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A Brief Introduction to Insanity

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A blog by a typewriter repair tech, for typewriter people. Embracing Analogue Meet Harold, the fastest typist in the world And here is Reginald, he inks all the ribbons The rabbit hole is often pretty shallow, just deep enough to break the ankle.  It grabs you, shakes you about, and leaves a lasting reminder.  This blog is my rabbit hole, my vast network of scattered obsessions, the work of a disorganized artist careening out of control and barely in touch with normalcy.  Okay, it's not that bad...but it is pretty bad. My primary obsession: Typewriters.  Perfected pieces of ingenious mechanical engineering.  I have alienated myself, becoming a social recluse so that I might be able to harbor more nerdish knowledge about these machines.  It’s not healthy, but neither are Oreos with double cream filling.  Some things are just good for the soul.  I’m not quite sure what drives my passion for these single-purpose, clunky, mechanical devises.  Perhaps it’s my love o

Hermes: Patron God of Typewriters

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Hermes: The Patron God of Typewriters A brief examination of the impact of the Greek Pantheon on the typewriter.      As the old adage goes, “a picture says a thousand words,” and when we have a long standing picture, we call it symbolism.   Symbolism has long played an important role in human culture.   Throughout the ages symbols have said what words could not, transmitting abstract thoughts and ideas that serve to guide our thoughts and behaviors (Udechukwu 1).   Symbolism by its very nature is vital to human communication; it serves as the pathway for us to share complex ideas that have the ability to transcend time.   In the case of the ancient Greeks a variety of symbols were attributed to their many gods.   These symbols represented specific domains that the gods had patronage of, for Poseidon it was the trident, and for Zeus it was the lightning bolt.   Though the settings and context, like the Greek Pantheon, for many ancient symbols have long since eroded away, even some of t

A Typewriter Service Tech's Review on the LEGO Typewriter

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Nobody asked for this, yet I shall deliver nonetheless.  Lego announced their new set, the Lego Typewriter, last month.  It first became available for sale July 1st, and as a typewriter service technician by profession, it was not a set I could pass up.  I placed an order on their website early on July 1st, and patiently waited a mere 5 days until it arrived.  Honestly, I didn't have the time to be playing with Legos, but it was a procrastination temptation I couldn't resist. The set itself was much larger than I anticipated, and it included a very large instruction manual (which I will address later), plus a booklet of a letter by Thomas Kristensen, the current Lego head, printed in over 40 languages.  That was a cool touch.  The sand green colored exterior was also a lovely touch.  A unique retro-looking color that seems to harken back to a handful of actual typewriter models I feel this relates to a lot--mainly the Royal Signet of the Great Depression.   photo courtesy of Mr

Keyboards from Typewriters: the 1988 IBM Model M

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Excuse my poor eyesight and camera focusing, but do admire the golden hour shot Well, I must confess I have been very excited to talk about this one.  I am somewhat a fan of typing, if you haven't been able to tell from all the typewriters I work with.  But this article marks the first I've been actually able to use a typing apparatus for a blog!  I am of course referring to the 1988 IBM Model M keyboard, made only a couple short years after my IBM Correcting Selectric II. This particular version of the Model M is perhaps the most popular, as it was the second iteration that shipped with the IBM Personal System 2, abbreviated the PS/2, the very same computer that gave birth to the standardized PS/2 mouse and keyboard cable.  In that regard, it was to my dismay that I found out the connector type was discontinued sometime post 2013.  The switch type itself, the "Catastrophically Buckling Compression Column Switch and Actuator (according to the patent) didn't originate o

The famed 1936 Animal Key Smith Corona Standard Portable Flattop

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Yeah, that title is a MOUTHFULL.  It has been forever since I have updated this blog.  I know, I know, consistency is key.  Key for what?  Becoming a somewhat successful blogger, not that that's my goal, but this outlet does help support my business.  Anyway, for those of you who are unaware of the existence of this magnificent typewriter, allow me to illuminate you. The animal key Corona was introduced in the 1930s by the LC Smith and Corona company.  It was offered across three base model portable typewriters for an added premium price of around $2.49.  The idea behind the machine was to encourage children to learn to type.  It was the hopes of the company that these colorful and frankly adorable little animals would help "guide young fingers" or something, as they put it.  In reality, the only thing people were guided to do was not to purchase the machine.  The added premium price was just too much to justify for a machine meant for a child during the Great Depression,