Let me start by saying that here at Preludium, after years of using Microsoft and MSDos Computers for word processing, I moved over to Apple some six years ago. Couldn't be happier. And of course there are so many other things to do with the software and hardware that comes with the computer.
Still it turns out that with the hardware provided by the manual typewriter and the software provided by my brain I can do some of the most elementary tasks I bring to the computer, and do them fairly well. I can write most anything I want provided I am willing to put up with my wretched spelling and typing errors. And I don't have to worry about having electric current. I can find new technological ways to overcome the power problem. And I will.
But just for the moment I am exploring the use of the manual typewriter as a machine for journal writing and poetry. Of course I will have to clean the text up for public use using a computer. Of course. But I will be at a different starting place than the scrawl I call my handwriting. And maybe, just maybe, being able to think faster than I can write will have some advantage.
Anyway, here at the head office at Preludium we have acquired a new/ old machine.. a 1948 Royal Quiet Deluxe Portable Typewriter.
I've also been able to find online the manual. The manual, all six pages of it, sing of the possibilities afforded the one fortunate enough to have and use this machinery of joy and creativity.
The unfortunate cover, true to the time, misses out on the fact that the portable typewriter was used not so much by competent secretaries, who may indeed have been women, but by people "in the field," as often as not men. But no men on the cover, showing off how easy it was to carry to far off exotic places. For that matter, no women. Instead the woman fresh from the office pool holds it out, proud that she is holding, "the first truly modern portable typewriter."
I've put together a bit of a comparison between the Royal Quiet De Luxe Model Portable Typewriter and the MacBook Air I am using at the moment. Here are the results:
14 pounds, including hard cover box.
no power brick or cord needed
no electricity needed
no software needed
produces copy on all sorts of paper
not subject to electric shock or surge
can produce instant copies by using carbon paper
single letters or marks can be made anywhere on a page without special formatting
eliminates the need to choose fonts or sizes
never needs to be upgraded
reusable printer ribbon
1 pound brick and cord
110-220 v. ac power
external printer 3 to 7 pounds available
(total weight to produce copy - 7 to 11 pounds.)
8 hour battery life
lots of software and software updates
does many things besides provide text copy.
typing software has spell checker
many fonts and sizes available
printer requires power brick, cord
printer requires new ink cartridges
printer and computer need to be connected either by cord or by network.
Obviously I need the computer. But perhaps too there is a place for the simple hit - the -key, make - a -mark sort of writing tool as well. Simple has its place.