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30-7-2021 21:55:43  #1


I want to love my SM9(s)...

because they are clearly superbly made machines, but damn, they are hard to type on. I'll admit it right now, I'm a hack typist, undisciplined as hell, but that isn't likely to change. My fingers do what they do, and I don't have the patience for "training" or (uggh!) "self-discipline". I'm getting the impression the SM9's really perform best under trained, disciplined fingers, kind of like my Royal FP which demands perfection. The SM9 isnt quite that demanding though, thankfully.

But that's not me. Some typewriters (59 Sterling) slow me down because of the shape and/or spacing of the keys, while on others (Royal QDL) my fingers just fly! Not sure whether its the angle of the keys or the fact they are so closely spaced on the SM9, or both, but it really slows me down. If I try to speed up, I get typos. And its frustrating because I really do like them. It performs great if I keep things slow.

Oh well, just a random gripe. Like I said, I'm not trainable so I either get used to it or I don't. If I ever come across a perfectly mint 1950s brown QDL for $20 I will probably marry it.

 

Last edited by overwood (30-7-2021 21:58:40)

 

31-7-2021 07:34:03  #2


Re: I want to love my SM9(s)...

I once had a much used, very smooth typing SM8. I made constant typos with that typewriter. That SM was too fast, too slippery. I do not have those issues with my little used, less smooth typing SM9.

 

05-8-2021 10:35:07  #3


Re: I want to love my SM9(s)...

There is something to be said about using a typewriter the way it was engineered to be used. I can't relate to using the hunt-and-peck style because I was lucky to have been taught touch typing when I was in Grade 7; in other words, I don't know how various models would compare when only the index (or other more dominant) fingers are being used. However, I am surprised about the observation that the FP requiring typing perfection: of the three that I own, all are very easy to use and comparable to other standard models. Maybe there's a issue with your FP that once corrected would allow it to perform better with your typing style?


https://i.imgur.com/OZeuKtA.jpg
 

10-8-2021 18:01:47  #4


Re: I want to love my SM9(s)...

Uwe wrote:

There is something to be said about using a typewriter the way it was engineered to be used. I can't relate to using the hunt-and-peck style because I was lucky to have been taught touch typing when I was in Grade 7; in other words, I don't know how various models would compare when only the index (or other more dominant) fingers are being used. However, I am surprised about the observation that the FP requiring typing perfection: of the three that I own, all are very easy to use and comparable to other standard models. Maybe there's a issue with your FP that once corrected would allow it to perform better with your typing style?

Its very possible there is an undiscovered issue with the FP. Unfortunately for my machines I'm less inclined toward tinkering than some. I just get them hoping they already work, with some cleaning.

However I found that if I type with 2 fingers, straight down, with even pressure, the FP doesn't skip. So it may be operator error. That is not my normal typing style. 

     Thread Starter
 

10-8-2021 18:07:38  #5


Re: I want to love my SM9(s)...

You may have to clean a machine several times. The first time will get some solvents worked in here and there but you may notice some issues, second time can serve better to flush things out, even a third time might be necessary to get a machine working perfectly, or within spec, considering age. After more than 50 years, a lot of springs may have become weaker, even though to us the machines may feel great. 
I've gone through my Noiseless Model 7 portable at least three times and I think I've finally gotten it to the point that it's as good as it can get.

Phil Forrest

 

08-11-2021 14:28:01  #6


Re: I want to love my SM9(s)...

Having acquired my SM9 just a few days ago one of the first things I noticed was how it felt different than my two SM4s and Selectric 2. Over the last couple of days I’ve typed three letters and some notes with it. As I was typing I made mental note of issues.  I’m only a partial touch typist with my fingers being used on the appropriate keys and positions. I frequently fall back to watching my fingers work. I’ve only very recently returned to using a typewriter so like many, if not all of us, most of my keyboard activity is a computer keyboard. Mine is an Apple Magic Wireless and has a very small key travel and only minimal pressure is needed to press. I frequently have issues with keys not making contact and spellcheck doing corrections. There is very little tactile and no audible feedback compared to a typewriter. When I load a piece of paper in any of my typewriters it seems like there is a period of re-learning the feel. After a paragraph or so I do much better. As already noted most of the machines are 50-60 years old and no longer function like new. My last typewriter usage was nearly 40 years ago and there is little, if any, muscle memory left. Where I get in trouble the most is when my computer keyboard muscle memory tries to take over and rapidly hit keys faster than they can operate. The IBM Selectric 2 is usually okay with that but the Olympias just stack things up. That’s the reminder to just use the manual rhythm and even then it’s not perfect. It sure is a lot of fun though!

George

 

08-11-2021 16:04:48  #7


Re: I want to love my SM9(s)...

Most typewriters can perform at typing speeds far above what average typists are capable of. I'm a decent touch typist and have yet to use a typewriter that couldn't handle my fast-average typing speed (around 50wpm at near 100 percent accuracy) - unless of course it had issues and required adjustment/repair.

A century ago, during a time when world speed typing records were a thing, people were typing well above 100wpm. Some could type, for an hour, at speeds close to three times of what I'm capable of. Some might argue that at the professional end of these competitions the typewriters were 'tuned' for speed, but the models rolling off assembly lines were still more than capable of handling the speeds of professional office typists, who work in the range of 60 to 80wpm. 

If a manual typewriter can't keep up with you it's either because:
1. You posses world-beating speed
2. Your typewriter requires servicing
3. There's an issue with your technique

As you pointed out, computer keyboard technique on a manual machine can result in "stacked" type bars; however, this doesn't mean that you're exceeding the speed that the typewriter can operate. 

Another important factor to keep in mind is accuracy. Over the years a few members here have claimed to posses blazing speed. I never questioned how they arrived at their type speed, and did wonder about their accuracy. It doesn't matter how fast you can type if every second word has an error in it. When it comes to typing (computer or typewriter), accuracy is far more important to me than speed.

For reference, I found these speed categories on the internet:
Up to 26wpm - Very Slow
26–35wpm - Slow/Beginner
36–45wpm - Average/Intermediate
46–65wpm - Fast/Advanced
66–80wpm - Very Fast
Above 80wpm - Rare

The fastest typing speeds recorded were just over 200wpm, and were achieved on an electric typewriter.


https://i.imgur.com/OZeuKtA.jpg
 

08-11-2021 19:48:55  #8


Re: I want to love my SM9(s)...

If a manual typewriter can't keep up with you it's either because:
1. You posses world-beating speed  Not even in my dreams
2. Your typewriter requires servicing  Maybe
3. There's an issue with your technique  Hit the nail on the head with a direct hit! When it comes to typing (computer or typewriter), accuracy is far more important to me than speed.  I totally agree! Typewriter spellcheck is me and my dictionary. Add grammar and style along with proof-reading skills and a second typing is usually required on business correspondence. Then it’s easy to see the attraction for computer word-processing. I’m sure many of you , like my wife and I, have noticed the degradation of journalistic writing. We recently had even government mailings arrive with misspelling or incorrect words.

 

09-11-2021 12:05:45  #9


Re: I want to love my SM9(s)...

Writing in general, particularly by social media hacks, has degraded to the point that it makes them appear semiliterate. So-called smartphones seem to be creating not-so-smart users, and electronic and software aids (cars are a great example of this when it comes to driving skills) are creating lazy writers who struggle to construct a coherent sentence. Many are so lazy now they can't even be bothered to use the shift key when typing 'i'. 

And I'm guilty of taking this thread way off-topic.

Back to the performance critiques of typewriters: I'm sometimes reminded of when my wife complained about one of my fountain pens she was using. The complaint surprised me because she had borrowed a good pen. It wasn't until I looked at her using it that I realized why: she was trying to write with the nib upside down. 


https://i.imgur.com/OZeuKtA.jpg
 

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