Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Friends of the decanter may or may not have read earlier this week the news that the very last typewriter manufactured in the UK has now rolled off the assembly line and has been donated to a museum?  (For you kids who don’t actually know what a “typewriter” is, go here.  And stop smirking.)

Well, this morning ol’ Robbo spotted an article at the Beeb which warmed his reactionary heart:  Five reasons to still use a typewriter.

Ah, standing athwart history yelling “I need a new ribbon!”

I went right the way through college and two thirds of law school with my trusty Smith Corona electric, the kind with the side-loading ribbon cartridge.  I especially liked the cartridge arrangement.  You had one for ink, another for white-out.  And they were just the right size for hurling across the room in frustration if you were suddenly seized with writer’s block or a bad attack of misspellingitis.

Yes, those were the days.  No pixels, no digital displays, no fooling about with data storage and “memory” and font settings and God-knows what other insert and layout issues (much less meta-data, for Pete’s sake).  You pressed the key and the typebar flew up and whacked the page.  Press. Whack!  Press.  Whack!  Simple.  (And you could always take time off to amuse yourself by striking a bunch of different keys simultaneously, causing the bars to get all tangled up with each other.)

I guess “word processing” really started to catch on in the early to mid 80’s when I was in college.  It may not surprise you that I was not a’tall impressed.  Indeed, I used to look on smugly at all the kids seduced by the new  technology as they went into full panic mode because they’d lost their disks or the printer was down or some other technical glitch occurred in the computer lab at 3 ack emma the morning the big paper was due.  Oh, I smugged alright.

Finally, the stormtroopers of “Progress” caught up with me when a law prof informed me that I simply wasn’t allowed to turn in type-written documents anymore but instead had to get with the program and start processing like everybody else.  She said my work product, though well-crafted, “didn’t look professional enough”.  So it was off to the reeducation camp for poor ol’ Robbo.

Well, my trusty old Smith Corona may be gone (God knows what happened to it), but it certainly isn’t forgotten.   And in solidarity with those who still clickety-clack away in the fine old style, how about a musickal tribute?  Ladies and Gentlemen, I salute you!

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