Absolutely fascinating article from Stylelist about Jack Zyklin, an individual who has taken old, obsolete typewriters and allowed them to “interface” with computers, thus giving writers the old time feel of typing on a typewriter while being able to simultaneously use the latest computer technology.
The article can be found here:
There is an included video in the article, which I’ve embedded below:
There is a certain whimsy to Mr. Zyklin’s work that appeals to me, as unlike him I can recall the time when typewriters were still the way to write. By the time I reached High School, personal computers were just starting to come out and the concept of a word processor, introduced to me in my sophomore or junior year of High School, portended the demise of the typewriter.
As an author with seven novels and one graphic novel behind me (and more to come!), I’ve thought long and hard about how fortunate I was to be born when I was. As a young child, I was completely fascinated with writing and by the time I was in third or fourth grade knew that I wanted to be an author.
However, I quickly realized I was a perfectionist and whatever I wrote needed to be refined before it was “good enough” to satisfy my taste. Early writing was frustrating because this meant that whatever I wrote needed to be completely re-typed (and re-re-typed and re-re-re-typed) whenever it was revised. Depending on the length of the original story, this could mean many hours of grueling and tedious work. It was hard enough to get the original first draft typed out, but the idea of returning to the draft and re-typing it as many as five to seven times (or more!) made the task all that much more daunting.
Thus, the arrival of computers and the word processor couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I still longed to be a writer and hadn’t yet given up on that dream. The word processor allowed me the freedom to write longer and longer works. After reviewing the printed versions of them, all I had to do was make the necessary revisions without having to completely re-type the entire manuscript.
Had I been born even five years earlier, I suspect none of my works might have ever come to light and I might have drifted into a different career. My latest novel, Nox, required seven full revisions and a whopping eleven revisions of Chapter 50 (the BIG chapter, storywise) before I was satisfied enough with the manuscript to go ahead with publication. Needless to say, I’m happy with my computer and its keyboard, though the thought of getting one of those USB typewriters does seem attractive…in a retro kind of way!