I have to say that sometimes I am incredibly surprised with some things. The last one has been to transform an old typewriter into a valid USB keyboard.
This baffles me, because I am old enough to remember a word with typewriters.
Well, I’m not that old. I only used a typewriter very briefly, on my school years, but I was close enough to people using them, most in particular, my grandfather.
My grandfather was a journalist and writer, and for most of his life, he used a typewriter for quite a long time every single day. I remember vividly the sound. And all the inconveniences.
The most obvious one is the unforgiveness of each page. Any small correction or typo will make you redo a whole page. 80% of his time was just copying again the same text. As a way to avoid this, you could hire someone to do it, presenting an annotated draft, but that was expensive and didn’t avoid completely the risk of introducing new typos.
Paper is also a very bad way of preserving information. Keeping a good reference of unfinished work is difficult, especially for old drafts. There has been too many cases of lost work just because the original manuscript was lost or destroyed in any way, to the point of being a cliché in movies.
And all the physical inconveniences. A typewriter weights a lot, needs ink, sounds uncomfortably high, needs a supply of paper and it’s full of moving parts that can break.
I understand that some typewriters are gorgeous, and worth being displayed as an sculpture. But I don’t get that anyone wants to use them on a regular basis right now.
Oh, my grandfather came to write on a computer. He was probably the least inclined person towards technology I’ve ever met, but he saw the potential and abandoned the typewriter. Though it took a while to adjust, he said that his couldn’t have written his latests books without it.