July 9th, 2014

Adventures in Twentieth-Century Technology

So I spent this morning changing the ribbon on my typewriter.

Yes, really. A few years ago, on a whim, I decided to purchase a small, portable, manual typewriter. For one reason or another, though, I didn't get any use out of it: I was living in a small apartment and didn't want to disturb the neighbors with the noise, or I had it packed away in storage, or whatever. But I finally decided I was going to start using the thing.

So I bought a couple of replacement ribbons on Amazon. Classic 21st-century solution to a 20th-century problem! And the beauty of it is, there's basically only one kind of typewriter ribbon ... it's not like buying a f**kin' print cartridge.

Then I had to figure out how to get the cover off. This was actually the biggest challenge: there's a plastic cover that fits over the ribbon, but it took me forever to figure out how to remove it. Turns out it's easy once you discover the secret: put one hand on the body of the typewriter and the other in the opening of the cover, and then pull diagonally.

Finally, threading the ribbon. That was a challenge, too, and by the time I was done I had ink all over my fingers. But it's up and running and ready to start clackity-clacking away.

And while my mechanical mood was still fresh, I replaced my license plates (finally got my car registered in Oregon!) and installed an air conditioner. (And by installed, I mean "perched precariously in my window".)

Why a typewriter?

Zombie apocalypse.
No Facebook.
The NSA.
Never needs software updates.
Instant printing.
Direct brain-to-paper interface.
Great finger exercise.
Never delete a document.
Mystify your friends.
Your enemies will think of the Unabomber or 'The Shining' and keep a good safe distance.
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