A Technological Throwback: Typewriter Time

Back in the fall, I ordered a copy of the Tom Hanks book Uncommon Type: Some Stories. The book is a collection of short stories that all have a common thread…each one features a typewriter in some form or fashion.

I’ve always liked typewriters, even if I was a little frightened of some of their mechanics when I was a kid. (I think I was afraid that if I put my fingers near the ribbon, someone would accidentally hit a key and leave a permanent letter on my hand. That probably helps to explain why I’ve never gotten a tattoo.) At my high school, the typing classroom was filled with electric typewriters. I can still hear the clicking…

I usually end up with some kind of new gadget each summer. This summer, my “new” technological acquisition is a manual Remington typewriter.

It’s just my type.

This is a Remington Quiet-Riter with a case. A very HEAVY case, I might add. I suppose you could call it an analog laptop.

Now, for all you kids out there, a typewriter is a machine that you use to type words directly on a sheet of paper. If you make a mistake–depending on the model–you are stuck with it. Autocorrect has no say in whatever crazy mistake you–yes, you–make.

phone fails GIF
…and you can’t blame autocorrect. It’s all on you.

So, if you’re going to use one of these things, you might want to do a thorough review of your and you’re and which word is applicable at the appropriate time.

With that being said, it’s amazing how much I had to re-learn in order to use a manual typewriter. For starters, I thought my typing skills were pretty good. And they are…as long as I have a backspace button. (I’m the fastest draw around on that backspace button, but it does little good when you’ll just be typing gibberish since you can’t erase what you’ve already butchered. Correction fluid is your friend.) Also, the apostrophe was not where I expected it to be, and I’ve discovered that I have to type much slower. If I don’t, the keys have a tendency to get a little tongue-tied.

Will it replace my computer? Not in this day and age, but I am using it to try my hand at creating unique greeting cards.┬áIf I use it for too long, though, I might re-develop some old habits that would need to be corrected when I return to the computer…

typewriter GIF
DING!

I’m sure I’ll be using the typewriter sparingly, but it does show me just how far we’ve progressed technologically in a relatively short period of time. And, much like the stories in the Tom Hanks book, it brings back images of a simpler time where we were much more connected…despite our current level of perceived connectivity.

An Observation: Older Or Wiser?

Well, Birthdaypaloozextravaganzmageddon 2018 has come and gone. I celebrated my perpetual 29th birthday by working (like most of us do, I suppose, unless the anniversary of your existence falls on a weekend).

Thrilled to be 29…again…

If you’ll recall, I also have to share my birthday with a teeny little holiday (read all about it here in case you’ve forgotten). But, enough about Valentine’s Day.

That sums it up.

I suppose I had a pretty good birthday this year. However, older doesn’t always equate to wiser. For example, I decided I was going to treat myself to some cupcakes. After about six of them, I “decided” to treat myself to a new pair of larger pants. (I forgot that once you celebrate your 29th birthday a few times, your metabolism starts to slow down…a lot. I’m now an avid collector of food marathon pants.)

Beyond that, though, my other birthday gift to myself was something I have needed for a while: a new computer. So, what do I need to do now? Transfer everything over to the new one.

That should be easy, right?

Confused Confusion GIF
Umm…where’s the “transfer” button?

Sure.

I was visiting with a friend recently who was telling me all about building a new computer. I was smiling and nodding, pretending to understand everything (anything) about computers. I mean, I was excited the first time I figured out how to change my font to Comic Sans.

happy the office GIF
Nerd victory.

But, transferring everything over to a new computer? You might as well ask me to be the lead rocket surgeon on the SpaceX project. I know they can do a file transfer thingy (that’s highly technological terminology) for me at the store where I purchased the computer, but I already spent enough money on the computer itself, so I’d like to try to figure it out myself.

Stubborn? Sure. (Again, this is the part where older doesn’t necessarily equate to wiser.) Is it possible for me to do this?

Perhaps…by my next 29th birthday.

An Observation: Inventovations

When you pause to think about technological advances and inventions, I’d venture to guess that you’re likely to picture the most complex, intricate, electronically-based products on the market, right?

Doesn’t anyone feel a little bit sorry for simple inventions and innovations that don’t receive the credit they are due these days? I’m talking about the little things that you use and take for granted that someone had to think of and develop before you were allowed the convenience of their use.

Let’s start with…

  1. Lint Rollers. You mean, it’s okay to put the tape on the outside of the roll? And it’ll pick up unwanted lint off of your clothing? Sign me up for one of those!
How could I possibly have made it through this situation without a lint roller?
How could I possibly have made it through this situation without a lint roller?

2. The Gel Mask. These are great for headaches…and interplanetary travel fashion, should we get around to that technological leap anytime soon. It’s also a great conversation starter for…anyone fluent in creating awkward situations.

Soothing, with the added bonus of tunnel vision.
Soothing, with the added bonus of tunnel vision.

3. Fire. (Okay, so this one wasn’t so much an invention as it was a discovery. Still, we can trace lots of stuff that we didn’t have at one time back to fire. You’ve all seen fire, so I shouldn’t have to provide a picture. Moving forward…)

4. Coffee. Again, another discovery. Probably the most important discovery in my life today. I owe many productive mornings to coffee. Of course, I also owe many sleepless nights to coffee consumed too late in the evening, but its overall contributions cannot be ignored. (Perhaps I should have written more about the coffee maker than coffee itself, since coffee actually was a discovery and the process by which we are able to brew and consume coffee is more likely to be considered an invention although I did say I was only going to discuss simple inventions even though I ventured into discoveries and this is quite possibly the longest run-on sentence I’ve written since the third grade. And I owe it all to coffee. Oh, wait. The label says it’s decaf. I guess I just need to edit my sentences better in the future.)

Coffee makes the world go ground.
Coffee makes the world go ground.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a start, right?