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Last Typewriter Factory in the World Shuts Its Doors

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the goodbye-wite-out dept.

Input Devices 249

SEWilco pointed out that the last typewriter factory has shut its doors. Indian typewriter manufacturer Godrej and Boyce stopped production today after 60 years. The company's general manager, Milind Dukle, says, "We are not getting many orders now. From the early 2000s onwards, computers started dominating. All the manufacturers of office typewriters stopped production, except us."

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This is just not true (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35944736)

Brother still makes and sells typewriters. This is just bad reporting by The Atlantic, which has REALLY gone down hill since it changed hands.

I assume that this is the last *manual* typewriter factory.

Re:This is just not true (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944834)

Yes. Also the company is not shutting down. It is merely selling the last 500 manual typewriters and focusing on its other products. It also stopped making them in 2009.

Re:This is just not true (5, Informative)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944880)

I assume that this is the last *manual* typewriter factory.

Nope. Someone posted this comment there:

This article is NOT correct. I am with Royal Consumer Information Products in Somerset, NJ. We have been making typewrithers for over 100 years. We are still making both manual and electronic typewriters and we have no plans to discontinue them! True, the market size is small in comparison to what it once was but there is still a steady demand for both types of typewriters.

So, it appears to be a crap story. Moreover, WTF does this have to do with news for nerds

Re:This is just not true (4, Interesting)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945034)

"Moreover, WTF does this have to do with news for nerds"

Interest in typewriters is pretty nerdy.

But even nerdier, there are still people hacking typewriters into USB keyboards and such, or doing Arduino hacks, etc.

Re:This is just not true (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945464)

Actually typewriters are more Tragic Hipster or Steampunk IMHO.

Re:This is just not true (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945602)

Okay, I'll give you that.

Re:This is just not true (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945610)

So, Steampunk is not nerdy?

Re:This is just not true (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945738)

You would have to have non-anachronistic material holding the bridge of your glasses/goggles/pince-nez together. No adhesive tape; gutta percha dosed with hide glue?

Would like to know more about Tragic Hipsters, too. Google Images shows the cover of a Nick Drake LP. Weren't the Tragically Hip an 80s indie band?

Re:This is just not true (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945700)

Actually, I've always wanted to take one of the older typewriters (pre-plastic) and make a replica of the computers from the movie Brazil. Arduino would help there, but using Arduino would remove most of the nerd factor.

Re:This is just not true (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945924)

Back when Doom first came out, my brother's computer couldn't handle the game except when it was super-tiny. So we used an Armitron [wikipedia.org] to hold up a plastic, rectangular magnifying glass, like in Brazil.

Re:This is just not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945814)

Amongst the myriad definitions of hack(s)(ing) are writ(er)(ers)(ing). Within that group also fell those who hid their portable typewriters away in the basement etc while researching.

Re:This is just not true (5, Funny)

Insightfill (554828) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945054)

We have been making typewrithers for over 100 years.

Apparently, not very good ones.

Re:This is just not true (4, Funny)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945172)

I'm pretty sure it's safe to presume they didn't use a typewriter to post to the message board.

YOU ARE A GOD-DAMNED FUCKING IDIOT. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945330)

USB Typewriter [usbtypewriter.com]

Or Nova Express. Or Cities of the Red Night. Or (2)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945790)

"Typewrither" sounds like something out of Naked Lunch.

Re:YOU ARE A GOD-DAMNED FUCKING IDIOT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945910)

Even though a USB Typewriter exists, the chances that it was used to post on here are incredibly small. So it's still "safe to presume they didn't use a typewriter".

Re:This is just not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945886)

Not so easy to backspace on a typewriter. Maybe he just ran out of that white correction tape ribbon thing. I must have been about 9 last time I had to do that.

Re:This is just not true (3, Informative)

mariox19 (632969) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945152)

I took a look at the Royal Consumer Information Products site, [royalsupplies.com] and it seems like they're either no longer selling manual typewriters or are currently out of them, with no word as to when they'll have them back in stock.

Re:This is just not true (2)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945278)

Swintec still makes them too, although they primarily do government sales: http://www.swintec.com/ [swintec.com]

Yes they are expensive, but they seem to be well built.

Re:This is just not true (2)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945404)

WTF does this have to do with news for nerds

Well if you don't know, then you're clearly not nerdy enough.

Re:This is just not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945552)

Just like some nerds try using a Sinclair Spectrum with cassette drive now, some will try typing their thesis using a typewriter.

Re:This is just not true (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945666)

Please turn in your nerd card.

Re:This is just not true (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35944962)

I assume that this is the last *manual* typewriter factory.

Gotta be. There's still a fairly significant (captive) market for typewriters in prisons that continues to be met:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site:walkenhorsts.com+typewriter [google.com]
http://www.google.com/search?q=site:https://www.accesscatalog.com/+typewriter [google.com]

(Though looks like they're mostly Swintec these days. E.g., http://www.swintec.com/clear-typewriters/21-2410cc-michigan.html [swintec.com] )

We used to have to have specific manual typewriters (no built-in memory or spell-check) for law school exams, though that pretty much died off when ExamSoft (http://www.examsoft.com/main/index.php [examsoft.com] ) became commonplace. I can't even remember the last time I saw a typewriter being used, though there are still a few sprinkled around the office...

Re:This is just not true (1)

DrMaurer (64120) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945256)

Where there is still a need to have a handwritten/typed form and a computer cannot do it, then I would imagine a typewriter could suffice. Government-regulated industries (such as pharma) might have one or two for whatever due to validation and other such reasons.

Re:This is just not true (3, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945196)

I tried to post a correction to the Seattle PI when they picked up this bullshit story, and they didn't publish it. Then Neatorama picked up the same bullshit story, but at least there I could leave a comment saying it was bullshit. (Actually, I just checked back-- looked like Neatorama pulled it. So there's one success story, I guess.)

Is there anybody in news who fact-checks before republishing? This is just embarrassing, for the Atlantic, the Seattle PI, and every other paper that's copy-and-pasted this non-story.

Re:This is just not true (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945778)

Facts? Who needs facts with the New Media? Are you trying to slow down the march of progress?

Re:This is just not true (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945892)

Look, the whole point of the story is to invoke a (false) emotional response. Nostalgia, outrage, etc. The truth is beside the point, the writers know it and they know enough of their audience enjoy reading this 'news'. Injecting lies into public discourse also serves to keep people talking about bullshit and worried about their status rather than concentrating on financial corruption and greater fraud.

Re:This is just not true (2)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945366)

manual typewriters use to be jammin... jammin to the end of the night. it is now gone (from the new realm).

Re:This is just not true (1)

flappinbooger (574405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945638)

There is still a demand for typewriters - For instance, I know that some law enforcement organizations need to type things onto cards. Also certain insurance agents type things onto cards.

These things break, they get dropped, they are simple and generally built to a price.. No-one knows how to or wants to repair them - with the exception of one wholesaler I dealt with, Carolina Wholesale. They sell typewriters and also can repair them. The demand is low, sure, but if you look you will see typewriters out there.

Re:This is just not true (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945868)

Tragic Hipster. Someone riding a fixed gear bike while wearing a backpack that costs more than $100 filled with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Harry Potter (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944738)

Guess means we won't be seeing any more Harry Potter books?

Re:Harry Potter (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944776)

Don't worry, my typewriter repair business will never close. People will always need someone to fix their typewriters. Plus, I can't really afford to retire.

Re:Harry Potter (2)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944822)

Don't worry, my typewriter repair business will never close. People will always need someone to fix their typewriters. Plus, I can't really afford to retire.

I am looking for a Selectric model 251...

Re:Harry Potter (3, Informative)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945010)

I'm sorry but a selectric model 251 doesn't exist.

Re:Harry Potter (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945220)

not in this universe...but in Walternate's universe the 251 was a very popular model

Fringe is such crap science and yet I cannot stop watching...very guilty pleasure

SO GUILTY I MUST POST AS ANON

Re:Harry Potter (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945228)

nope, they went from 241 right to 261.

Re:Harry Potter (1)

paintballer1087 (910920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945178)

+1 Fringe

Re:Harry Potter (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944846)

Guess means we won't be seeing any more Harry Potter books?

We can only hope...

Anndddd.. (2, Funny)

drewsup (990717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944744)

Nothing of value was lost...

Re:Anndddd.. (2)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945242)

. . . until you need to deal with lots of forms where no PDF is available but you want to ensure the form is entirely legible, or when you need to complete a form with carbon copies.

For the former, geeks can scan in the form, import it into photoshop or gimp and rotate/align and crop it, then overlay text over the fields. Do you expect the typical administrative assistant to be able to do that?

There will always likely be some need for manual typewriters, and dot matrix printers as well for that matter.

Dot matrix printers: When it comes to debugging very poorly written undocumented spaghetti code (especially VB with goto abuse all over the place) nothing beats a wide dot matrix printer and tractor paper for making sense of spaghetti code because you can see all the code at once and trace through the spaghetti. A smart project manager would let you rewrite but you don't always have intelligent project managers.

Re:Anndddd.. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945474)

Dot matrix printers: When it comes to debugging very poorly written undocumented spaghetti code (especially VB with goto abuse all over the place) nothing beats a wide dot matrix printer and tractor paper for making sense of spaghetti code because you can see all the code at once and trace through the spaghetti.

My impression is that this is a different anti-pattern, one megafunction and tons of global state - no encapsulation or classes. Spaghetti code is typically recognized by massive and unstructured layers and calling, making it impossible to see where one code call goes like tracing one piece of spaghetti on a plate. A matrix printer won't do you any good because it's not linear at all.

Re:Anndddd.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945694)

. . . until you need to deal with lots of forms where no PDF is available but you want to ensure the form is entirely legible, or when you need to complete a form with carbon copies.

For the former, geeks can scan in the form, import it into photoshop or gimp and rotate/align and crop it, then overlay text over the fields. Do you expect the typical administrative assistant to be able to do that?

No, I don't expect the typical AA to be able to use tools like photoshop or gimp. However, long before we had scanners and the like, we were able to design very simple word documents that could be filled in and then printed on pre-printed stationary. Not that difficult to do, and something I'd expect anyone with some knowledge of office software to be able to figure out.

Re:Anndddd.. (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945696)

. . . until you need to deal with lots of forms where no PDF is available but you want to ensure the form is entirely legible, or when you need to complete a form with carbon copies.

For the former, geeks can scan in the form, import it into photoshop or gimp and rotate/align and crop it, then overlay text over the fields. Do you expect the typical administrative assistant to be able to do that?

If a typical administrative assistant can't do that... They had sure as hell at the least posses legible handwriting!

Also, the article is (overgeneralizing and) saying that fully mechanical typewriter production is no more (according to a survey sample of 1) but doesn't mention that electronic typewriters will live a long time, for reasons similar to your concern.

Re:Anndddd.. (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945788)

. . . until you need to deal with lots of forms where no PDF is available but you want to ensure the form is entirely legible, or when you need to complete a form with carbon copies.

I bought a Brother typewriter last month just so we'd be able to type out 1099 forms - spending the $80 was better than any alternatives. I was actually a little surprised at how easily available they are.

Re:Anndddd.. (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945898)

Ah, yes. I remember putting carbon paper in between two sheets of form feed paper so I could print two copies at once. When I tried two sheets of carbon paper (3 copies at once) it always jammed...

Re:Anndddd.. (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945564)

I see what you did there. Well played.

Niche market (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35944750)

Surely there is a nice market for hipsters who will still buy vintage style typewriters...

Re:Niche market (1)

RussellSHarris (1385323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944806)

Yes... they're called "flea" markets.

Re:Niche market (1)

jockeys (753885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945360)

not really, most typewriters aren't set in Helvetica, and what kind of hipster uses any other font?

last MANUAL typewriter factory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35944764)

They still make electric ones.

not really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35944766)

Last factory in India, maybe. I still see typewriters sold on many places (yeah, not 'mainstream') places but I'm pretty sure they are still being made.

No technology goes extinct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35944778)

According to Kevin Kelly, editor of Wired:

"I say there is no species of technology that have ever gone globally extinct on this planet."

Re:No technology goes extinct? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945174)

I still love my 8 track!

Ha! (1)

ivandavidoff (969036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944854)

Y'all will be jealous of me and my Remington Portable when the apocalypse comes.

Re:Ha! (1)

Coldmoon (1010039) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945028)

Y'all will be jealous of me and my Remington Portable when the apocalypse comes.

And just what will you be using that typewriter for, to throw at the zombies as you run for shelter in your bunker?

Re:Ha! (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945146)

Yeah, exactly. And there you'll be, brains eaten, with no typewriter.

Re:Ha! (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945786)

But if his brains were eaten. That would make him one of the zombies and so the typewriter would have been thrown at him. So he would have a typewriter.

Re:Ha! (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945394)

No he will use it to save his game duh!

wait this thread is about Resident Evil right?

Re:Ha! (1)

atarione (601740) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945132)

come the apocalypse you are going to be jealous of my bottle of Jack Daniels, my M4 and Colt .45 compact officers.

I figure i can get all the type writers i might need (well and anything else) with the above supplies =p

Typewriter? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944884)

I stopped using mine once I installed GEOSwrite on my Commodore. Sometime around 1986? Being able to use dozens of different fonts (or sizes) is a major advantage over my old typewriter with its fixed PICA size. It just took a little while for the rest of the world to catch up.

Re:Typewriter? (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944924)

Can you still read those files you saved to casette tape?
I can still read those pages typed in 1986, even they're a little carbon smudged...

Re:Typewriter? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945084)

>>>Can you still read those files you saved to casette tape?

1541 disk actually.
And yes I can still read them since anything of importance (i.e. my resume) was long-ago transferred to 3.5" floppy, then CD-R, and now yahoo and google mail caches.

Re:Typewriter? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945852)

Did you null-modem everything over to a PC or did you find a better (i.e. faster) way?

Re:Typewriter? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945254)

No, but considering they were probably about 8Kb in size, it's only half an hour's work to reproduce them...

Re:Typewriter? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945536)

>>>about 8Kb in size

8 kilobit? Hardly. 64 kilobytes * 8 == 512 Kb available memory for GEOS files. ~4000 kilobit if you had the ram expansion unit.

Re:Typewriter? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945122)

I stopped using mine when I learned it was secretly saving a copy of everything I typed.

Re:Typewriter? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945490)

I stopped using mine when I learned it was secretly saving a copy of everything I typed.

Not me, I just switched back to the old-school cloth-and-ink ribbon. Actually, I didn't. But in case anyone wondered, the parent's statement about secret copies is essentially correct for carbon-film ribbon (depending on your definition of "secret").

Re:Typewriter? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945580)

I stopped using mine once I installed GEOSwrite on my Commodore. Sometime around 1986? Being able to use dozens of different fonts (or sizes) is a major advantage over my old typewriter with its fixed PICA size. It just took a little while for the rest of the world to catch up.

I got a commodore-serial to RS232 converter, a Smith Corona "Messenger Module" and plugged the C=64 into my new daisy wheel printer that had the previous week been my typewriter. Unless you had hearing protection, you left the room while it worked and come back when it got quiet to feed another page!

Who needs a real typewriter... (1)

Briareos (21163) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944912)

...when there's Michael Winslow [vimeo.com] ? :D

*cue "We can emulate them, we have the technology" jokes*

np: Alva Noto - Teion Acat (Xerrox Vol. 2)

In other news, sales of "Secretary" DVD... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35944932)

In other news, sales of "Secretary" (staring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal) has spiked prompting the producers to consider a re-release.

-paul

Manual Typewriters Only. (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35944944)

Brother still makes an array of electric typewriters.

http://www.brother-usa.com/Typewriters/default.aspx?src=productIndex [brother-usa.com]

Still useful for multipart forms (yes, they still exist, unfortunately), labels, and envelopes. Laser printers don't do so well on these. Laser printers have the unfortunate habit of heating the page of labels, so after a couple of passes, you throw away the rest of the page if you haven't used it (or you have a fun time digging out random labels from the laser printer).

--
BMO

Re:Manual Typewriters Only. (3, Informative)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945086)

Okidata Dot Matrix (9 pin) printer handles multipart forms quite well. It also does a decent job on mailing labels.

I use an HP Laserjet for printing my mailing labels. Works well as long as you don't buy inkjet only labels. Get the Laser Labels and you wont have probls.

Re:Manual Typewriters Only. (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945250)

>>>Okidata Dot Matrix (9 pin) printer

I've got one of those (rebranded as a sears model). Used it off-and-on for 25 years until I upgraded to a cheap laser printer in 2010. Very reliable and easy to setup.

Re:Manual Typewriters Only. (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945414)

>impact printers

These are fine as long as you are using your own multipart forms on fanfold and can program the layout ahead of time.

They don't work so well when you're trying to fill out someone /else's/ multipart form, of which they only sent you *just* one. Bastards.

--
BMO

touch typing classes and PC using proficiency (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35944978)

This made me reminisce about touch typing classes we took in high school in 1977. They were taught on manual typewriters that had several inches of key travel to them. It was damn hard to get up much speed, but I eventually managed 76 WPM for an extended period. Most of the class struggled to get into the 50's. (I can hit well over 100 on a modern PC keyboard - higher if I tolerate some mistakes). I don't know how long the things had been there, but they look ancient when I was there in the late 70's. I'm guessing they were from at least the 1950's.

I'm always surprised when I watch most of the younger generation that grew up with computers trying to type on them. It's painful to watch. You'd figure that people who grew up with PCs as a part of their lives would be good at it, and a few certainly are, but more often than not they struggle, type very slowly, and can't type without looking at the keyboard the whole time! Then again, they also struggle to do what seems like basic operational tasks with the same computers. If the goal is to rename 200 files in the same way, I'll do it with a one line script in about 20 seconds, while most younger people I know will sit there for 45 minutes and do it by hand with a GUI file manager. I had once guessed that the generation growing up with personal computing would be proficient at using them, but in virtually every case, I'm the one that ends up helping them with anything that's nontrivial. Weird.

Re:touch typing classes and PC using proficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945110)

Most young people don't wanna work in IT, you know. They wanna be in Strategic Planning, Marketing, Corporate Finance, etc., because that way they'll make 20x more than you and will be able to hire an IT monkey to do scripts to rename files.

Re:touch typing classes and PC using proficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945114)

stfu grandpa. no one cares how fast you can type.

Re:touch typing classes and PC using proficiency (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945166)

Come on, how many of the "younger generation" do you really observe type? I'm sure your sample size is way too small to get a valid view. And I did one touch typing class in junior high but fortunately nothing stuck; formal touch-typing methods are absurd.

Re:touch typing classes and PC using proficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945358)

> Come on, how many of the "younger generation" do you really observe type?

A fair point. At least a few dozen though. Teenage kids of friends, young co-workers just out of college. I can't really think of *any* who seem to have decent typing skills. It might be too small a sample size to extrapolate from to the whole population, but it is a bit curious.

Re:touch typing classes and PC using proficiency (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945480)

Did your write your post without touch typing? I'd be really surprised if you did. Maybe you fingers just sort of know where to go and you don't always return to home row or whatever but I would be pretty surprised if you were even looking at the keyboard when your write that, I bet you looked at the display.

Formal touch-typing is not really about "the correct way to type" its a starting point and a set of exercises to encourage the development of kinetic memory so the typist's hands just know what to do.

Re:touch typing classes and PC using proficiency (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945782)

Then again, they also struggle to do what seems like basic operational tasks with the same computers. If the goal is to rename 200 files in the same way, I'll do it with a one line script in about 20 seconds, while most younger people I know will sit there for 45 minutes and do it by hand with a GUI file manager. I had once guessed that the generation growing up with personal computing would be proficient at using them, but in virtually every case, I'm the one that ends up helping them with anything that's nontrivial.

"Growing up with computers" != "Growing up with shell scripting"

Oh, there I go again...

Re:touch typing classes and PC using proficiency (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945984)

I still think one of the best things I did in college was take a typing class (they called it "Keyboarding"). It was a lot of work, but by the end of the class I could touch type. And it's a skill I still use every day.

Don't Worry (1)

autospa (2003166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945064)

Don't worry i have two typewriters in my old office.

Slaves (2)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945090)

Anyone that ever had to prepare formal documents on an old fashioned, manual typewriter should enjoy their extinction. In strict academics white-out was not allowed and carbon copies were also limited by the stern, old guard. One wrong space or mark and one had to start the entire page again. Entire forests were probably struck down just from spelling errors by students or professors. We went through a lot of paper and the time needed to complete a report could be in several days rather than an hour or so.

Without a (manual) typewriter (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945190)

how would you type up a commendation, award recommendation, or promotion order in the field (at war)?

Or is the modern Army just totally predicated on having power, and can't function without it?

Re:Without a (manual) typewriter (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945334)

Why would you need to do that in the field?
You can't fail back to handwriting if you absolutely have to?

I TYPE EVERY DAY ON A MANUAL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945300)

NOOOOOOOO. I keep my blog on my typewriter! www.awkwardengineer.com

Not the last, but likely to be last *major* (4, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945306)

As others have pointed out, there are other companies still making and selling manual typewriters. But Godrej is probably the last major English manual typewriter maker. I have used this typewriter, and it is almost ubiquitous in India. Almost every village or a hamlet in India would have a "typewriting" institute. Tiny private trade schools. It was almost a rite of passage in South India to join one of these institutes and pass the "lower" (60 wpm) or the "higher" (90wpm) certificate examns. If you could get a higher certificate in typewriting or shorthand (90 wpm and 120 wpm respectively in shorthand) you are sure to find a job. One of the most surefire tickets out of poverty for the rural folks. I remember seeing a magazine story about a steno-typist who built a temple for Pitman, the originator of English shorthand long time ago.

Now a days all these "typewriting institutes" are teaching Java/Oracle/Dcom/PeopleSoft/Ansys and all kinds of assorted often unrelated software packages.

Great journalism. (1)

wordsnyc (956034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945308)

Is this what it takes to work for the Atlantic? Seriously? The clown gets the basic story wrong because he was too lazy to do five minutes of research, then waxes nostalgic over typewriters while calling the ribbon "tape"? TAPE? What a maroon.

Re:Great journalism. (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945530)

Is this what it takes to work for the Atlantic? Seriously? The clown gets the basic story wrong because he was too lazy to do five minutes of research, then waxes nostalgic over typewriters while calling the ribbon "tape"? TAPE? What a maroon.

Both of my electrics had carbon-film-on-plastic ribbons that could reasonably called "tape". I have never seen a manual with such a ribbon, though.

Re:Great journalism. (1)

wordsnyc (956034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945732)

Yes, but the manual he referred to almost certainly used a cloth ribbon.

"Daddy, what is a typewriter?" (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945316)

Think of it like a keyboard . . . attached directly to a printer . . . without all of the computer shenanigans . . .

Re:"Daddy, what is a typewriter?" (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945546)

I see a future apple product!

I use a manual! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945426)

I use a manual typewriter for my blog. Just about every day. There is actually a typewriter store down the street from me.

-www.awkwardengineer.com

I used to work for Godrej & Boyce (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35945492)

typewriters, even in their heyday, were a tiny part of their office equipment division -

http://www.godrejandboyce.com/godrej/godrejandboyce/aboutgodrejandboyce.aspx?id=16&menuid=929

The co. manufactures a lot fo stuff, from office equipment to precision m/c tools. It is easily the best co. to work for, if their treatment of employees is still the same as it was then. It is still a privately held co. and so probably still cares more for customers and employees than for the stock market ho's of Mumbai.

typewriter is dead (1, Funny)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945624)

The typewriter died out because they never implemented an "Any" key.

Selectric (1)

beschra (1424727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35945996)

I remember when IBM sold off its Selectric business. Death knells for Big Blue were sounding everywhere.

Everything Old is New (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35946072)

In other news a Brooklyn-based start up has begun manufacturing typewriters to sell to hipsters.

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