A-sittin’ in the springtime sun

I’ll say this for a typewriter; there’s no other writing tool quite so good for working in the bright sunshine. The average computer screen is useless when the sun is streaming over your shoulder. But the type on the page just gets easier and easier to read. The old AlphaSmart comes close, but certainly lacks atmosphere compared to the typewriter. Sitting on the deck near the garden with a drink and a pile of papers held down under a rock, it might feel a little old-fashioned, but it’s an experience not to be missed.

Making a few notes. No electricity required.

Making a few notes. No electricity required.

One of the great things about technology is the diversity it brings. We have more ways than ever now of getting words into a pleasing order. From handwriting, through typewriters to desktops, laptops and tablets running a vast range of software. You can write using tools from any era — use whatever works for you. Whether it’s a crow quill pen or WordStar or a touch screen. Emulators let you run pretty much any old software you like, and as long as the file format can be converted to rtf, doc or odt (and there are open source tools that will do that for a lot of formats, though not all…) you can get the files out. OCR is pretty solid these days, allowing the typewriter a new lease on life.

When it comes to writing, if it works for me then that’s all the justification I need.

Just a random ramble.


Tags: , ,

About Darren

I'm a scientist by training, based in Australia.

2 responses to “A-sittin’ in the springtime sun”

  1. Sean Munger says :

    Great post! As you probably know I also use a typewriter pretty often, and being able to use it outside on a nice day is one of the things I love about it. I also find my writing is cleaner and more focused when composed on a typewriter as opposed to a computer…lack of backspace, cut and paste and auto-correct functions forces you to think a little bit more before you hit the keys.

  2. Darren says :

    Your use of a typewriter was one thing that sparked my interest, so yes, I know. Focus, yes. And tactile. And satisfying — thwack, thwack, thwack, and the pile of paper rises up. I’ve yet to decide if I write better, but I find I _want_ to write more using the typewriter because using it is a pleasurable act in itself. The photo shows a Brother typewriter, but I confess I have a Hermes 3000 that I use for longer sessions.

    Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: