back to article Ancient typewriters reborn as USB keyboards

The personal computer may have consigned the typewriter to the dustbin of history, but some vintage models are being reborn as USB keyboards. Jack Zylkin, an enterprising tinkerer and the mind behind USB Typewriter, developed his typewriter conversion system at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Hive 76. This self-described " …

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Paris Hilton

With a Ball!

OOH! I want an IBM Selectric version! What a blissful machine!

(Paris, 'cause she is still sad that she failed secretarial school)

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Happy

Very "Brazil"

The film, not the nuts

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Happy

But

Do they come in Jobsian-white?

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How on earth will it work....

.....without a windows button ?

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Anonymous Coward

Easy...

...use ctrl-esc like on all the other old keyboards...

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Boffin

untitled

A standard typewriter will have neither a CTRL or ESC key, either. Nothing but SHIFT really apart from printable characters and SPACE. No RETURN or ENTER either, though you may be able to tie the carriage return lever in to do that.

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Anonymous Coward

Well...

Dave 1st: Perhaps you need to work on the sense of humour a little more.

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Love the concept

But the reality may be trickier. Our old bog-standard Remington Quietwriter did not distinguish between the digit 1 and lower case L, or the digit 0 and letter O. As for typing exclamation marks, which had to be entered as apostrophe, backspace, full-stop (and a similar issue with dollar signs etc)... Actually, the latter could be sorted in clever firmware, but the doubled up digits would be a potential show stopper.

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My preferred keyboard ...

I still prefer the IBM Model M ... A sweeter keyboard for touch-typists has never been made.

This reply is being typed on one :-)

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I agree 100%

Can't agree more - I really REALLY miss mine - tried various different ones since, including IBMs, at different budgets but none of them have the same tactile response, it was a joy to use, shame they were (are) quite loud when you go full throttle.

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Coat

But

Can you play ascii quake on it?

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model M FTW

using a model m myself - both at work and home - fantastic, wonderful - pinched my first from a defunct ibm 286 at work that itself weighed a tonne.

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I want one....

Walk into an office with a netbook and a Smith-Corona....that would be classic.

And it would get event with the guy who keeps the old clickety-click keyboard.

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The best bit is...

...you can put a ribbon and some paper in it, and do something useful when your iPad's battery is flat.

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Heart

so. damn. awesome.

WANT!!

$150 for a DIY-ing kit is very tempting indeed. Connect it to a tablet, powered by a dynamo powered by an old singer treadle machine and godliness would be achieved!

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The title is required and typed by pressing keys

I'd be more impressed if they replaced the roller with a metal one and placed an electrical contact on the end of the typebars (the moving bits) (some insulation required of course). Then the keypress can be registered by the typebars hitting the roller, exactly as when using paper (audio feedback from clack is then at the right time). The carriage return lever also needs wiring up to the appropriate key.

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Joke

Finally

A keyboard that can distinguish between CR and LF (or /r and /n if you prefer).

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Flame

Umm

\r and \n perhaps?

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Go

Upgrades available soon I hope

Add a 1930's/40's era mechanical adding machine (the ones with 8 columns of buttons and a pull handle on the side to make it work) and you have a matching numeric keypad.

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Coat

The original--or at least the first one I ever saw...

...is right here:

http://www.multipledigression.com/type/

It's said to work well after some trial and error, right down to the action of hitting the carriage return bar for enter. And it still works as a typewriter.

I've seen another one that someone emptied all the typewriter parts out of and put a mini-ITX computer inside...cheating, but kind of cool nevertheless.

Mine's the one filled with Model M's...your choice: big or space-saver...get 'em while they're hot...

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IR

Keylogger

So the keylogger for one of these is to just put a piece of paper in it.

Looks awesome, a must for steam-punkers.

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Don't need the paper

Just nick the ribbon - it's all there.

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Rotary cell phone, Underwood keyboard

This is the perfect companion to the rotary dial cellphone mod!

Reading the ads for these, the Enter key is mapped to the physical carriage return. Ooh, I just need to find a good teletype, and my office will be set...

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Rotary

Hah, when the iPhone was still just internet rumors I speculated that it would look much like an iPod, but with numbers and a retractable stop on the click wheel to provide a rotary dial.

I want one of these typewriters, but my wife would KILL me the first night I kept her up (and woke up the grandbaby) using it.

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This can only be beaten by

a USB paper tape reader and punch to back up your holidays photos. I want.

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Headmaster

$500 dollars

Brought to you by the Dept. of Redundancy Dept.

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