Friday, December 30, 2011

With Any Luck, We'll Get in the OED in 2012

A rarely-activated Google news search popped this article in the LA Times by me today:

Patt Morrison Asks: Two from the 'typosphere'

World domination can't be too far behind...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

College students hold a type-in / letter-writing social

Manual typewriters are enjoying a comeback at Amherst College.
Like most American institutions, the college has a thriving party scene, where students who want to socialize can knock back a few drinks and grind the night away to pounding bass lines.

"But we also have a large part of the population who really aren't inter­ested in dancing in a dark basement," says Crista Reed, assistant director of student activities. So this fall the college started "Amherst After Dark," a 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. program meant to provide consistent social options for students who want to stay out late and remain sober.

As one of September's activities, Ms. Reed proposed a "letter-writing social," hearkening back to her own days as a "slightly dorky undergrad" at Roanoke College who eschewed late-night parties in favor of things like writing letters to relatives and high-school friends. This fall Ms. Reed ordered three manual typewriters, some hand-cut quill pens, stationery, postcards, postage stamps, and even wax cartridges for a hot-glue gun so that students could art­fully seal their letters without using open flames.

She was expecting 150 to 200 students to show up. She drew 350. ...

Read more here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blatant plug time!

To be fair, I waited as long as I possibly could before perverting the pure and worthy cause of WTTT for my own fiendish ends. So when you indict me mentally (as well you should) for my crimes, recall – if you will – that I waited a full seven days before I did so.

So without further ado, I would like to invite you to become one of the literally dozens of happy persons who have purchased and enjoyed Pen and Platen: Short Stories Written the Long Way.

MARVEL! At the non-bilateral exploits of legendary gunfighter, Silas Starkweather!

GASP! At the horrible leviathan of the deep!

THRILL! As you plunge into the fevered mind of a madman!

PAY! Only $0.99!

Thanks, and enjoy.

-Mike

Son of (Philly) Type-In, Dec 10th

I've been lax in the shameless promotion department, so just a reminder that there's another Philadelphia-area type-in this Saturday, December 10 at Bridgewater's Pub, starting at 1:00 PM. (I'd like to remind all attendees that the Typosphere Management has a particular soft spot for cheesesteak sandwiches with onions.)

If you go, take pictures! And if you've got a type-in planned for your neighborhood, just post a comment.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sic Transit Typewriters.ch

If these don't make you smile, then I don't know what will. Good luck Georg, and watch out for uneven sidewalks!

Part I:


Part II:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Olympia (WA) NaNoWriMo typewrite-in

The Olympia typewrite-in is set for 11:00 am Sunday November 13, 2011 at Sizizis coffee house.

This coffee place doesn't seem to have a web presence so I have started your search for you instead.

I hope to see a typewriter platoon, but would settle for a squad.

The write-in captain down there is enthusiastic, saying "Wow! that sounds delightful! I'll totally be staying to soak up some of that twentieth-century goodness. Thanks for the heads up!"


I want to impress them - Old School.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Raised on the Web, but Liking a Little Ink

There's a nice article in Sunday's New York Times about the revival of small-scale print zines. Instead of pointing you to the web version, I've scanned the newsprint version, which seems only fitting:

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k91/mysteriousmri/zines.jpg

Saturday, October 22, 2011

NaNo Type-in?

So! In case you've been living in a decommissioned 50's era fallout shelter, you prolly know that NaNo's a-comin'. Question is: we gonna do a Seattle type-in to celebrate the occasion?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Great news story on Gramercy Typewriter Co., NYC

"A great majority are brought in by the younger people, who are sort of rediscovering an old manual — the Royal, the Underwood, the Olivetti, or a Remington typewriter. They bring them to us and they have to be cleaned and washed and completely gone over to put them into tip-top condition, and I'm still doing that. Much to my surprise, a lot of the younger kids still want them."

-- Paul Schweitzer, Gramercy Typewriter Co.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two Weeks to Go Time

November is just under two weeks away. Have you thrown your hat into the Typewriter Brigade ring? Consider using a typewriter for your draft this year, so you don't get trampled by this guy: Nano Rhino

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Typosphere going Germany

An article featuring the typosphere and yours truly in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung of 16 Oct. 2011, p. 51. Hopefully this will bring some more German speakers to join our club. (click to enlarge). reporting from Switzerland, shordzi


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cover Art Contest

Calling all ambassadors of analog artistry!

Just Write is looking for a few good artists who would be interested in creating a book cover for the upcoming analog short-story collection Pen and Platen. There are fabulous prizes to be had, as well as the tantalizing offer of (non-guaranteed) fame!

Click here for details.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oct. 15 events

1. Collectors' meeting at Herman Price's home in West Virginia. Contact Herman at typewriter.museum@gmail.com.

2. "Tape 'n' Type" event in Philadelphia. Details here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tiny Tiki Type-In

Just a reminder if anyone out there in the 'sphere has a business trip coming up: consult the map page to find a friendly face near your destination. Peter of Manual Entry caught up with Ted and Tori in Phoenix and held a mini-type-in at a local Chinese place. And thanks to Bill at Mesa Typewriter Exchange, Peter had a nicely functional machine to bring along.

The Typosphere: bringing people together one pineapple drink at a time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October Updates

Hello everyone: pretty quiet around here lately. A few news items of interest to the Typosphere in general:

  • This story has gone around the Net a bit now, but some clever builder put together a beverage-mixing "typewriter" with a clever letter display. Not strictly a typewriter, but by the time you've sipped your way through THE QUICK BROWN FOX you won't be in any mood to nitpick.
  • In the pretty-but-non-functional category, a typewriter made from LEGO.
  • Bill Wahl at Mesa Typewriter Exchange got a nice writeup in a local blog. More shops could use writeups like this -- not condescending, just appreciative.
  • The Typewriter Movie crew is still raising funds: they recently crossed the $5,000 mark on pledges. If you haven't thrown $10 their way, why not? I'd like to see Ryan Adney's class get the screen time, personally, taking typing to the next generation.
  • There's a new flickr group available for hosting your typecasts, if anyone needs a free repository to archive their hard-wrought words.
  • NaNoWriMo starts four weeks from today. Four weeks! That's the blink of an eye. Will you be joining the Typewriter Brigade as we charge off, leaving a trail of double-spaced terribleness in our wake?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Didja Hear That?

That funny rumbling sound? I think it's the NaNoWriMo Typewriter Brigade starting to wake.

And lo, the literary world doth tremble, for a million monkeys were nigh upon the keys.

Who's starting to feel a little Brigade withdrawal? According to the calendar, we are forty days and nights away from the start... give or take a few hours depending on your local timezone. What are your plans for sacrificing free time, common sense, and personal hygiene in the name of massive amounts of terrible writing?

They cast down the backspace key. They rejected the false god of spell-check. They embraced their run-on sentences and comma splices unsullied by the hands of Strunk and White, and grammarians did weep at their passing.

The NaNo Powers That Be usually apply their scorched-earth policies to the forums at the end of September: this may be one of your last chances to read last year's threads here and here. Supposedly the new forum software is Bigger and Better and More Badass than years' past, but that remains to be seen. Will the Brigade continue to top the "Technology" forum? Will we continue to smack talk the AlphaSmart group? Will we attain the nexus of collective smug every time someone's laptop dies mid-novel? Oh yes, yes we will.

And thus there arose from the bowels of the forums a tremendous chatter, and there was talk of ribbons, and there was talk of onionskin, and there was talk of word count, and yea did the moderators quake at their advance, for the Typewriter Brigade had come home.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brother, Could You Spare a Typewriter?

Shameless begging time here, everyone:

Gary Nicholson -- producer of the typewriter documentary that's being filmed now -- is looking for ways to separate otherwise hardworking people from their cash, though he's calling it "securing a round of funding," which is some kind of made-up movie-guy talk. (Hi Gary!) They're exploring the idea of setting up a project on Kickstarter to crowd-source funding. I am told that in no what whatsoever will Gary and Chris The Director be blowing this cash on lattes and grillz and such, but will use it to fund a trip out to the east coast of the U.S.: the details of their wish-list are outlined on their web site (scroll down near the end.)

Anyhow, Gary asked if I would write something -- and I bet he's regretting that decision right now -- to see if anyone would be willing to part with a good condition, operating typewriter as a reward for a level of Kickstarter pledge. For those not familiar with Kickstarter, each project typically offers tiers of rewards based on the pledged amount, from a sticker or postcard for lower-level amounts, all the way up to a (thing) for the higher levels, where (thing) is the (thing) being funded. (A gadget, or a piece of art, or whatever.) Gary's idea is that the first person to pledge at a certain level will receive a typewriter offered up from the vaults of the Typosphere itself. In return, the machine donor will get:
  • An "associate producer" credit and special thanks on the film
  • A warm, fuzzy feeling that you've infected some other soul with the typewriter bug
I bet you could swing a latte out of Gary the next time you're in LA, too. You're on your own for any dental work, though.

Gary's offered to send a UPS label to the machine donor if they make their funding goal, so you'll hang on to the machine until that happens. Doing a little research on proper machine packing isn't a bad idea, either, as we don't want this to turn into a horror movie.

So, Typosphere, here's your chance to pare down the collection by one. Up to your ears in Silver Surfers? Keep stumbling across mid-1960's Smith Coronas? Consider offering it up to Gary and some lucky bidder, and get a little ego-stroking in return.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Sometimes the monkeys steal the affidavits"

Remember how the end-of-stock at the Godrej factory was the (supposed) death-knell for the typewriter? Yeah, not so much. (LA Times)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weekend Virtual Type-In?

Looks like there's some interest in having a virtual Type-In over the weekend using the Google+ video chat. If anyone is interested or would like an invite to Plus, drop a note in the comments. Leave an email address for the Plus invite if you're looking for one.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dawn of the Computosphere?

I have a news reader set up to watch for items with the keyword "typewriter" in case there's any items of interest flashing past. One that's getting a lot of circulation lately is the recent pronouncement by an IBM exec that the personal computer is going the way of the typewriter and other outmoded technologies, meaning that they (PCs) are being supplanted by tablets and smart phones and the like.

Do you think there will be a point, perhaps ten or twenty years in the future when we're waxing nostalgic for our Pentiums and trying to source NOS 3.5-inch floppy disks? Before you snort derisively, I know that there's more than a few of us -- myself included -- who keep their old computers around: the Tandys and Commodores and TIs and Sinclairs and such. Maybe today's kids are being born at the end of the PC age: will they adopt it with the same sort of fervor that we've adopted another once-ubiquitous technology? I imagine a group of enthusiasts sourcing old modems and rigging up specialized cables so they can put together an improvised dialup BBS circa 1985 over whatever wireless network is in fashion at the time.

Personally, I'm not sure it will happen: I don't think the PC lends itself to a romantic view like a typewriter does, and if it is truly seeing the end of its days, it's entire lifespan was roughly thirty to forty years long at most, whereas the typewriter lasted well longer than a century. And I know that PCs weren't engineered to be as durable, though some of the very first IBMs were quite solid (having had the experience of lugging them around computer labs in my mis-spent youth.) I wouldn't be surprised if those will last a few more decades, at least: those that escaped the upgrade cycle, anyhow.

What do you think? Is the PC dead or dying? And is it headed for the same fate as the machine it replaced?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Portland Type-in?

What do you guys think about a Portland type-in over Labor Day weekend? I'm going to be heading down there then, and it would be cool to see all of the sights with my new crew.

After all, the dream of the 90's is alive in Portland, I'm told.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30 Seattle Type-In: Recap

For a few moments on Saturday, the Typosphere witnessed the very first trans-oceanic type-in. Adwoa and yrs truly attended via a Google+ "hangout" (videoconference) and some of the actual attendees wrote up their experiences as well
Despite some technical hiccups, I'll call this a success, and strongly encourage folks to consider a virtual type-in if you can't make a physical one. Or we could even have standing times to hold them, if you like -- "second Saturday of the month," for example. The hangout software is well put-together (though I say this having had no luck with Skype in the past.) Anyone needing a Google+ invite can pester me or many of the others in this list. I'm mpclemens@gmail.com if you want to drop me an email (and remind me which blog you belong to so I can circle you appropriately.)

UPDATE: innocent bystander Madelyn got drawn in by the sight and sound of a table-full of typists, and wrote up a little something on her blog, including a brief cell-phone video clip of the typing action in full swing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Type-in Tradin'

Hey kids...I have an Underwood Five that I bought from Blue Moon a mere couple of months ago. It's a great machine, but I made the purchase back before I moved to Washington, and to be honest, space is kind of at a premium here.

I was thinking of simply reselling it, but shipping this brute would be a pain, so would any of the Washington type-in attendees be interested in a trade? The machine is in excellent shape, having been reconditioned by the artists at Blue Moon. In exchange, I am looking for a high-quality portable, something that I can store and take with me on the go.

Let me know if you are interested, and I'll bring it with me on the 30th.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Your Favorite Repair Shop?

Hi again, Typosphere. I know that Richard Polt has a repair-shop list (which I can't find at the moment, Richard?) I'm thinking about adding them with a special icon to our map page. If you have a favorite shop, please post their name and address in a comment and I'll include them in the map.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Virtual Type-In?

Hello Typosphere, long time no post.

I've been fiddling around with Google+ (a.k.a., Google's response to Facebook.) I've found a number of you over there already, but it's still pretty quiet. One feature the Google folks have built in, though, is an easy way to set up a group videoconference (a "Hangout" in Google parlance.) It's all very high-tech and magical.

Anyone in the 'sphere willing to give this a try and go for a virtual type-in? I can invite people if I have an email address, and am happy to do so if folks are so inclined. Or maybe I should stop compensating and just move up to the Seattle area, which appears to be the spiritual hub of U.S. typecasters.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Royal Aristocrat Question...

Hey folks. Still not quite sure if this is the right place for queries, but today I saw a Royal Aristocrat at an antique store, and it appeared to be in pretty good shape. Plus, it has those neato "shift freedom" keys and is tagged at a paltry $42.

HOWEVER: Whenever I typed a letter on it, the ink ribbon would pop out of the top of the ribbon vibrator even though the ribbon itself was fitted into the guides near the spools.

I'd like to pick the thing up, but if this is a major issue, I'd hate to walk away with a pain-in-the-butt repair job.

Any thoughts?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Typewriter (In the 21st Century)

You might have heard something about a documentary crew doing some filming at the type-ins in L.A. and in Phoenix. They've expanded their travel plans, and have updated their presence on teh Intertubes.*

You can follow them on The Twitter at @LATypewriter, stalk them via the almighty and all-seeing Facebook, or go Old Skool CERN-Style and just visit their web site. You might even recognize a few 'spherians in the mix.

* Die-hard retronauts are still waiting for information on the nearest Western Union office or carrier pigeon roost.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Typewriter Day" page is up

Hi all, I just finished gathering up what links and videos and photos I could find for the Typewriter Day 2011 celebration (commemoration? type-in?) Rather than make it a post, I went ahead and gave it top billing as a page: here it is.

I'm sure I've missed one or more of your videos or photos, which was purely unintentional. Please leave a comment if I missed you -- it's never too late to be added in. I tended to go for videos first, and then blog entries if I couldn't find or figure out how to pull the video out. If your computer can handle it, try playing all the videos at once to imagine what we'd sound like in one room. :-)

Thanks for participating, everyone: it was fun for me, knowing that thanks to Christopher Sholes, somewhere around the world on Thursday, there was a person sitting down at a typewriter to record footage of their hands to share on the Internet. It's an amazing world we live in.

15 vignettes, 30 (one) days.

So!

As many of you know, I love vignettes. Small portraits of a moment, a place, a time. So, to help with writing the many essays that will be coming this summer, I want to introduce a challenge.

15 vignettes, thirty (one) days. 15 snapshots, related or unrelated--it doesn't matter. The challenge starts July 1.

Indicate your interest in the comments. I look forward to seeing the vignettes you all come up with--I for one will be posting my 15 on arsdecarta.

Cheers

Art

Sub-Aquatic Typing

Have you guys seen Jason deCaires Taylor's underwater sculptures? They're all pretty keen-o, but his The Lost Correspondent might pique your interest that much more. Now, I wonder what kind of typewriter one uses under the sea...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Typewriter Day 2011: Schedule of Events

  • TIME: Whenever you can
  • PLACE: Wherever you are
  • EVENT: Type
Typewriter Day 2011 is nearly upon us. Take a typewriter and camera in hand tomorrow and share a little digital postcard with the rest of the typosphere.



Typewriter Day NAQ (Never-Asked Questions)

What should I type?
I'm shy/not photogenic/a vampire: I don't want to film myself.
OK, fine, but then what?
  • Upload your video/photo gallery/radio interview to your favorite sharing service. Tag it, if you can. Post a link here in a comment. Check out the other links that have already been posted, and then wait for the super-mega-after-the-fact-roundup-post here.
  • Any public sharing service will do, as long as we're allowed to link to the content. Embeddable content would be better, but not required.
  • If you have a Yahoo address and a typewriter blog, you can request to join the "Anablogger Archives" group that I administer. Please include the URL of your blog so I can sort out the real requests from the random ones. Flickr can host videos as well as slide shows, though be aware of their upload limits for free accounts.
"Tag it?"
  • Most services allow you to attach keywords to uploads. TypewriterDay2011 was suggested in the comments, and I think this sounds excellent. Feel free to use a hashtag if you're tweeting, too. #TypewriterDay2011
Anything else?
  • It's a little late now, but I think t-shirts decorated with Sholes' patent drawings would be an excellent idea. Any typospherian who is both highly creative and independently wealthy is encouraged to follow up on this. (Click the above image to jump a Sholes patent.)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

One Week Until "Typewriter Day"

Just a quick reminder to have a camera and typewriter on hand for next Thursday, June 23, to commemorate Typewriter Day in your part of the Typosphere. Here's the original post about it. Try to get shots or video of yourself (or others!) typing -- in public, at home, at the library, at work, wherever you may be, and upload them so they can be shared here. Show a little QWERTY love for Christopher Sholes.



Of course, he's not the only one with his hands in the works, so to speak. Have you been reading Robert Messenger's outstanding On This Day In Typewriter History series? He's weaving a fascinating web on his blog, with regular, fact-filled updates. Clear your calendar and start reading.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cincinnati Type-In

I just got confirmation that we'll be able to have a type-in at Sitwell's Coffeehouse in Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday, July 2, 4-6 pm.

I'd like to hear from those with experience: what are some good ways to publicize a type-in? What are some dos and don'ts that you've learned? Thanks!

Click this image to download a PDF poster.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Seattle Outdoor Type-In

I've purchased a space at the Capitol Hill community garage sale this Saturday. I'll have a table set up with typewriters for anyone to come by and use. If you're in the Seattle area, consider stopping by. It's going on from 10-3 at the corner of Federal Ave E and E Republican St. Should be plenty of parking around there, if that's what you're into.

Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Your Monthly Update

  • For the stats junkies: 2,969 pages viewed in the month of May, with most of the traffic coming to the roll-call post and originating from the U.S., though Japan is making a strong showing thanks to Matt Cidoni's radio interview. Typewriters on the radio, it's the new big thing.
  • Also in traffic numbers: a strange one-day surge of traffic from Russia. My paranoid sysadmin senses tell me that this was some kind of potential spam attack or scrape, as no actual pages or posts were heavily hit (and I saw the same surge on clickthing.) Everyone make sure to compute safe.
  • There was a type-in in Los Angeles on May 22: anyone have pics? Video? I found this article about it, but it's pretty light. Any LA typecasters out there?
  • Perhaps she's too humble or sleepless to post here, but Cheryl at Strikethru is making noises about another edition of Silent Type... with a twist. Have you see the first two editions? They are excellent, despite my own contributions. You should check them out.
  • Typewriter Day is just three weeks away. If you can, please consider filming yourself or others doing a little typing that day (hands-only is fine if you're modest.)
  • Several new bloggers are showing up in the blogroll and on the map page. Please feel free to post any that you find, even as a comment to posts like this one. Membership in the Typosphere can be involuntary and unexpected...

Updated: Richard linked to the video from the LA event, but I missed it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hermes Baby on air

Swiss Radio DRS had a two hours feature on typewriters on May 30th. I was honoured and happy to be invited as an expert. My friend Alfred and I had a great time, and response from the audience was great. The show featured interviews with Swiss writers Franz Hohler and Milena Moser, fellow typewriter collector Stefan Beck, a long-standing typewriting teacher, professor Sandro Zanetti (on the relationship of writers and their instruments), and myself (in particular on Hermes / Paillard typewriters).
This Hermes Baby from 1944 had its 120 minutes of fame on the Swiss radio
There was Q&A, and mails kept pouring in during the show. Everybody had a good time. There was a fine selection of typewriter songs as well. On the train back home, a man commented on my typewriter case saying that he had just listened to a show on typewriters this very morning - and I heard one more typewriter story.

For those proficient in Schwyzerdütsch (Swiss German), you can listen to and download the show here.

cheers, shordzi

Monday, May 30, 2011

I'm a murderer (of typewriters)

I have a confession to make: I killed a typewriter. Through ignorance and the injudicious application of a screwdriver (plus placing my trust in a close friend who may have overestimated his own skills), my Lettera 32 appears to have been damaged beyond reasonable repair.

There is a jam in the carriage, and I fear that the escapement dog is either snapped or twisted and jammed. I cannot describe how heartbroken I was when I realized that the repair was beyond my ability.

That said, the partially-disassembled carcass of my once-faithful machine is up for grabs. If any of you out there think that you can effect a miraculous repair, or if you need parts, it's yours for the price of shipping.

Best,

-Mike

Friday, May 13, 2011

Typewriting Around the World?

Quick, before Blogger melts down again!

A few years ago, I got all ambitious over on Clickthing and declared an elaborate celebration of Typewriter Day, known to mortals as June 23. This is the anniversary of the date when Christopher Sholes received the U.S. patent for his device that in time grew to become the one we know and love.

Inspired by shordzi's excellent videos, I wondered... do you think we could get everyone to shoot a little video of themselves typing on June 23rd? Perhaps write up a little bit about where you were, what you were typing, etc.. Post on your favorite video-sharing site, and we can make a gallery here after the fact.

What say you all?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Invent a neologism for me, please

What is the word for a typewriter blog? A typecast is a post on one, the typopshere is the collection of all of them, a typospherian is a writer of one (though I prefer typewriter-head), but what's the blog itself?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Your (Late) Monthly Stats Update

It's kind of cool that Blogger offers automatic traffic stats, although since this site is mostly just a launch pad to our own personal ones, there's not a lot of Great Truths hidden in the numbers. But for those of you who enjoy such things, here's a little rundown on the Typosphere's second full month of life, a few days late:
  • 5,791 pages turned total since the start of the site
  • 3,027 pages turned in the last "month" (2011 Apr 7 – 2011 May 6)
  • We roughly average about 100 views a day, some days flirting with 200 views. It's pretty steady all day, so my obsessive reloading isn't skewing the results.
  • Firefox accounts for 49% of browser traffic (see obsessive reloading, above.) Chrome, IE, and Safari are neck-in-neck around the 15% mark.
  • All time most popular page: the initial roll call post (155 views), followed by the Los Angeles type-in announcement (56 views) and then the origin of the term "typecasting" (46 views.) I've surely just messed up those numbers by linking to them.
  • Top traffic sources: typosphere.net, www.typosphere.net, and strikethru.net
  • Traffic comes from the same countries as our map, plus Canada ranks highly. Any Canadian bloggers hiding out there that want to be added? Just post a reply.
  • "typosphere" as a search term leads people here the most, in various forms, though "matt cidoni" and "la vie graphite" are vying for fifth place. It's a battle royale for this dubious honor.
  • This site is still ad-free, and supported purely by your collective awesomeness. Keep those fingers on the keys!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Round Ribbon Time Again

According to some blog comments on this site, looks like you typewriter-heads want to do some more collective writing. Let's get another round of Round Ribbon going. You know the drill, someone types a beginning to a story and then sends it off to someone else for the next part, and on and on. Last time there was a bit of confusion on my part: I said there was a limit of 4 per "team" but there's no limit on teams. So everybody who wants in can participate.

To get in on this, leave a blog comment here if I already have your address, and if I don't, send me a line at (typed dot letter at gmail dot com).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Alan Seaver on TV

Don't miss this TV segment about Rochester, Minnesota collector Alan Seaver. It's well produced, and Alan does an excellent job of introducing the world of typewriters. Anyone who sees this and doesn't want a typewriter simply doesn't have the gene.

The goodness starts at 10:35.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Anyone Still Using a Typewriter?

I think we can find a few people to reply to this post, can't we?

Drop a (typewritten) note to:

Don Worthington
c/o Rock Hill Herald
P.O. Box 11707
Rock Hill, SC 29731
USA

"Please include phone numbers with your correspondence." Those of you luddites who own a phone, anyway. ;-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Typewriter Is Dead, Long Live The Typewriter

Typewriters are in the news again, this time in a well-circulated piece about the last manual typewriter factory in India nearing the end of their stock of "new" machines. My feed reader first sniffed it out on the Daily Express web site, but I'm not sure if this is the origin of the story, and it most certainly won't be the last incarnation of this tale. Like a game of "telephone," it seems to be picking up variations with each retelling.

I think it's no surprise to anyone here that manual typewriters aren't being made in the numbers they once were, and those that are made today are typically poor shadows of the quality of their forebears. I think one of the reasons this story has such motive power around the 'nets is that everyone is surprised they're being made at all in any form. They are, of course, for although it may be a sign of Ye Olde Times Gone By, and The Way Things Used To Be But Aren't Any More Thank God, the lowly typewriter still exists in countless offices and businesses, doing what it does best: put words on a page, fill out a label, or complete a form.

The backlash stories are starting now, fueled by manufacturers like Swintec who want to assure the world that they're feeling fine, thank you, and not gone yet. My own inbox has been collecting links from well-meaning friends and family who know about my little, ahem, typewriter problem. It doesn't bother me, though, inaccurate as the piece ultimately is. I know that typewriters as we're using them are a dead technology, and I know that we're keeping them alive at the same time.

Keep blogging, everybody. Keep holding those type-ins and scouring those flea markets and sending letters and winning converts. The technology may be dead, but the community is just getting started.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Origin of "Typecasting"

Did you know that the term "typecasting" was apparently coined by Paul Lagasse in this blog entry from September 20, 2005?

His blog, Sotto Voce, is still going, and he's still typecasting. Good going, Paul.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CBC interview with Matt Cidoni

Don't miss the CBC interview with Matt Cidoni about typewriters and the typosphere. (April 20th episode of "Q," starting around 1:00.)

I'm so glad this is a Canadian show. A typical American talk radio personality would have been rude, mocking, and hasty.

News Links

I've kept an RSS feed of Google news stories featuring the word "typewriter" for a while now, and maybe every tenth story or so is relevant (most often the typewriter is used as a cultural touchstone of "times long gone by.") Today I had the wise idea to try a search for "Typosphere" and lo! The stories are plentiful. So much so that I've added a new "In The News" section to the page, over there on the left, just below the members. The recent NY Times article is there, plus a few others. As I write this, the top three links feature fellow typospherians:
Blogger seems to limit this gadget to the five most recent stories, but I'll see if I can tweak that: the layout has the space, certainly.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Towards a multi-lingual typosphere?

The NY Times article really created quite a spin-off. Recently, German on-line platform imgriff.com wrote a very nice article on the on-going typosphere activities.
Which brings me to an aspect which has not been much of a topic yet: language and the typosphere. Just as with the internet in its early days, English is the predominant language of the typosphere. A look at the typosphere map will confirm this. A closer look however will reveal some exceptions to the rule: Frank's and Dirk's pages are in Dutch, or mixed Dutch and English. I use German on occasion. So far, I haven't come across typecasts in other languages. They probably exist, but are not mapped yet.
My guess is that rather sooner than later, the news will spread and typecasts in languages other than English will appear, just as it happened with the internet, and internet domains.
Will it be connected or parallel typospheres? I had this thought when visiting the Perrier typewriter museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. Last year I had joined the Swiss typewriter collector's club. It turns out that all of the members are from the Swiss-German part of the country, with good connections to the German collector's association. I asked Jacques Perrier on how collectors are organized in the French speaking part of Switzerland. It seems that most are members of the French collector's association (e.g., ANCMECA), and that there is little to no exchange with the German-speaking community. So it seems that multi-linguism (more precisely: several parallel mono-linguistic spaces) on the one hand is a positive statement of pluralism, on the other hand entails a certain degree of separation.
The links of a multi-lingual typosphere will be multi-lingual typospherians or mixed-language blogs. Maybe there will be means for automated translation of typecasts in the future (at this stage, because they are pictures, typecasts escape OCR). In any event, I  invite readers of this note to typecast in any language and make this a truly global event!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Type-in: Tacoma, WA - May 1, 2011



Another type-in! A ton this month and next. Surely, there's one near you? If you're near Tacoma, Washington, stop in to the Tacoma Public Library on Sunday, May 1st.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Type-in: Los Angeles! May 22nd, 2011



Here's a link to the Eventbrite page for this event
- RSVP if you'll be there! As a side note, there is a typewriter technician from US Office Machine Co. attending the event. Here's an article about this typewriter shop that used to have a video posted (bring the video back, LA Times!) and here's an absolutely fantastic story about the shop written by Steve Grant.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The 2nd Phoenix Type-In

I am happy to announce that the 2nd Phoenix Typewriter Round-Up has a venue at the historic Monti's La Casa Vieja.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Swiss Meeting

Dear typospherians,

I may duly inform you on a first Swiss Typosphere Reunion, held at lake Geneva on April 9th, 2011. See the progressive reports on Retro Tech Geneva and Sommeregger's Sammelsurium.

as always, happy typing!

shordzi

Monday, April 4, 2011

Free to a Good Home

Hey folks,

Mike.Speegle here.

I know this newfangled blog wasn't meant as some sort of retromechanical Craig's, but this seemed like the best place to make an offer: I have, right now, a Remington Quiet-Riter that is not seeing any use. Rather than let such a beautiful machine languish in a corner, gathering dust, I will send it free to the first person who requests it. Just pay whatever shipping fees are involved.

Respond back here if you are interested.

-M

Typewriter 001

Call for mail fiends

Dear typosphere,

If you aren't getting enough awesome snail mail, consider emailing me at typed.letter@gmail.com to get in on our web-of-mail that we have going.

If you are already in on it, but want another person to write to, leave a comment on this post and I'll send you a new participant.

-Ryan (the one in Seattle)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Type-In Roundup

Friday, April 1, 2011

This Week in the Typosphere

  • Our ranks are growing. Just since last week's update we've seen the number of UK-based members double... to two. April Foolishness aside, I know that I've added about six or seven entries to the blogroll and map this past week, many of which I've found by checking through the list of links on your own blogs. Did I miss someone? Go ahead and nominate them in a comment. If they're even tangentially typewriter-related, they're welcome in the fold and I'll add them.
  • Speaking of the UK, there was a little chatter on the PTF about holding a type-in over there: why let us colonists have all the fun? Not a member? You should be. It's a Yahoo-based mailing list, free to join, but you need to request membership and prove that you're not a spambot by including something typewriter-related in your request (like "I am a fine upstanding member of the Typosphere and run a blog and can't stop combing eBay.") Things are still a little heated over there right now thanks to fallout from keychopping discussion that went sour (as they often do. There are no winners in an argument held on the Internet.) For a little perspective on 'choppers and some great mental imagery of the back room of a typewriter repair shop, follow the link on Strikethru to an interview of the repair wizards at Ace Typewriter in Washington.
  • Did I mention that the second UK typecaster is insane? But in that mad-dogs-and-Englishmen sort of way. That's right: typecasting while running. Somehow, doing this in front of the Wii just doesn't seem as challenging. Since we had a spate of propaganda posters in blogs lately, you're all charged with making one out of typewrunner's photo, linked from this victorious post. That photo brings tears to my eyes. The good kind.
  • We'd love those posters in the flickr "Anablogger Archives" group, by the way. Links to the group, the Yahoo lists, and other places of interest to the typosphere community are on the left, under the "Resources" header.
  • The biggest news this week is that we were the news, at least for a day or two in the New York Times "Style" section. Congratulations all around for everyone who was interviewed (and to those who were eventually cut.) Sounds like Jess may be a convert. If we can rope her into the Typewriter Brigade, I think she'll be hooked for sure.
  • Brigadiers! You know that Script Frenzy starts today, right? It's an automatic excuse for not editing your NaNoWriMo novel for another thirty days (like you needed one.)
  • One last item for you statistics wonks: we turned a bit over 2,000 pages in our first month as a real trafficked blog, with a little uptick in daily pages to coincide with all of us mailing the NY Times article to our tolerant friends and family. The most traffic comes from the "typosphere.net" domain, so extra thanks to Ryan for setting that up and pointing it here. My own humble blog is second for driving traffic here (since I'm whoring the link everywhere) followed closely by Strikethru (since she has actual readers and is an interesting person.) "typosphere" is the search term used most to find us. Page views by country are:
  1. United States: 1,811
  2. United Kingdom: 113
  3. Switzerland: 25
  4. Australia: 22
  5. Canada: 21
  6. Sweden: 21
  7. Netherlands: 18
  8. Italy: 13
  9. Germany: 11
  10. Philippines: 8

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thank you, Jess Bruder and the New York Times

NY Times writeup: "The Digital Generation Rediscovers the Magic of Manual Typewriters" (An alternate link via Twitter link shortener)

What do literary stalwarts of the original typewriter era make of all this? “We old typists, it makes us feel young again to think there’s a new generation catching on,” said Gay Talese, 79. He still uses a typewriter, albeit electric, as does his friend, Robert A. Caro, 75, the Pulitzer-winning biographer of Robert Moses and President Lyndon B. Johnson. They discussed Mr. Caro’s Smith Corona while watching the Super Bowl.

“I’m actually not surprised,” Mr. Caro said, when told of the typewriter renaissance. The tangible pleasures of typewriters are something he’s known about for decades. “One reason I type is it simply makes me feel closer to my words,” Mr. Caro said. “It’s like being a cabinetmaker. It’s like laying down the planks. This is the way it’s supposed to feel.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tacoma type-in, and other news

  • If you're going to be in the Tacoma, Washington area on May 1, grab a typewriter and stop by the main branch of the public library. Another type-in is in the works.
  • The membership seems to have stabilized a bit in the last week or so: I made an announcement on the main typewriter-related discussion boards that I know of: The Portable Typewriter Forum, and TYPEWRITERS, both run on Yahoo. There's links to them over on the left, under the "Resources" heading. That's where many of the experts hang out, especially if you have repair questions (and who doesn't?)
  • Does anyone else feel like that blogroll is making you want to post more often? I'm certainly feeling the (friendly) pressure to keep my own blog updated. I'm seeing a boost in traffic, too (Blogger keeps stats, if you're into that sort of thing, which I am.) Rob at Typewriter Heaven just crossed a pageview milestone, and I bet you're all getting at least a little rise in numbers from Typosphere.net, even if it's just everyone else checking out your site. I have no problem with mutual admiration societies.
  • Europe is starting to give in to the Typosphere: we're doubly represented in Switzerland and the Netherlands, and Rob is holding his own in the UK. That's five times as many members in California! (*grumble*) Who's next? We're getting traffic from nations not flagged on the map, so I know you're out there...
  • Comments? Questions? Want to be added as a contributor to this blog (meaning you can post here.) What can the Typosphere do for you today?

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Typosphere Gets Some Press

Munk and I were interviewed last week along with Bill Wahl of the Mesa Typewriter exchange for a story in the East Valley Tribune. We got the reporter to mention the Typosphere! The Revolution has begun!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Updates

Some brief news:
  • The list of typospherians (typospheroids? typosphericals?) is updated on the map page, including locations and URLs of blogs, and we're now using the Google map set up by Rob Bowker. Thanks Rob!
  • I also added a mostly-silly description of the typosphere. You may or may not want to be affiliated with it.
  • I've tinkered with the site layout a little, and added a blog roll to the right-hand edge of the page. The Blogger code could not find an RSS feed for some of your sites. If yours doesn't show up, please let me know what URL I should be requesting and I'll update the blogroll.
  • Ryan at Magic Margin had a clever idea for spreading the typosphere word... it's worth checking out.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

On The Map

I've just compiled the results from the comments in the first post and spend a little time getting the approximate locations on the map. Three things:
  1. I tried to be faithful to your original post: if I've posted too much (or too little) you can drop me a note.
  2. I do know where some of you are, generally (Rino) but not specifically enough to plunk an icon on the map. Corrections welcome!
  3. I plan to be adding everyone as "authors" to the site, meaning you can post articles of interest (like upcoming type-ins, or whatever.) Stay tuned for an announcement about that, and potentially an email from Blogger, if I can find an email address for you. UPDATE: invites sent to those I have email addresses for. I have not started digging around on your blogs to find them yet.
Now go forth and enmapinate!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Typosphere Roll Call

Do you type? Do you blog? Do you dabble in that weird offspring known as typecasting? Then you, too, are part of the Typosphere. There are a number of personal blogs and sites out there dedicated to typewriters and their uses in the twenty-first century, and we'd like to hear from you.

If you're typecasting or otherwise using typewriters in some capacity, please comment on this post with:
  1. The URL of your blog/site and an optional brief write-up: just a sentence or two
  2. Your name, or preferred nom de plume if you're shy
  3. Your approximate location in the world (to be published here on a map)
Thanks all!