Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

If you want the typewriter "feel" without the typewriter, try a Model M: http://pckeyboards.stores.yahoo.net/en104bl.html



A Model M feels nothing like a manual typewriter. Trust me on this. (I own a Model M, and wrote my first million words on a manual typewriter, until the keys began snapping from metal fatigue.)

Having said that, the Model M does feel similar to the classic IBM Selectric golf-ball typewriter, which was actually a whole lot more user-friendly than any manual device (although it guzzled electricity, hummed loudly, and took a hand-cart to move around).


The one thing the M doesn't convey of the total Selectric experience was the immediate and alarming belief that, after every keystroke, the typewriter had launched itself an inch forward (no mean trick considering how heavy they are!). They usually didn't do this, but I've never had that 'did I just stick my finger into a bear trap?' feeling with anything else, even other electric typewriters.

The observer, of middle 20th century American desks, might think that the solid oak frame and general bombproofedness is at attempt to convey solidity in the person behind the desk, a psychological trick. They may be that, but they are also built the way they are because people typed on them with these things, and lightly built IKEA desks could very easily shake themselves to bits. I recall a story involving a typewriter lift in the side of one of these desks, of US Navy vintage, whose massive spring was calibrated for some ridiculously heavy typewriter--possibly a Selectric. When the typewriter itself was on the platform, it rose smoothly and gradually to a working height. When the platform was unloaded or loaded with, as I recall, a CD collection, the right word for what happens next unless you are extremely careful is "catapult" or possibly "major concussion and several months worth of dental work".

No keyboard has ever even loosely approximated this unless it was also connected to a typewriter (the TTYs and whatnot). Which, on balance, is probably a good thing.


I didn't realize that—I've only used a Selectric golf-ball typewriter, so to me "typewriter feel" maps to "Selectric."

I used a Unicomp Customizer for a couple of years, until I switched to a Kinesis Advantage: http://jseliger.com/2009/07/20/kinesis-advantage/ .


Amen. Ain’t nothing better than buckling springs.

http://www.clickykeyboards.com/




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: