Some things never change.
Anyway in along with the first mac a bit later came the laserwriter and customers started using that for camera ready copy (canarie in the coal mine was only 300dpi way below photographic quality). Later linotype built a rip that could interface a Mac 512k (iirc) with the linotype (about 1985). I spent almost 6 figures on a linotype and became a service bureau. The minute I saw that you could draw a box on a Mac around type (with traditional systems you needed to essentially program this) I knew what would happen. That said I was in my 20's most others in my business didn't see it the same way since they were older.
Parent commenter - what was the age of your father at the time he had this revelation?
I remember those hot type machines never owned one it was before my time.
Someone could probably make a novelty linotype app duplicating the process and the noise the machine made.
Additionally nearly all of the other dot matrix printing was done based on low quality build in fonts. Send some text to output with control codes and you got output. The Mac basically painted pixel on the printer, so what ever font or image you had on the screen was accurately rendered.
Prior to the Mac/ImageWriter combination most of the letter quality (meaning good enough for business correspondence) printing I had seen was done via typewriters wired up to computers. Afterward, many businesses decided the Mac/ImageWriter was good enough for many purposes.
Edit: oh, I forgot there were also Daisy Wheel printers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisy_wheel_printer
Its owner was a retiree moving to Florida. He'd bought it in the late 60s to write his dissertation but hadn't used it since. It had sat in a corner of his office under its original dust cover for forty years, though he'd had it serviced a few months earlier.
The first thing I noticed was the weight of the thing when I carried it out to my car. It's a tank. The second thing I noticed was the sound it made when I brought it home and switched it on. There was no mistake I was dealing with a piece of machinery, humming, waiting for me to get to work. It looked great, too.
As soon as I sat down to write, I worried that it would bother my neighbors. My apartment walls were thin enough that I could hear anything louder than a cough, so when I discovered that typing each letter was like firing a cannon, it was clear that late-night writing sessions were out of the picture unless I wanted to make enemies.
But I was right about using it for first drafts. On the computer, it's easy to second-guess myself, go back, change things, and re-write too much before the story is even finished. A first draft is supposed to be the shitty, rough, inconsistent sketch of a thing, and my Selectric forces me to press onward. It's awesome. Each key press is satisfying, each carriage return is a mechanical thunk that lets me know I'm making progress. Watching pages stack up on the desk next to it is a reward itself.
I still do my rewrites and edits on my computer, copying from the typed pages, but I'm so happy that I have this monster machine to keep me honest and get the first versions of stories down.
I wonder if, a couple decades from now, we'll all be using some kind of neural interface to interact with computers and someone will be writing (using only the power of their mind)< "There was something romantic about the idea of using a QUERTY keyboard and a machine with a 'monitor.' It seemed like a more intimate way to write."
And the maintainability of the thing is pretty nifty - you can take the cover off, and then lift and slide the guts up from the base to stand upright with the bottom facing you. All by-design, since of course such mechanical objects require regular lubrication and other maintenance.
 See this video (I linked to 3:35, but the whole thing is cool): http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v...
My grandfather had a weekly Italian music radio program and every week he went through the same process. First he'd hand write his cues, then add in any commentary, and finally type up the entire thing double spaced so he could easily follow along. I have fond memories of helping him rip apart various type writers to fix them on Friday afternoons during they type up the notes phase.
Comparing it to other typewriters, imagine firing a gatling gun when you've been writing with revolvers. It feels like your words are typed ahead of when you think of them.
I used a Selectric with a copy machine for class projects and messing around, then my family got a mac ha ha.
Best key feel ever.
It starts with a very light millimetre drop to place your finger. Then the tactile bump, and when that gives way, still near the top to the throw and exactly when the switch activates, it's so fast that it's almost like the key itself is pulling away from you. Then the resistance ramps up continuously, with no hard landing.
IBM did make a good attempt at electronic switches with good feel with their beam spring keyboards, but they were still not as good as the Selectric. Then eurocrats killed those, and the Model F and Model M that followed were a poor substitute, activating almost at the bottom of the throw and landing hard.
Agreed. Noting also that the sound, if you were a good touch typist, was like a background beat that somehow added to creativity. Or if you were simply doing drone work seemed to lull you to be at peace with the process.
Using a typewriter was like taking photos with a film camera. Each page required such an investment that you worked really hard to get it right the first time. Then on the second draft, since you had to retype everything anyway, you were a lot more likely to completely recast a passage that needed it, instead of just moving words around a bit. I think typewriters made me a better writer.
Oh and this is pretty nifty. http://hackaday.com/2012/06/13/turning-an-ibm-selectric-into...
Where there the IBM, Apple 2, Das keyboard fans?
http://www.fontshop.com/fonts/downloads/monotype/letter_goth... (that link isn't the monospaced variant, don't get it, but a good visual representation)
The thing I remember about them, besides the hum, is the smell -- a warm machine oil scent.
I should probably get one of these while they're still commonly available in working condition.