Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Getting to Know You

So none of the typewriters I own, I have owned for more than a year. So, the past two years, I've been getting to know the ins and outs of the two typewriters that work at least. The first, and for awhile a single child, is my best working machine, the 1953 Royal Quiet DeLuxe. At first, I think I was wholly content with just the ribbon being dark and the words actually printing out unlike my previous Royal Royalite which I think from the start never printed quite that well.

For those of you who are somewhat familiar with the Quiet DeLuxe, you know what sort of problems you might have when you don't have the instruction manual to come with it. For me, I think the biggest problems I had were trying to figure out how to operate the touch system and the little knob on the right which I had for the longest time, I had no idea how it worked. Even after I managed to find a manual on It turned out to be a drive speed controller. Supposedly to adjust to how quickly you can type so it either speeds up the machine or slows it down to keep it from skipping.

I think it was about a month of working with it, fiddling with it just to get it to work the way I wanted to work. I still have yet to figure out the combination of touch type settings and the drive speed selector. Or whatever it's called. (I'm away from my computer where the manual is on. The iPad is good for blogging on the go). But sadly, the trouble just didn't stop at fiddling with knobs and whatnot. It overflowed into a few keys that when hit, would jump onto the advancing bar and send everything jumping ahead. So many pieces of typed work and letters sent out with huge skips.

Then one day, my friend Martin gave me a call and from there I adopted two more typewriters from being sent to the scrap yard. Or a worse fate, being keychopped! Although, I'm tempted to chop one of them since I have a feeling that it might, if anything, be not savable. Rusty type bars, completely falling apart and just vast vast amounts of rust.

But luckily, the more intersting of the two, I managed to get working again. A 1939 Underwood Noiseless Standard. I don't think I had ever seen a machine like that in my life. The way it worked was through a manipulations of levers and it would push a hammer-like device forward to punch the paper rather than strike against the platen.

I think since that underwood, I managed to start keeping up projects just to keep me sane from the banality of working in Wurster studios in Berkeley.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Can't Contain Excitement: The Grand Budapest Hotel

As always, I'm always excited whenever I hear about a new Wes Anderson film coming out, usually that means, Bill Murray will be there, although lately, his role seems to be dimmed down from the leading roles for this film.

But none the less, Anderson's films always capture a specific quality, almost as if a film was made in a flat UI alongside with embracing an alternative view of history.

Moonrise Kingdom, one of my favorite movies is an excellent example, utilizing the landscape, having the little goldbergesque devices at the scout camp and making the most ordinary things seem a little bit more interesting than usual. I mean, when's the last time you saw scouts operating a HQ tent complete with radios and shaving their commander?

But I'm sure that The Grand Budapest Hotel will be brilliant.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Walking Anachronism

"You grew up in the wrong era"

You wouldn't believe how many how many times I've heard that said to me.

"You've got a lot of cool stuff. You plan on selling any of it?"

I don't hear that as much, but still people ask.

Living life as a walking anachronism is easy, you adapt new technology, but still use old technology. But there's reasons I like using older technology with new technology. I'm not a Luddite who avoids all new technology. I carry a Samsung Galaxy phone, I have two laptops, gaming mouse and keyboard and big monitor and a fancy array of headphones to use.

But then again, I own three typewriters with a fourth on the way, a drawer full of slide rulers, two complete sets of Leroy rules, drafting machines, a gramophone with 100+ 78rpm records and the list goes on. People are still always in awe and fascination whenever they see the things I have lying around almost casually.

What got me interested in the things I love, I don't know. I might have to blame a childhood growing up at my Grandmother's house half the time where I got the opportunity to rummage around in the basement and find neat things such as a slide ruler or a vintage road bicycle. I think watching Antiques Roadshow helped somewhat as well.

So I've decided to devote this new blog to me and my passions, typewriters, typography and fountain pens.

Happy Writing!