Few older technologies get quite as much notice and affection as the humble typewriter and it’s become my latest Ebay browsing fascination, that is if I can see an opportunity to pick up a cheap model I think I’m going to dip my toe in these retro waters.
Believe it or not I have thought this through, my work needs to be submitted online and if I could not use the typewriter for this I’m basically looking for a roughly 10kg desk ornament but I have a quick, effective scanner with a copy of speedy and accurate OCR software installed. Therefore, if I feed my scanner typewritten notes I can extract the text from them with no problem whatsoever and great speed. OCR would immediately choke if I made it try to read my handwriting (I’d offer to be a CAPTCHA but I’d be too effective) but if I try to make it read evenly spaced lines of typescript it will run through the documents with aplomb. This means that I get to benefit from the alleged (I have never tried it for myself) advantages of the typewriter – the distraction free writing environment – I’m really interested in this on because I’m very, very easily distracted by computers, frankly because they are my favourite toy, so I often sit down to work on real work and end up on a highly informative but irrelevant quest on Google or by a new email that’s come in – and the increased ability to draft without editing as I go along. I’ve always found it very hard to redraft my work, to be honest and I suspect that any incentive to change this would be fantastic because it’s a recognised beneficial process for writers and the extra coordination that it requires is a positive step in writing carefully and better. I also think it might come in handy as a quick and easy way to set a typed address onto an envelop for posting.
And if all else fails? Well, maybe I am in the market for a 10kg desk ornament. I’ll keep it with me as long as I can because it’ll make me look very arty and boho and alternative and I’ll just have to learn to live with that. At the very least it’s something I can bring on holiday and use to scare the bejeezus out of the baggage scale.