NYC writer's space throws out last remaining typewriter user

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69 Responses to “NYC writer's space throws out last remaining typewriter user”

  1. Pete-O says:

    He should get one of those nice steampunk typewriter keyboards hooked to a noisy laptop to spite them.

    The resulting “type war” will give him enough media coverage to get good gigs for a long while.

  2. gwailo_joe says:

    The offended parties are paying rent to go to a shared space to write. Not to be distracted. . .but get to some writing done. I guess because it’s too distracting to write at home for free.

    Sitting in the same room with someone else using a typewriter, would take some getting used to and might be impossible. Sure, old typewriters are cool. . .for the user! A writing implement and percussion instrument at the same time! What’s more ‘steampunk’ than that?

    But the sign was meant for the departed old timers, and so the last partisan of the old guard is getting squeezed out. . .

    That’s The March of Progress pal, would you compromise with a nice quiet electric one~?

  3. Anonymous says:

    you pays your money and
    you doesn’t take your choice.Ain’t freedom grand

    ~E. E. Cummings, from “why must itself up every of a park”

  4. Antinous / Moderator says:

    And the writers yelling at their voice recognition software…?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Meh, deal with it. I own two Model Ms and work in a callcentre. My smaller Model M would be easy to tote to-and-fro, and I could make a helluva convincing argument re: data entry on membrane keyboards, but I have more respect than that.

  6. defacebook says:

    I’m reminded of the scene in David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch where Bill Lee (Peter Weller channeling William S. Burroughs) is seen working on a antique typewriter in an Interzone cafe crowded with other writers also working on old school machines. Later, one of the creepier dudes comments critically on Bill’s choice of typewriter as being “too demanding” as if the machine literally demanded the writer to constantly feed it more content. A wonderfully creepy notion and a brilliant, intelligent movie.

  7. AnthonyC says:

    I don’t think I’d be welcome there, either. Even on a keyboard, I’m an inexplicably loud typist.

  8. PixelFish says:

    Heh. At work, one of my cubicle coworkers asked me to type quietly please. (I asked all the other coworkers and nobody else thought it was loud, but I did try to type quieter. It made me paranoid for a month.) I’m imagining him in the same room as a typewriter….

    I’m of the opinion that this is why headphones were invented. (Although I’m a bit of an odd bird anyway, and work best with headphones on but no sound.)

  9. CheshireKitty says:

    Man needs to establish a writin’-space that’s typewriter-friendly and WAY COOLER than anything else currently out there.
    Adapt and overcome!

  10. mgfarrelly says:

    As mentioned above, my first thought was of Harlan Ellison (great geeks think alike!) and his weaponized typographical war machines. There’s a great scene in the documentary “Dreams with Sharp Teeth” where Ellison and Robin Williams (of all people) handle the man’s old typewriters. It’s akin to the end of Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark “Top Men Dr. Jones…top men”

    Ellison used to sit in store windows, showing people that writing was WORK. Not some great ivory tower pursuit for the gentry.

    I hold to the notion that a writer who needs a hermetically sealed environment (the iPod just so, the proper mixtures of tea, the lighting at a northerly exposure, the temperature at 71 and NOT 72 degrees) is someone less interested in doing THE WORK than in being thought of, by others as A WRITER.

    So let the guy type, yeah?

  11. das memsen says:

    I completely support this guy in his desire to use his typewriter. He’s right- typing forces you to think about what you’re writing more.

    I completely don’t support the idea of paying $1400 a year to use a cubicle for writing. If you’ve got that much money lying around, give it to someone who needs it and go type in the library!

  12. 23 says:

    I several typewriters; the one I keep on hand is a Royal Quiet DeLuxe. It’s about as loud as my new-model Model M keyboard.

    I’ve never seen them in person, but the Navy (and presumably other military branches) had many keyboards manufactured specifically to be very quiet, and these routinely turn up for sale on eBay and elsewhere – there’s a solution here that should make everyone happy.

  13. Felix Mitchell says:

    I’d be pretty insulted that they thought the older writers were worth having the sign, but not me.

    • Chesterfield says:

      It’s not that unusual for a rule change to come with a grandfather clause that allows people who joined under one set of rules to continue to operate under those rules.

      Perhaps no current members are entitled to an exception to the rules and so they were able to finally ban typewriters completely.

      It might have nothing to do with this writer’s worthiness.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’d show up with a laptop that played loud typing sounds as I worked.

  15. Yamara says:

    Learn to use a penknife, children. Then any passing pigeon becomes your media.

    Quiet, too, and no interweb distractions at all.

  16. Chesterfield says:

    How about if he wanted to smoke in there? After all, back in 1962 nobody would have thought twice about a writer hammering out prose with a cigarette smoldering in an ashtray at his side.

    Or go back 50 years before that. You could deny access to somebody based on their skin color.

    Times change. Less noise pollution is a good thing.

  17. Xenu says:

    Sorry, but this guy is just being an attention whore and BoingBoing is giving him a platform for his ego. Disgusting.

    • Ambiguity says:

      Sorry, but this guy is just being an attention whore and BoingBoing is giving him a platform for his ego. Disgusting.

      He’s a writer: that’s his job!

      This is a blog: etc.

  18. Mark Temporis says:

    Typewriters are horrific. I can’t imagine having to write on those bastard machines. The sound is the least objectionable thing; the keys jam, and every mistake you make is there to stay, rubbing your face in your own incompetence.

    I had a near-abusive typing teacher who covered up the keys after the first day. I think I physically attacked her for that (it was like third grade), and never recovered from the experience. I despise making mistakes, and it seemed a formula to force me to make them.

  19. Wingo says:

    I do government work, and believe it or not, we still have ‘official’ forms that necessitate a typewriter. (Well, I guess that’s actually believable.) Carbon paper, triplicate, and everything. 90% of the stuff has been migrated to PDF or whatever, but there are some hold-outs. As a matter of fact, the person in the cubicle right next to me is using one at this very moment.

    In my experience, being forced to use a typewriter is teh suck. And we have ‘nice’ ones – Like electric IBMs from the ’80s. They are annoying to hear and use. And I’m old enough where I took typing class in high school on a typewriter. So I do ‘remember when’, but man, we’ve moved on.

    While a nice ‘vintage-y’ mechanical typewriter certainly has it’s charm, this guy is just being overly hipster about it. Laptops are way better for writing, for a myriad of reasons. Just get with it. And I’ve never gotten the concept of going to a public place to write anyway – even laptops in Starbucks or whatever. Is your home that uncomfortable/distracting that you can’t relax and work there? That’s a bummer.

    • Anonymous says:

      ” And I’ve never gotten the concept of going to a public place to write anyway – even laptops in Starbucks or whatever. Is your home that uncomfortable/distracting that you can’t relax and work there? That’s a bummer”

      Clearly you don’t have a spouse/roommate/friend/family member who compulsively interrupts you no matter how many times you gently, then less gently, then forcefully, then near-homicidally explain that you are WORKING, not hanging out waiting for them to ask you to do something.

  20. lolbrandon says:

    I’m glad to read I’m not the only Boing Boing reader who’s able to recognize this guy for what he is: a noisy, annoying and stubborn man who needs to get a laptop and move on with his life.

    Sure, I love Polaroid cameras, but there’s a time and a place to “play” with my Polaroids, and there’s a time and a place to get serious work done with a dSLR.

    I wonder how much longer it takes him to write the same paper as a guy with a laptop.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Just throwing in my two cents here: those of us who actually write on typewriters for pleasure generally find them efficient and easier to use than a laptop or computer. A typed draft can be edited immediately — out in the garden if the mood strikes. OCR software can read typewritten documents fairly well when it comes time to revise, edit, and typeset.

    Policies change and times change, but I still read this as the author getting the heave-ho and the stink-eye because of a little eccentricity. It is a dedicated *typing room* after all. Most rooms I’ve seen come equipped with doors.

  22. Brian Vaughan says:

    In the first place, our sensitivity to sound varies with the environment. If you’re at an active construction site, you wouldn’t be startled by a car horn, the way you would be if you were in a library reading room.

    In the second, I would expect that most professional writers work much the way amateur writers do, or programmers for that matter: they spend some time thinking, then type, then think some more, etc.

    So, if you’ve got a room with ten writers all using typewriters, at any given moment, someone’s likely to be typing, and so you wouldn’t find it distracting when someone starts typing.

    On the other hand, if you got a room with ten writers, nine using laptops and one using a typewriter, then the occasional mechanical typing is going to stand out from the general background noise, and people are likely to find it irritating.

  23. Mitch says:

    Ignoring the needs of the minority isn’t the best solution. Accommodating everybody is. Why didn’t they ask him the find the quietest possible manual typewriter or provide and area with more sound insulation?

    I think the guy should bring a laptop.. and a Model M keyboard. If they don’t allow the Model M keyboard he can switch to a Cherry keyboard. If they object to the Cherry keyboard he can switch to a Matias Tactile Pro.

  24. mdh says:

    that solution shows a lack of creativity, perhaps he’s better off in different company?

  25. jjsaul says:

    A decent typist would be just white noise to me, if not actually inspiring. But a two-finger pecker would drive me insane… like the old joke about the second shoe that didn’t drop.

  26. Jenonymous says:

    Sorry, but this guy sounds like an elitist douchebag–I wonder if anything that he taps out on his benighted toy is any good.

    I ask because the biggest part of being a good writer is being able to take editing and copy-editing without throwing a hissy fit.

    If he’s bugging other people with his little steampunker act, I don’t see why he shouldn’t be asked to leave. I take my laptop to bars, cafe’s, and parks all the time; he can use his typewriter there as well methinks.

    RE the function of “writing rooms”–depends on the charter of each “room” but for lots of folks they’re a quiet haven that’s cheaper than a shared office space where they can get instant feedback from other writers or on-site staff. FWIW I’ve never used the services of such a room but have looked into them as an alternative to a permanent commitment to part-time office space.

    Tangential point: IMHO rejection of technology is a depressing hipster trend. All this “grow your own food even if you’re in the middle of a huge city,” “no vaccinations,” “retro tattoos,” “natural fiber everything,” “vynil is WAAAAY better than anything digital, ever, totally, under all circumstances” shit is a way of showing off that you have the time and the money to NOT have to afford yourself of conveniences that now make simple acts cheaper and in some cases healthier. Would love to see how long a trend towards hand-laundering things with a clothesline, scrubbing board, and a 40-gallon pail of water goes for folks living on the 5th floor of a walkup, and/or a return of the icebox when they decide that refrigerators are no longer cool (oooh! a pun!).

    • jennybean42 says:

      I’m sorry, but comparing this guy and his typewriter to growing your own food or wearing natural fibers doesn’t make sense to me at all.

      It’s not a rejection of technology!

      The tomatoes (among other things) I grow are cheaper, healthier, and tastier than anything I can get at the store.

      And while I don’t wash my laundry by hand, I do hang it out to dry, saving energy and money.

      And I ride my bike instead of commuting in my car when I can, but that’s because it is also *healthier* and better for the environment.

      Oh, and I also get my milk delivered by a local milkman/dairy farm, healthier and more sustainable in the long run too.

      That said, he should take a notebook and a pen if he doesn’t want to use a laptop. Retype it when he gets home.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What’s even more arrogant is that The Writers Room website is decked out in some variant of Courier. You know, for evocative stylistic reasons.

  28. jeff.simmermon says:

    That’s a real shame. I write myself, and it’s a constant wrestling match with my own attention span. It’s a fragile, fragile thing, sure, and I respect any and all attempts to avoid distractions.

    But the Internet on a laptop is a HELL of a lot more distracting than the sound of keys clacking. Don’t blame his typewriter for your Facebook addiction, I say — they’re just mad he’s getting more words out than they are.

  29. Nater says:

    It’s a bit of a bummer for the dude, but after all, these people are running a business. And they are allowed to change their policy. Besides which, it’s the 21st century for goodness sakes. A typewriter? coughcoughPOSERcough.

    As for netstractions, you can always just TURN THE FRACKING NETWORK CONNECTION OFF!! jeez. The internet is not compulsory. It’s like television. Or the radio. It has an off switch. Its up to you to use it.

    These kind of places (writers rooms, public studios, poetry lounge etc etc) always kinda struck me as less an actual workspace and more as a place to be ‘seen’ writing a novel….ya know, cause we’re all writing a novel. I’ve been working on mine for 26 years now……

    I might be wrong about this, but don’t most published authors work from home? Stephen King wrote Carrie in the laundry. Jack Kerouac wrote On The Road in his bedroom. I never heard of a major work being written in a room full of other writers…..

  30. Matt Staggs says:

    Well. Wait until all of the cuneiform enthusiasts hear about this.

  31. grikdog says:

    inostly inaclequcitely. Even the Russian NKVD bred abbyy OCR software needs to be full course neuronet retrained on the novelties of post-1944 typocentricies in contact with actual pages marred by American huygeniene.

    But, yeah, sometimes ya gotta smell the whiteout.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I am disgusted. So basically, a writer who uses a typewriter is not a writer (this sounds really logical from the outset, doesn’t it?); I have trouble accepting the fact that many writers no longer use typewriters; will they stop scribbling on napkins now?
    A writer can use any instrument, needless to say, and a place that calls itself the Writer’s Room should accommodate or change its name outright. Unless they also think writers shouldn’t use the right word for the right purpose. I think they should be boycotted.

    –cazabache

  33. signsofrain says:

    I’m sure there are plenty of places he can go with his typewriter. Maybe a research room at a library or university.

    Anyway, what’s so awful about a laptop? It’s quieter, better tech. Just suck it up, luddite!

    • teapot says:

      Anyway, what’s so awful about a laptop? It’s quieter, better tech. Just suck it up, luddite!

      Its called freedom of choice, buddy.

      If someone tried to explain that I should stop using pencils because biros are “quiter, better tech” I would promptly punch them in the face.

      Au revoir for now… I’m just off to destory the wright brothers’ plane. Stupid, noisy technology.

      • Blaine says:

        “Its called freedom of choice, buddy.”

        And that choice has consequences. See, in a society where we have the freedom to pursue happiness there is always a caveat; It can’t be at the expense of others.

        The entire gist of the situation can be broken down to…

        - The writers room used to have a policy where laptop users had to yield desk space to typists.

        - That policy is no longer in place.

        - One person is inconvenienced.

        It’s not asking for the same rights as everyone else in the room, it’s asking for special rights.

        The writer’s room has the freedom of choice to NOT extend special courtesy to one customer. Because he enjoys a unique (in this situation, he is the only one, therefore literally unique) way of working everyone should make way for him alone?

        I like to work the way Hunter Thompson worked. I require dobermans and explosions to focus. Do I get special dispensation?

        I insist on using a roller-ball mouse for my laptop and need a hard flat surface. Do I get special dispensation?

        I simply must work butt naked.

        We live in a land of freedoms and choice. The writer’s room is simply choosing not to make Skye Ferrante a protected species.

        Skye Ferrante can choose to go early to get a spot. Skye Ferrante can choose to change his work habits. Skye Ferrante can choose to start his OWN writers room, with his own rules.

        Sky Ferrante can NOT choose what policies an independent entity employs.

  34. sk8rboi69 says:

    Can you imagine trying to work in a room where one person is using a typewriter? You know how loud those things can be? It would be unbelievably distracting.

    tack tack tack tack tackety tack tack … tackety tack tack tack tack tack ….. tack …. tack tack DING! whirrrrrr …. tack tack tack tack …. etc.

  35. BankRobbery says:

    To quote a certain Vulcan, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – or the one”.

    Certainly a typewriter carries a certain charm, but times have long since changed. I agree that the constant sounds of a typewriter in a room full of laptops would be a nuisance.

    • Anonymous says:

      “has its charm”

      well that depends
      i.e. beating on drums also has its charm
      for the drummer and an interested audience

      but for those who wish to do something other than
      listen to your drumming it could be torment.

      if he doesnt know this then he’s thoughtless.
      if he knows and doesnt care then he’s an ass.
      and if on top that he still expects others to care about his needs then he is a child.

      perhaps he could type at his moms house.

  36. eccentriffic says:

    This makes me sad. Sure, typewriters are loud and noisy, but in a way it’s kind of a relaxing background noise. …At least to me.

    I think Jeff.Simmermon had it right about the laptop, though. Way too distracting.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Until recently, I worked with somebody who had an irritating addiction to the hum the electric motor on her Swintec. She would turn it on in the morning and leave it on all day even though she wasn’t actually using it.

  38. Anonymous says:

    He should get a laptop and use speech recognition to write:
    “It … was … a … dark … and … stormy … night … back … night … back … NIGHT … back … spell … N-I-G-H-T … period.”

  39. dhalgren says:

    My question is would they have thrown out Harlan Ellison?!?!

    I’ve used a computer for writing ever since I had my APPLE II Plus and have only switched to a typewriter as an aesthetic choice or to change up the inspiration level from time to time – but only for a day or two at a time.

    Still when I was in college in the late ’80′s if you needed to type up something fast you had to go to the library and use, gasp, typewriters.

    Writers are notorious with using what works for them even if it comes to the point of fetishizing the writing process.

    Heck I’d use a typewriter if I had an old beauty of one but the truth is for me I’m a fast typist and I can fly on a computer – so for me it’s a speed issue but it is the romance of the old typewriter and the writer that I appreciate.

    As for it being noisy and distracting. Puuuhlease. A laptop has 1001 distractions on it to lose yourself. A little old fashioned tap tap tapping DING isn’t going to hurt these young whipper snappers.

    • Matt Staggs says:

      I’m sure they’d throw out Harlan, but his choice of a typewriter over a laptop would probably be the least of their objections when it was all said and done. ;)

    • holtt says:

      A very successful writer would be able to find (and pay for) a better space, or donate money to have a sound-proofed room built.

  40. Donald Petersen says:

    I wouldn’t automatically dismiss the guy as a hipster poseur just because of his choice in tools. (See above references to Harlan Ellison, who ain’t about to upgrade his trebuchet to an M1 Abrams just to keep up with the rock-throwing Joneses. Tom Stoppard would be welcomed, however: he writes longhand on legal pads.) This comes down to the same kind of argument as whether or not to charge wider or taller passengers more for extra space on an airline. Essentially there needs to be some kind of compromise somewhere between “all larger people should pay more” and “I paid just as much as everyone did for my ticket, so if I spill over the armrest into your seat it’s the airline’s fault so you’d better not complain.” Though I’ve never used such a facility, I gather that a writers’ room is geared toward providing a place where writers can be productive. One writer’s need for a fairly loud clacking device to channel his muse must be balanced against several other writers’ need for peace and quiet. Absent a portable cone of silence or a private booth, Manual J. Typist loses. Kind of a bummer, but then again, not every writer has the laser focus required to write final-draft-quality fiction in a storefront window, and not every writer can concentrate around a typist. Personally, I’d be so self-conscious of my noisy typing if I were the only typewriter-user present that my own concentration would be ruined as a result. It would be much different if there were several typewriters present, creating that pleasantly busy “newsroom” background drone.

    As a side note, I’m a fairly loud typist anyway. As a child I had a portable manual typewriter (no electric, this one) with a dried-out ribbon that was crying out for replacement. Every school paper that needed to be typed got generated on this one… luckily there weren’t many in those days. My first actual laptop suffered horribly at my hamfisted stabbing keypunches. I’ve gotten better at it, but not much.

  41. webmonkees says:

    If the guy has support in the Writer’s Space, perhaps they can install one of those typewriter-sound apps in their laptop as a unsilent protest.

    My junkhound instincts can’t resist a decent typewriter at the thrift store. Up to 3 so far, in perfect working order.

    If the lights break, the laptop batteries run down, We’ll be the only source of typeset published material, pulpin’ wood for 8x11s, soaking ribbons in berries for ink.

  42. codesuidae says:

    He just needs to get a laptop and a nice IBM click keyboard to connect to it.

    Or, even better, an iPad and an IBM click keyboard modified with a bluetooth adapter. The keyboard is probably heavy enough that you could mount the iPad right on the top edge with no problem.

  43. spot-ffm says:

    i got almost thrown out of a library once for using a really really old laptop who was louder than a well-maintained typewriter. the internet would have only distracted me if i could have fumbled a network cable into it somehow and got a browser to display pr0n in ascii. so, if that gentleman is looking for some tool of spite, go for an “older model” and see what happens.

  44. hassenpfeffer says:

    Click, clack, MOO.
    Click, clack, MOO.
    Clickedy-clack, MOO.

  45. Daniel says:

    Truly, there are few things more annoying in an office than a heavy typist. You can’t shhhsh them, you can’t ask them to stop. BANG BANG BANG BANG. Another word smashed out.

    …and that’s WITH a nearly silent (in the right hands) computer keyboard.

    I couldn’t imagine trying to work in a place that sounds like a 1960s newsroom.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Neuromancer was written on a typewriter.

  47. grimc says:

    A writer complaining about the sound of a typewriter is like a mechanic griping about the sound of an engine. If the complainers need complete silence to focus maybe they shouldn’t attempt to write in a room full of people.

    • Anonymous says:

      “A writer complaining about the sound of a typewriter is like a mechanic griping about the sound of an engine.”

      no. its like a sight seeing scooter group telling one participant he can leave or get rid of the super loud customized muffler on his scooter. even though the group began long ago as a club of super loud motorcycles.

    • holtt says:

      How about a shop that works on electric cars, and one guy insists on bringing in his old Ford pickup?

      But that said, it’s a shame they’re giving him the boot. Maybe they could set him up in a store front window as a sort of, “See Jimmy? That’s how they USED to write!” display.

      There is though a totally different writing style when using a typewriter over a keyboard. With a typewriter, you think before you type because the impact of an error is big. You can’t go back and rewrite a whole paragraph with ease for example. Even a simple typo becomes an exercise in whiteout or overstrike.

      It would be an interesting experiment to take a notebook based writer, and take away the backspace key plus disable copy/cut/paste. Take those four things away and writing becomes a totally different game.

  48. Diamond Jim says:

    “There’s a different commitment when you know you’re making a mark on the page, when you strike a key and bleed ink on the page,” [Ferrante] said.

    If he really meant that, he’d be using a fountain pen. Which, unless it’s very seriously malfunctioning, is incidentally quiet enough not to disturb the most sensitive laptop user.

  49. Mitch says:

    How on Earth did the writers who used that space ever manage to concentrate before laptops were invented and there were multiple typewriters being used?

    Laptap keyboards are really unpleasant for typing. They don’t give any tactile feedback, they’re too narrow, and they require you to rest your wrists on a hot plastic surface.

    Manual typewriters have the pleasant, mechanical sound of a non-electric machine. Computers make noises too: the unpleasant droning of the fan, the annoying beeps, the sneaky plastic ticking of the keyboard, and the user saying “goddammit” when the operating system misbehaves. Both devices make sounds. The sound of a typewriter is more like the sound of a woman in high heels walking across a tile floor, while the sound of a laptop keyboard is more like the sound of mice creeping though basement debris.

    • Talia says:

      Eloquently put, Mitch, if a bit.. melodramatic. :)

      All you guys saying “its not annoying! STFU, whiners!’ are clearly not realizing its obviously annoying to a good many people, judging by some of the comments in here and by the article itself. If the majority of the people who use the place find it annoying, as seems to have been the case, well. As has been said, needs of the majority.

    • apoxia says:

      “Laptap keyboards are really unpleasant for typing. They don’t give any tactile feedback, they’re too narrow, and they require you to rest your wrists on a hot plastic surface.”

      1. Mine has tactile feedback. The buttons go in. It also has aural feedback.
      2. Yes they are narrow, but you can take a full-sized keyboard along with you.
      3. You’re doing it wrong! When you type you are not supposed to rest your wrists on the keyboard. They are supposed to be keep lifted above so your wrist and hand are parallel to the flat surface of the table. Also, it sounds like the laptops you used are over-heating – my one only has a hot plastic surface underneath next to the battery.

      • Anonymous says:

        So the right way to type is to keep your forearms suspended above the table and use your neck and shoulder muscles to support the weight of your arms as you type? Is that why office supply stores sell pads to rest your wrists on and many keyboard trays have wrist support built in? My Model M keyboard felt right immediately but laptops feel awkward no matter how much I try using them. Besides being awkward for typing it’s uncomfortable to look down at the miniature monitor that’s right by the keyboard. I’ll stick with my desktop machine that’s cheap and easy to repair and modify and do things that don’t require a computer when I’m away from home.

      • Mitch says:

        So the correct way to type is to keep your wrists suspended above the table and support the weight of your arms with your neck and shoulder muscles as you type? Is that why office supply stores sell wrist support pads and many keyboard trays have them built in?

        My Model M keyboard felt right immediately and laptops feel awkward no matter how much I try using them. Besides the dinky little keyboard they have the ridiculous touchpad pointing device and the undersized monitor right next the the keyboard where you have to bend your neck to look down at it.

        I’ll stick with my desktop computer that’s cheap and easy to fix and customize and do stuff that doesn’t involve a computer when I’m away from home.

        @Jenonymous, choosing a manual typewriter over a laptop isn’t a rejection of technology. It’s choosing technology that is more mechanical in it’s nature over technology that is more electronic. Is someone would rather play a piano than a synthesizer rejecting technology? What about someone who shaves with a blade instead of an electric razor? I’m more comfortable writing text on a computer because I can edit it easily, but I don’t expect everyone else to be the same as me.

        I think ChesireKitty has the best idea: setting up a typewriter friendly writing space.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I think it shows a lack of flexibility. A customer wants this and there are many ways to get thought on paper, as many as possible should be encouraged.

  51. Jenonymous says:

    Donald,

    I’m not dismissing him as a douchebag for using a typewriter; I’m dismissing him as a douchebag for being upset that he can’t disturb other writers at this particular place.

    The airline comparison falls flat–fat people can’t fly on the OUTSIDE of the plane. OTOH there are a million places that one can use a typewriter; however, this one facility isn’t one of them anymore. Too bad.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      Jenonymous, it sounded as if you were dismissing him at least as much for retro pretension as for being peeved that other writers don’t appreciate his Old-School Writerly Ways. The guy had been writing there for six years, and for most of that time, his choice of machinery was backed up by the signage. Comes back after an 8-month break, circumstances have changed and people are giving him attitude. I don’t blame him for being bent outta shape. It’s understandable that newer members, unused to being around a typist, would get distracted. So that’s why things ended up the way they did. He squawked a bit, and now he’s off to what I assume are noisier realms.

      But when I read the article I didn’t get the impression of elitism or douchebaggery beyond his “ink-bleeding” comment. As for the airline metaphor, I didn’t complete the thought. The only thing they have in common is our common need to try not to grate against each other whenever possible. It’s just possible that this guy didn’t realize just how unpopular his typing had become. In any case, rather than trying to show off how proudly Old School his writing style is, no matter who it annoys, it’s likely that he just wants to get his writing done the best way he knows how. He’s gotta write, and he doesn’t like laptops. That, in and of itself, ain’t douchebaggery. And though the joint extended his ability to type there until his deal runs out on June 30, he’s decided to bail.

      Anyway, he’s writing children’s books. How many keystrokes could there possibly be in his day’s work?

  52. funkadelic73 says:

    This guy and his typewriter is kinda like Matt Drudge and his hat.

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