Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Typewriter

In this information age, the number of people that knows how to use a typewriter has greatly reduced. Since it had been some six years since I last used one, I decided that I need some refreshing course on the typewriter. I took out my father's typewriter that he used back in university, placed it on the table, and grabbed a few A4 papers (sorry, no carbon copy papers).As I sat there, I racked my mind to try and remember what is this and that, what it is used for and what is the red button supposed to do.

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22 years and still running like it was made yesterday.

Documentations found in the typewriter's bag indicates that it was bought on August 7th, 1983 while my father was studying in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, KL. My father wrote his thesis with this very typewriter, and it earned him a Bachelor of Land Surverying Degree.

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From the Appendix of Pegasus Bridge, Steven Ambrose

In my pre-school days, the typewriter is a sort of a 'forbidden fruit'. Mother won't allow me to use it, but I'll sneakily take the bag out of the storage area and start punching on the keys. Usual items that I write (or copy) are utility bills, newspaper articles and magazines. Of course, when I say 'write', I didn't mean writing on the media itself!

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'ALL' brand? What is that?

Before starting my 'refreshment course', I need something to write type. Since I usually go nuts over anything related to military, my mind quickly thought up of a report. A military report. But on what? Then my train of thought reminded me of Steven Ambrose's Pegasus Bridge. In the Appendix I found something that is perfectly nice for the ocassion: Brigadier Nigel Poett's order to Major John Howard, on the seizure of the bridge over the Orne River and Caen Canal that is to take place on June 6th, 1944.

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Hold until relief...

Happily I banged away at the typewriter. It was not a smooth ride. Often, my fingers missed the keys and got stuck momentarily in the infernal mess of steel below. The sound is classical, as if the computer keyboard is 70's music, then the typewriter's is the 50's. I found that I type faster with one hand instead of both hands, probably as I am accustomed to typing with one finger (more like poking the keyboard).

The trip was a delightful ride down memory lane. As I placed the typewriter back in it's bag and returned it to it's rightful place, I cannot help but to think of the future where I will take the typewriter out and start typing again...

1 comment:

Belacan said...

yeah, those were the good ole days. try typing on stencil paper. muahahahar!