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Ostomy Memories of Typewriters

Wed May 11, 2022 2:14 am
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THE A HAS WORN OFF MY KEYBOARD, and the S is half gone.  This is the keyboard I had to buy to attach to my laptop when my laptop keyboard started malfunctioning.  Yet these are nothing more than minor glitches when I think back about the days of typewriters.  A typo for a typewriter user could become a major headache.  Remember white-out?  Writing on a computer, a typo can be made to disappear with ease, and quickly, as if it was never there.  Some software programs automatically correct them for you.  For years, I entertained this old-fashioned, romantic image of writers pounding out their work upon their trusty typewriters, the telltale clacking sound of the keyboard echoing throughout the house, and in a bizarre way I hated to give mine up.  It still sits on a shelf in my closet, the old Smith Corona portable electric in a hard case, my first significant purchase after I graduated from college.  But typewriters could be a mess to use.  “How strange to remember typewriters,” wrote Margaret Atwood, “with their jammed keys and snarled ribbons and the smudgy carbon paper for copies.”  If I’m going to romanticize about the old days with typewriters, I may as well also sing the praises of mimeograph machines too, the fresh copies from which, with their heady, chemical aroma, provided me with my first highs in elementary school in the Fifties.  I’d take my sweet time walking back to class from the copy room just to get in as many sniffs as I could.  How long ago that was…  

Wed May 11, 2022 3:22 am

I grew up tapping away on my Mum's old Remington manual typewriter, as it came so easy to me I think my future job was sorted, still going strong nearly 40 years later as a medical typist, just clinging on though thanks to voice recognition, but as no robot will ever have my editing, grammatical and spelling skills, hoping to hang on until retirement.

I learnt to touch type (to music no less) on a manual typewriter at high school, there was one electric "golf-ball" machine that we got to use on a rota.  When I entered the workforce it was electric typewriters until the computers arrived in the late 80's.  I remember well the triple carbon copy reports that had to be corrected.  Is a mimeograph a Gestetner machine?  I do recall the correction fluid for that could give you head spins!

My PC keyboard (below) has almost all the letters missing except for the high score letters in Scrabble! 😊

 If I have to replace it I may have to get a mechanical keyboard. 🧐

MeetAnOstoMate - 26,431 members
Wed May 11, 2022 7:50 am

Hi Henry when in high school i took typing class as kind of a filler course for credits and by the end of the semester i believe i was typing around 60 words a minute with deductions for errors, but if you one of the better typers you got yo use an IBM selectric  and boy could they go on those some got over 100 words a minute. 

Wed May 11, 2022 10:01 am


ron in mich wrote:

Hi Henry when in high school i took typing class as kind of a filler course for credits and by the end of the semester i believe i was typing around 60 words a minute with deductions for errors, bu...

I took a typing course in high school too, but it was primarily because I knew it was unlikely any other guys would be in the class and I'd be surrounded by girls.  I wasn't practical enough then to realize how important it would be to me later to be able to type.

Wed May 11, 2022 2:45 pm


HenryM wrote:

I took a typing course in high school too, but it was primarily because I knew it was unlikely any other guys would be in the class and I'd be surrounded by girls.  I wasn't practical enough then ...

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, eh Henry!😊
Wed May 11, 2022 4:16 pm

I have fond memories of typing in high school.  I remember learning on a manual, and having to press down so hard on the keys.  Graduating to the IBM Selectric made it so easy.  I think I was typing around 100 wpm at one point.  I remember whiteout well, but I preferred the little plastic 'taperaser' dispenser to correct mistakes. Remember that?  I never dreamed that typing would come in so handy later in life.  I'm happy I learned every time I watch my husband 'hunting and pecking'.  I bought an old IBM Selectric at a second hand store, back in the late eighties, and used it for correspondence long after most people had switched to computers.

Terry

Wed May 11, 2022 4:39 pm


veejay wrote:

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog, eh Henry!😊

I probably wasn't quick enough.... 

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