Friday, July 25, 2014

Rise of the Planet of the Typewriters

The premise of the now defunct apocalyptic TV series Revolution is turning out to be more science than science fiction. This morning's news about a near-miss from a solar storm two years ago certainly triggers scenarios of an unplugged world set back by at least 150 years. Read: no electricity, no internet, no digital anything. Solar storm or not, we're already seeing a return to lo-tech for reasons of security and privacy, as in the typewriter renaissance that's now hitting Germany. Interesting times, Typosphere. By the way, how odd that Revolution would use a typewriter for its teaser but never feature one in actual episodes, at least, as far as I know.

* The near miss as reported by NASA
* Last post from the Sanctuary, for real.(: 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Omega of the Sanctuary

The Bulgarian-made Omega II is a Princess 300 is a Maritsa 11 is a Scheidegger Princess-Matic. Essentially. I've tried Richard Polt's Scheidegger and hardly noticed a difference in typing feel; both are solid and snappy typers. Polt voted the model Best Portable, I can see why. My one quibble: a rather heavy carriage-shift.

The Omega II typecast is my last from the sanctuary, I'll be back soon with a post from my new digs. Cheers.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Selectrification of Mad Men

Mad Men Season 7 sings the body Selectric, manual typewriters 
take the back seat. 

In Season 1, Joan unveils the earlier model, mammoth-size Selectric. "Now don't get overwhelmed by all this technology," she reassures the then greenhorn Peggy. By Season 7, baby Selectrics had taken over. The transition was deftly calibrated; the in-between seasons had a mix of manual and electric.

The rise of mid-century manuals- Olivetti Lettera 32, Smith-Corona Skyriter, Hermes 3000, and Royal Safari.

The 50s throwback- Olympia SM3. Don Draper types a never-sent apology letter to his secretary after treating her like a sack of potatoes following a meaningless late night tryst. A complex character bedeviled by contradictions, Draper is given redemptive moments in Season 7. Speaking of, the first of a two-part final season ended with a song-and-dance from the ghost of Bert Cooper. Dancing with his secretaries ala Hollywood musical, I found the audacious denouement surprisingly poignant. It has everything to do with the fact that he sings "The Best Things in Life are Free..." to Don Draper. Full stop.  

Mad Men is seven episodes away to curtain call. For me, this could only mean starting over on video... 

... time traveling back to season 1, 
to the reign of the manual typewriter.
It's just a Zippo lighter away.

Zippo DVD case is aluminum. Coolness. 

* Typecast via Olivetti Lettera 22

Monday, June 30, 2014

Chicago's Summer Face


A surprise visit from Cincy-based friend
Kyle meant a surprise mini type-in. He 
proved to be a killer typist, even with 
the 1920's Royal P.

If you recall, Kyle was one of those who test-typed
Olivetti Lettera 25 for my T-Day 2012 post.

* More on Plensa and Awilda: Chicago Tribune
* Typecast via Olivetti Valentine