Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Toy

It arrived today, my new 1933 Underwood Portable.  It's pretty awesome; every part of it has a heft and importance.  The case is in good condition, the typewriter is completely functional, and there's even a ribbon in it.  I'll need to re-ink the ribbon -- I remember doing that as a kid, but not how -- but it's ready to go.

This one's got the glass-top keys, and it's pretty swanky.  Each one's got a piece of glass on top of the letter -- dunno how they applied it.  The interesting thing to me is that this is a full-circle thing.  The more things change, the more your smartphone has a glass-top display, too.  Both glass-top displays are detecting your finger presses and converting it to text input, right?

This thing's been in an attic for a while, I think.  It smells like stale books, and an unused leather luggage set, and maybe the wooden slats above the ceiling that have been absorbing a little humidity and convected sunlight heat from the roof.  Since years.

So, what's my project gonna be?  I have no idea.  I can get an Arduino to detect what letter's being typed.  I'd love to feed an epaper display through the thing.  The machine is nice and open, so LEDs under there would make a wonderful glow.  I've already gotten a palmtop computer to tweet over wifi -- so it's easy enough to make it do that.  I'm determined to not compromise its functionality at all, no drilling, sawing, dremeling [sic] or otherwise breaking it.  This is gonna be interesting!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely lovely! My typewriter is one of the reasons I was sad that the Hillcrest Stationers went away - they carried almost every ribbon imaginable.

    Typing creatively is a different thought exercise. I look forward to seeing what your new toy creates and/or becomes. :)