segunda-feira, 28 de novembro de 2011

Olympia Splendid 66

I continue to add new purchases to my collection... The most recent acquisition was this Splendid 66. As an older sister to the 33. Although it was bought over the Internet I was pleasantly surprised. The typewriter seemed in perfect condition (the sale photographs were not very explicit). Once I removed the case I notice that the space bar was bent. No influence on the writing, but ruined the aesthetic... And my mood!

Note that the machine was in perfect condition. It came completely clean, without needing lubrication and the ribbon was almost new. What makes me believe that this typewriter was used until recently by its previous owner.

I did installed a new ribbon, blue and red nylon. I think that is better suited to the use that will give it, which will basically be for my correspondence writing. Although I don't write in red I think the contrast with the red crowned "S" works very well.

The color scheme is the traditional and boring beige and green and once again is a German QWERTZ keyboard.

The mechanism is exactly identical to the younger sister, taking the fact that it seems to be all in aluminum. The 33 was still using a lot of iron. Even dared to say that they are practically identical, only the 66 is the most complete in level of customization options.

The option of choosing the color, something that the younger sister does not.

Personal touch tuning. Makes writing smoother than in 33. Although I think that the fact of the typewriter being lighter makes it more unstable and vibrates too much when we started to accelerate with the typing...

The interior is completely clean with no signs of dust or dirt. I noticed that the bottom is lined with what seems to be a waterproofing / insulating (?) silvery something that seems too science fiction for a simple typewriter. I wonder if already come of origin.

Still missing some exterior cleaning. But as soon as I received it and saw it was perfect to be used, I skipped that part... And it went just straight to my writing table and then to the shelf to join the rest of my small collection.

The space bar... Something that I'm going to have to figure out how to put in order without breaking it. Is raised so high I could shoot under it: (

The finishes are better than the younger sister... Chrome! The painting is identical... With a slight texture (and thankfully, or else it would look like an old refrigerator) .

The font size... It was my first Elite 12. And honestly I do not like it. When I look at a letter after writing it, seems too full.  To many letters in the same space... Even with double spacing between lines. Perhaps using a paper with a smaller format the final result is aesthetically more pleasing (to my standards).

The carrying case, very practical. I think one day I''ll lose the shyness and leave home with it.  I'll sit in a cafe and I'll start writing... I think the rest of the customers will probably hate the noise, but if people do with computers why not do it with a typewriter? I bet there would be many curious glances :)

Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but the screws seem to have been loosened and they have marks of use... Overall I am very pleased with my new typewriter. If it was cursive would be perfect! But like all machines that I bought, they are a joy for me!
And that's all, folks! I've shared with you my latest acquisition. I hope you enjoyed:)

sexta-feira, 25 de novembro de 2011


*** QUERTY ***

QWERTY keyboard layout is currently used in most computers and typewriters. The name comes from the first 6 letters "QWERTY" of the first line.

This arrangement of keys was patented by Christopher Sholes in 1868 and sold to Remington in 1873, when it was first seen on typewriters.

In this layout, the  letters used more frequently in the English language were separated into opposite halves of the keyboard in an attempt to prevent the locking of the mechanism of the nineteenth century typewriters. By alternating the use of keys, the arrangement avoided the key lock on old typewriters: one hand while hitting a key, the other finds the next key.

Other standards have been proposed, such as Dvorak, but never reached the same popularity of QWERTY.

The QWERTY layout is adopted with changes in some languages ​​forming QWERTZ and AZERTY keyboards, where the letters Y and Z are exchanged. Symbols, diacritics and accented characters are in different positions in international variations of QWERTY.

*** QWERTZ ***

The QWERTZ keyboard normally used in German-speaking regions. The name comes from the first six letters at the top of the keyboard: Q, W, E, R, T and Z.

Differs from the QWERTY exchanging Y and Z together,  because the letter Z is used more than the Y in German as well as T and Z often appear close to each other in German. Keyboard is adapted to include local characters such as ö, ä, and ü.

There are models based on the German QWERTZ, such as Italian, French-speaking parts of Switzerland, and in most countries of Eastern and Central Europe that use the Latin alphabet, with the exception of Estonia and Lithuania.

A QWERTZ keyboard layout is also known for kezboard. This nickname is given because of the way the word "keyboard" is typed on a QWERTY,  in the same sequence will generate the word "kezboard" on a QWERTZ keyboard.

*** AZERTY ***

The AZERTY keyboard layout used in France, Belgium and some surrounding countries, and others especially the ones using French language. The AZERTY was also used in typewriters in Portugal since 1975 (wih the end of the Salazar dictatorship)  until the early '90s.

The French version meets the standards for the French language, but it is impossible to produce characters É, Ç, or quotation marks ("" and <>). Also
has many other symbols changed from the normal positions and others that are rarely used in normal conversation.

The Belgian AZERTY is similar to the French AZERTY but some adjustments were made in 80 years. All letters remain in the same place than in the French keyboard, but some signs (?!, @, -, _, +, =, §) are in different locations.

*** HCESAR ***

HCESAR is a obsolete keyboard layout. It was created by decree in July 21 1937 by the then Portuguese Prime Minister (dictator) António de Oliveira Salazar.

Among the special features of this keyboard,  highlight the dual function of the same key to represent the digit 0 and the uppercase letter O, as well as the digit 1 and the lowercase L. There was no  Cardinal and the sign
could be obtained by writing the equal sign and overlaying it with a bar. The asterisk was achieved at the expense of a lowercase X superimposed over the + signal.

*** DVORAK ***

The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard  was developed by designers August Dvorak and William Dealey in 1920 and 1930 as an alternative to the more common QWERTY.

The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard is recommended by ergonomists BECAUSE a person typing in English Dvorak makes 20 times less
effort than typing on a QWERTY keyboard.

The Dvorak keyboard was never widely adopted. Both manufacturers and users were resistant to the layout radically different from the traditional QWERTY, which requires the relearning of typing.

Were developed different adaptations of Dvorak into other languages​​, such as iDvorak (Italian), Dvorak-fr (French), the Native-BR (Brazil) and others.

There are versions of Dvorak for one hand using. These layouts, one for right hand and other to the left, regroup the letters in one of the most important halves of the keyboard, making it easier to use for people who for one reason or another, can not make use of both hands.

segunda-feira, 21 de novembro de 2011

Am I surrounded by typewriters?

Lately I've noticed that typewriters haunt me... In a good way, obviously!  Even when I'm relaxing on the couch watching TV...

The other day I was watching an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot and found interesting as a typewriter was used in a crime. As everyone should already know,  Agatha Christie was known for writing her books on a typewriter. And she included it majestically in this crime. I've tried to figure out which was the typewriter that appears in the images, but no luck yet. Only appears for a few seconds and there's no focus on the brand ...

 One of the criminals falsifying dental records!

I particularly like this capture! While the woman is peacefully sitting at the desk, a man lies dead at her feet...

You can watch it here!

Shortly after this I was watching an episode of another series, Fringe. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that part of action of this episode takes place in a typewriter store.  In this case, I have been able to find some of the models that were exposed. Some are included in my wish list, others I have spent a few hours looking at them while doing my research on the internet about typewriters (AKA searching the next one that I'm going to buy).

I found it strange the lack of light ... One of the main things to do when we buy a typewriter is to see if it is damaged. And see what the font is ... Something hard to do with this light. However it works perfectly to influence our interpretation of the plot and action!

I also found interesting how a "simple" typewriter (and lets face it, theres nothing simple about a Selectric!) was used as a way to communicate between worlds (most of the story is science fiction!). Although the way it is portrayed almost make it seem rather daunting...


Were typewriters always this present in my daily life, but as I never had the attention, I had never noticed their presence?

Or now that I find my self among the enthusiasts of this fantastic machines, my eyes are more accurate to detect their appearances?

quinta-feira, 17 de novembro de 2011

Olivetti Lettera 32

Introducing the Lettera... It's unique green/blue is very difficult to capture in the photos. I've tried to do my best but sometimes looks green and others looks blue.

Spanish QWERTY keybord! At last... I've been longing for a qwerty typewriter. It makes my writing much easier :) and no more misspelling errors because the Y was out of it's usual place.

This typewriter was bought from a Spanish auction site and it was in very bad shape... I believe the previous owner has treated her very badly... Although there was no rust some aluminum parts were very degradated.

Amazing typing... Very light touch. But I believe she has a bad temper. Sometimes works ok, sometimes doesn't want works... The "q", the "a" and the "z" sometimes leave a very light print on the paper. I haven't found the problem yet. But I'm still searching a way to solve it...


The touch tuning... Quite handy. And makes the writing even easier...

The original ribbon spools. There's no ribbon in this picture because I put the ribbon spools for the photo :) I think it looks nicer this way!

There's some cleaning to be done. I was so excited to try out the typing that I skipped a good cleaning...

terça-feira, 15 de novembro de 2011

Triumph Gabriele 1

As promised, Gabriele photoshoot! Sorry about the low quality pics but the lighting has been awful... It's raining for three days in a row... And without the sunlight I can't get proper lighting.

The case has some scratches. I have yet to shine it

The keyboard is the typical German QWERTZ

I was surprised by the ease of typing. It's so soft ... No need to hammer the keys and I think it's very similar to writing on the computer. But it makes a lot of noise ... Compared with the Hermes is a big difference. 

I'm still learning about typefaces, but I believe this is the regular pica? Right? Wrong? :(

The slugs still need some deeper cleaning. This time the plasticine didn't do trick... I guess I'm going to need a toothpick. It doesn't affects the writing... But Just want it to be perfect :)

Still has some white spots of correction fluid... But I just don't want to scratch it or damage it by cleaning to hard!

And the bell for me, has a very low sound. Sometimes I have difficulty hearing it. But perhaps it is muffled by the noise of typing.

The typewriter came with the
original brushes and the seller was a very nice guy and got me a scan of the manual in Portuguese. It was fantastic!

New arrivals!

The Gabriele and the Lettera 32 just arrived! The Splendid 66 has already been shipped!

I'm just so excited! There's nothing like the arrival of a new typewriter... The Gabriele needed a good cleaning but it is in very good conditions. The previous owner definitely treated her very well. With the exception that he/she (?) used to use correction fluid and she had some white spots. But after a good cleaning she looks like new. And I find it so easy to type on. I have being typing lots and lots of pages just by the pleasure of using it. But the Lettera... Needed some repairing. I've just realized that the repairing is one the parts I like the most. Disassembling, cleaning, oiling, assembling ... Trying to find out where and how to repair the damage. It's just like a puzzle. And I've always been a puzzle fan! I just hope not to need some parts to repair it. That means finding and sacrificing another machine. And that would feel like a murder to me... But the Lettera was my must have. So I believe some sacrifices have to be done.
Right now both are already working almost perfectly. Although the Lettera is needing some more adjustments I've been busy using both them!

I do love a machine that has been used. It's a machine with a history... It shows that it was used for the purpose that was built for and after all these years still do the job! These little babies were built to last.

Soon I will have pictures of both to share...

PS: This fever for typewriters seems to be contagious. My big sister wants a typewriter for Xmas. She tried the Splendid 33 and I think she just remembered when she was younger. She used to spend hours writing letters for her friends in a huge old yellow typewriter that my father had at his office. Now I have to start searching a good typewriter for her. Suggestions are accepted :)

quinta-feira, 10 de novembro de 2011

Typecasting - Virginia Woolf

Fitas Kores

Algodão? Nylon? Seda? Uma cor? Duas Cores?

Ando ainda a tentar encontrar a fita perfeita. Já arranjei uma azul vermelho em algodão. E duas em nylon preto. Fui a minha loja habitual hoje ver que fitas tinha. Para já em azul só tem algodão. Fitas de uma só cor já não se fazem... O que eu acho um desperdicio... Acabo por nunca usar a parte vermelha da fita! Mas confesso que fiquei tentado em experimentar uma fita de seda... Quando chegar a Splendid 66 talvez lhe ponha uma fita de seda... A ver como corre. Tenho a sensação que o algodão acaba por manchar e ensopar muito a escrita. Embora a de nylon que tenho na Splendid 33me pareça acabar por sujar o papel. Entretanto vou pesquisar mais cores e marcas pelo eBay a ver se consigo arranjar algum lote por uma pechincha.

Nylon preta

Algodão azul/vermelho (ou como vem indicado na caixa "encarnado")

Achei piada ao carimbo do controle de qualidade. Quanto mais não seja porque a fita é quase da minha idade...

Vi também uma ideia que me agradou. Agarrar numa fita de carbono de uma eléctrica e tentar enrolar num carreto de uma manual. As fitas de carbono fazem uma escrita mais perfeita e mais limpa. E tem sempre a possibilidade de se usar fita correctora. Não que isso seja possível de colocar na própria máquina, mas manualmente tudo se consegue. Acho que esta vai ser uma experiência a realizar em breve. Depois conto-vos o resultado.

Entretanto se alguém souber onde posso encontrar fitas em cores que não as habituais fico-vos grato :)