Gadget Freak

Typewriter as keyboard

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David McCollum
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Re: Selectrics
David McCollum   7/19/2011 10:36:09 AM
I recall in the late sixties my school had a Selectric that had an attachment that both made and ran from punched paper rolls, much the same as a player piano. It was primarily used to type many copies of the same letter, and it paused for an operator to insert each name, address, and salutation to keep the thing from looking like a form letter. It was not a home-built gadget, though; I think it came from IBM proper. Interestingly enough, the Selectric feel is still the de facto standard for keyboards.

Even though I'm a certified dinosaur, I gave up my typewriter the day I got a laser printer that would accept envelopes. Hi-Ho, mail-merge!

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Warning! Contrarian viewpoint
BobGroh   7/13/2011 9:46:30 PM
Sometimes I think that some people just have too much time on their hands. Converting a manual typewriter (or even an electric one) to act as a keyboard?  Really? Or maybe I'm just jealous (nahhhhh!). 

If we crawled into the 'wayback' machine (e.g. back to 1978) back to the era when terminals for our new 8-bit computers cost a jillion dollars then maybe it would make sense (in fact it did as I sort of remember similiar ideas back then) but today?  Sorry I have too much else to do.

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tfloto   7/7/2011 2:12:32 PM
In the early eighties there were mods to the selectric to turn it into a keyboard and a printer for the early eight bit microprocessors and OS's. Dot matrix printers cost over four hundred dollars and key boards were about one hundred. Of course we modified everything from cassettes players (mass storage) to selectrics to save a few bucks. Ah.. the good old days

Jack Rupert, PE
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Typewriter Keyboard Workout
Jack Rupert, PE   6/23/2011 3:00:10 PM
That will sure give your fingers a good workout for strengthening.  I wonder how long a person could use one of those for actual work.  When I was in high school, I learned to type on an IBM Selectric.  However, my mom, a secretary in her previous life, had a manual as well.  I kept away from that thing.

Lauren Muskett
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Great Idea
Lauren Muskett   6/23/2011 1:42:41 PM
This is such an interesting gadget and the best part about it is that there are no permanent modifications needed to the typewriter.

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