off to the side.  If I want to check something online I put the computer keyboard on my lap, which gets the job done without moving from the spot but is sufficiently awkward that I'm not tempted to go off on a web browsing tangent. For added awkwardness points use a tall standard that partially obstructs the monitor.

I would not do in depth "research" like this but a quick spelling or fact check.


26-12-2018 16:51:12  #4

Re: Research when typewriting

Thank you two for your opinions! I'll see how I arrange it... I'd actually like to keep things as separate as possible. I don't mind printing much (on recycled paper, in case someone wants to object that), and as a programmer I'll see if I can come up with something that formats my typical research sites better than the normal browser printing function. HTML is (still!) not a format that can be used for properly laying out printed documents, although it has become minimally better recently.

But if it all fails, I probably go with the tablet variant. Thanks again for the tips!

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