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Typewriter woes

From:Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Monday, December 8, 2008, 14:13
Från: Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
> > On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 10:11, Benct Philip Jonsson > <bpj@...> wrote: >>> The breve was also a problem back then. I >>> could fake a caron by striking both an acute >>> and a grave accent on the same letter, though, >>> and that had to do most of the time. > > You must have had a different typewriter from me; > acute + grave was circumflex on my typewriter (and > IIRC that was the official way of producing a > circumflex, too). >
Mine was a Swedish make and I guess there was no official need for circumflexes at all! However the machine had a half-backstep which allowed me to fake not only circumflexes but a plethora of ligatures, not only _ae, oe_, but also _ao, au, ou, uu, oo, uo_ and every consonant+ _h_ you could think of. My early conlangs had tons of those in addition to slashed and barred letters! :-) I remember I used to use an over-slashed s to symbolize a long _s_, and then ligature this with _h_ And imagine my rendering of barred long _s_! :-/ Från: Michael Poxon <mike@...>
> > My high point was when my linguistics professor > gave me a 'golf-ball' with the IPA symbols on. > Must have been early to mid 1980's but even then > she was very fond of computational linguistics, I > seem to recall.
I never had one of those. They had one or two at the fonetix lab but undergraduates weren't allowed to borrow them. My high point was when I got a typewheel which could type thorn and eth. The flop side was that I had to go to my dad's house to use it, so overstruck _pb_ and _d/_ had a prolonged lease of life anyway! :-) Från: Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
> > At the time I was writing the diss. I invested in > a very nice Smith-Corona (IIRC) electric, on which > one could interchange several of the key-heads. It > also had a dead key.
Only one? My typewriter of course also had only one, but I had two characters, acute and grave, on it. I seem to recall that my dad's typewheel machine had two, the other one with circumflex and diaeresis, but since it had a third shift it may have had just one key with acute, grave and diaeresis.
> The extra heads cost each, > grr. Since this was in Generative Phonology days, > I needed alpha-beta-gamma-delta, square and curly > brackets, some accents and a few others.
My dad had an extra wheel with mathematical/chemical symbols, so there were half the greek alphabet, some random (to me) symbols, braces and brackets. He also had an 'italic' wheel and a kind of fakebold mode on the machine. No ideas what those extra frills cost, but I suspect his employer paid for the lot or it was all deductible! :-)
> No schwa-- > IIRC IPA chars. were available as a very expensive > set, not individually....
As I said I got to view such a set from afar...
> It also had the half- > roll feature for doing super- and sub-script > things. Very handy.
Yes, very!
> I used that machine for the Kawi Lexicon that I > edited and "prepared for publication" (i.e. typed...)-- > lots of underdots, over-hyphens for macron. Very > time consuming... and it kept the White-Out people > in business.... > > Along about 1990 I started looking into "word > processors", Brother and the rest. Settled on a > Casio thing, where each key could do 4 chars, by > using something like a "control" key. It required > a rather expensive ink- or ribbon-cartridge, but > could also type without that on thermal paper > (also expensive). It could remember about 2 pages > worth of text, which could be edited and then > printed out.
I had a similar Brother thing with three chars on each key. It also allowed backspacing/overstriking so I had a lot of fun with it. The flop side was that it belonged to mi High School so I had to return it before I went to University...
> Almost a computer..... (so I > thought). By the mid-90s it was discontinued, and > the cartridges became extinct. Then I discovered > multiple-foot rolls of thermal fax paper (shades > of Jack Kerouac!) which was cheap but flimsy, and > had to be chopped into 8.5x11 and wasn't worth the > trouble. The poor thing is still gathering dust on > a shelf and probably still works, but it's now > useless and unwanted, and I haven't the heart to > put it in the trash. It served me well...
I lost a lot of stuff because the thermal paper went white after a couple of years.
> One final tale of woe: in 1982, when I paid very > good money for a _used_ Apple II,
I got my first computer, a Macintosh Plus with a dazzling megabyte of RAM‑in about 1988. It came with a dot matrix tractor feed printer, and it wasn't long before I got an app for editing/creating bitmap fonts. The printer had twice the resolution of the screen, so if I used a nominal 12pt typesize in my docs and had a 24pt font installed I could get what I considered hi res printouts! Från: Gary Shannon
> > Back in the 1960's, while I had no use for > linguistic symbols, I did need a lot of > mathematical symbols, Greek alphabet, and the like > in what I typed. I had a portable, manual Smith > Corona typewriter that had two keys with > changeable type. I had a large box full of little > snap-lid plastic boxes, each box with a little clip- > on type head that hooked onto either of the two > changeable keys. Each type head came with a little > key-chip that snapped onto the key itself, showing > the graphic representation of whatever symbol was > installed on that key. > > Using shift, I could have up to four different > special characters at a time on the keyboard. If I > needed more, I could stop typing, swap in a new > special character, type it, and keep right on > going. It was very cool.
Sounds very cool, but kinda messy. Didn't any of those clip-ons get lost? /BP 8^)> -- Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*, c'est qu'elles meurent." (Victor Hugo)


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>