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OT typewriter woes (was: ¡u?op ?p?sdn ?? ? ?? u?? oo? no?)

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Sunday, December 7, 2008, 22:15
BP Jonsson wrote:> On 2008-12-06 Roger Mills wrote:
....> > In my diss. on South Sulawesi languages and > > Proto-Austronesian, I fudged
by using barred-i, which > > annoyed some people; but IMNSHO was better than
using the > > standard "e" for *schwa, especially since SSul languages > > also
had [e] of different origin.> > Back in my typewriter days, which ended in 1988
or > thereabouts I fudged up an entire retransliteration> of the IPA using
overstrike characters and the likewise> handy device of rolling the cylinder
up/down a single> notch to place periods and commas above and below> letters,
not to mention the sub- and superscript> numbers beloved by philologists
(H_1-4, e^2 etc.).> Naturally the overstruck slash was a favorite> (there was
no backslash on Swedish typewriters) and> I usually used a slash-overstruck or
doublequote-> overstruck (qua diaeresis) _e_ for schwa.
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. The extra heads cost $5 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. No schwa-- IIRC IPA chars. were available as a
very expensive set, not individually.... It also had the half-roll feature for
doing super- and sub-script things. Very handy.
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. 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...
One final tale of woe: in 1982, when I paid very good money for a _used_ Apple II,
I was persuaded to buy a fancy Olivetti electric typewriter that could be
hooked up as a printer. I typed a few things on it and didn't like it; never
used it as a printer as I never quite got the hang of the Apple either, despite
lessons...... Anyhow, when I left Ann Arbor the Apple was given to the local
school system, and I took the Olivetti to the local resale shop, along with
lots else. The lady said, Let's make sure it works...; so we plugged it in, put
in some paper, and I began to type, "Now is the time...." -- alas, it came out
Jcb rn btu xyvz... or so, so no sale. I suppose someone could have re-jiggered
its memory, but I was disinclined to spend any more on it. That one did go in
the trash, with no regrets.
My first computer (Gateway, including monitor and printer) cost $1300-- the
second (cobbled together) was $600-- this current one about $350. The next


Njenfalgar <njenfalgar@...>OT typewriter woes (was: ¡u ?op ?p?sdn ?? ? ?? u?? oo? no?)