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I Was Neglected As A Child :(


Razors Edge

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Back in the day, when we needed to write a report for school, my older sisters would ask my dad to bring home an IBM Selectric typewriter for us to use.  I was too young to bother typing anything for school, but did enjoy screwing around typing other stuff.

In any case, I only recently found out that the Selectric had MULTIPLE options for FONTS!!!! You just swap on a different "ball".

WTF?!?!?! Did my dad know this? Did my dad not want us to have those options? Was this child abuse?

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When I started my career in 1994 they had word processing programs but the secretary was still using one of these to type forms.  That was the only ball-type electric typewriter I think I ever encountered.

Growing up my mom had an old manual typewriter and (strangely?) I loved the smell of that thing.  Later we had an electronic typewriter that I used for some high school reports.

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3 minutes ago, TrentonMakes said:

When I started my career in 1994 they had word processing programs but the secretary was still using one of these to type forms.  That was the only ball-type electric typewriter I think I ever encountered.

Growing up my mom had an old manual typewriter and (strangely?) I loved the smell of that thing.  Later we had an electronic typewriter that I used for some high school reports.

Crazy looking back at it. Around 1980 was when things started changing. Apples, Commodores, and other home computers made their appearance with some interesting printers at that time.  The era of typewriters was close to a century, then those electric typewriters a few decades, and then the "word processors" maybe half that again.  Insane the pace of progress.

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1 minute ago, Razors Edge said:

Apples, Commodores, and other home computers made their appearance with some interesting printers at that time.  

Yeah, we had a C64* and a dot matrix printer that I used for some reports, but I have a very clear memory of using a typewriter for English reports.  I don't remember why - maybe the teacher said he didn't want to read dot matrix text.  My senior research paper featured three different fonts - I'd typed 2/3 of it at home, but I was able to use two different typewriters at school to finish it on the day it was due.

*I still have the C64.  I wonder if it still works.

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2 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

My guess is he was unaware. I gotta wonder if he ever used it himself, or just asked one of his secretaries to remind him to grab it on the way home :dontknow:

I dunno, parents are good at recognizing what is likely going to be some clusterfuck if you add any variables to the mix.   

You take out the previous ball, try and insert another, doesn't seem to fit and some ham-fisted kid shoves it in wrong.  The other ball gets thrown at a sibling.  Crying ensues, then retaliatory throws start.  Window breaks, kids scatter, the ball that broke the window is lost and the typewriter is FUBAR and dad has to explain at the office how he removed work equipment and let his kids completely mess it up.  This all never happens with the extra ball not arriving with the typewriter.

Your dad was smarter than this.

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My handwriting was so bad that I bought a Royal manual typewriter when I was a freshman in high school. I'm sure that some teachers gave me extra credit as they could read my reports.

I learned to use the IBM Selectric typewriter later in life. The most exciting thing about that was finding a snake in one! We would save energy by turning down the heat at night in the building where I worked. Someone left the IBM Selectric typewriter on overnight and it had a small motor inside of it which created heat. When I pulled the cover off the typewriter, the snake came out. The was much better than caffeine for waking up in the morning!

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6 minutes ago, JerrySTL said:

My handwriting was so bad that I bought a Royal manual typewriter when I was a freshman in high school. I'm sure that some teachers gave me extra credit as they could read my reports.

I learned to use the IBM Selectric typewriter later in life. The most exciting thing about that was finding a snake in one! We would save energy by turning down the heat at night in the building where I worked. Someone left the IBM Selectric typewriter on overnight and it had a small motor inside of it which created heat. When I pulled the cover off the typewriter, the snake came out. The was much better than caffeine for waking up in the morning!

I didn't know how to type, but got a typewriter when I was a freshman at tOSU.  I could type things slowly, so I always made sure to date chicks that could type well when I had a paper due.  Yay!

I would never let that happen now, it was more than a bit inconsiderate to foist it on some random gf.  I am sure that that alone would send me to hell, were you to believe any of that foolishness.

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13 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

I dunno, parents are good at recognizing what is likely going to be some clusterfuck if you add any variables to the mix.   

You take out the previous ball, try and insert another, doesn't seem to fit and some ham-fisted kid shoves it in wrong.  The other ball gets thrown at a sibling.  Crying ensues, then retalitory throws start.  Window breaks, kids scatter, the ball that broke the window is lost and the typewriter is FUBAR and dad has to explain at the office how he removed work equipment and let his kids completely mess it up.  This all never happens with the extra ball not arriving with the typewriter.

Your dad was smarter than this.

This happens if I was the one in charge of the typewriter.  I had older sisters who were damn sure not letting me have free use of that thing! And, being girls, were like 1000x more responsible than me.

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17 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

And, being girls, were like 1000x more responsible than me.

This is nowhere near universally true, as all kids are fundamentally stupid and irresponsible.  Maybe your sisters were responsible like that, but all parents have seen things that reveal the need for repetition when training children of either gender.

I would have broken it, too.

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4 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

This is nowhere near universally true, as all kids are fundamentally stupid and irresponsible.  Maybe your sisters were responsible like that, but all parents have seen things that reveal the need for repetition when training children of either gender.

I would have broken it, too.

It's not 100% true, but in general, I have found boys (like myself) to have been pretty much wild animals until far later in life than girls. :dontknow:  I was busy breaking crap, while they were busy playing with dolls or reading or making Shrinky Dinks. And this was generally true for all my friends. :scratchhead: The boys - animals. The girls - normal.

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2 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

WTF?!?!?! Did my dad know this?

Everyone not living under a rock knew that.  Those Selectrics were pretty heavy.  Hauling that thing back and forth must have given your dad some guns.

 

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2 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

Back in the day, when we needed to write a report for school, my older sisters would ask my dad to bring home an IBM Selectric typewriter for us to use.  I was too young to bother typing anything for school, but did enjoy screwing around typing other stuff.

In any case, I only recently found out that the Selectric had MULTIPLE options for FONTS!!!! You just swap on a different "ball".

WTF?!?!?! Did my dad know this? Did my dad not want us to have those options? Was this child abuse?

s-l1600.jpg

My older cousin Joann used to babysit me and would let me play with her manual typewriter to keep me out of her hair while she made out with boyfriend Butch on the couch.  Joann and Butch now live near their 2 daughters in Frederick, Maryland.  I tell them they still owe me for not telling her mother, Aunt Josephine, on her and Butch when Aunt Jo wasn't home.

In college, I discovered the IBM Selectric Typewriter and the multiple balls that the IIT Chemistry Department secretaries would let me use at night to type up my Master's Thesis.  There were 26 double-spaced lines per page and white-out was not allowed because the thesis had to be typed on expensive long-lasting paper so it could be stored for centuries in case there was something of interest in the thesis.  White-out falling off in the future couldn't be risked.  My thesis has been referenced in other science journal articles and in U.S. Patents.  It explained how to synthesis 7 novel (first-ever made by me) orthoesters (where 3 oxygen atoms are attached to one carbon atom) that required tricky ways of catalyzing the reaction.  In one case, I had to use the dried-in-an-oven, little plastic balls in water deionizers to act as an acid because liquid acids (sulfuric, nitric, etc.) contain, at least, traces of water and the water reacted and ruined the reaction.

So, I'd get to the 25th line of a page and make a typing mistake, then have to do the entire page over.  People who haven't gone through that don't fully appreciate today's computer word processors and printers!

 

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My mother has a degree  in business major from the University of Texas.   She did many things in her career working in the insurance and health care industries but for a short period, she was a high school typing teacher.  She sounds like a machine going off when she types and watching her write in shorthand is just freaky.   She used the shorthand to take minutes at meetings, etc. 

I remember seeing her IBM selectric and a few of those balls.  

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3 minutes ago, jsharr said:

she was a high school typing teacher

Ninth grade we had to take typing for one semester. I can't remember the "passing" grade but it wasn't that hard - 30 words per minute with no mistakes?  But my dad's secretary - holy shit - like a Tasmanian Devil with speed and accuracy that was truly fun to see.

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6 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Ninth grade we had to take typing for one semester. I can't remember the "passing" grade but it wasn't that hard - 30 words per minute with no mistakes?  But my dad's secretary - holy shit - like a Tasmanian Devil with speed and accuracy that was truly fun to see.

I bet my mom could kick your dad's secretary's behind! 

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8 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

Ninth grade we had to take typing for one semester. I can't remember the "passing" grade but it wasn't that hard - 30 words per minute with no mistakes?  But my dad's secretary - holy shit - like a Tasmanian Devil with speed and accuracy that was truly fun to see.

I took typing in HS as an elective back in 71 or 72.  My mother insisted I take the class because I would need to know how to type.  She was correct.   I had to type reports in college for engineering lab classes.   

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10 hours ago, TrentonMakes said:

Yeah, we had a C64* and a dot matrix printer that I used for some reports, but I have a very clear memory of using a typewriter for English reports.  I don't remember why - maybe the teacher said he didn't want to read dot matrix text.  My senior research paper featured three different fonts - I'd typed 2/3 of it at home, but I was able to use two different typewriters at school to finish it on the day it was due.

*I still have the C64.  I wonder if it still works.

Years ago...  I purchsed an Apple 2E computer when our daughter was in 8th grade.  I used it and of course she used it for more than a few term papers.

I got it with the Apple dot matrix printer.  If I recall the computer had an RS232 port (if it didn't I added an RS232 card, too long ago to recall) and purchased a Xerox electric typewriter that had a RS232 port and it could be used as a printer too.  Using AppleWorks for word processing and the dot matrix both setup for the same font size as the typewrite, our daughter typed the term paper, foot notes, etc...  got the margins perfect and printed it on the dot matrix to verify everything was OK.  Then the term paper was printed on the typewriter via the RS232, on some good typing paper.  It was perfect every time.  

I still have the Apple 2E, and all of hardware and software and the typewriter. boxed up in my basement.   It was my first home computer.  I just had to save it. 

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11 hours ago, TrentonMakes said:

Yeah, we had a C64* and a dot matrix printer that I used for some reports, but I have a very clear memory of using a typewriter for English reports.  I don't remember why - maybe the teacher said he didn't want to read dot matrix text.  My senior research paper featured three different fonts - I'd typed 2/3 of it at home, but I was able to use two different typewriters at school to finish it on the day it was due.

*I still have the C64.  I wonder if it still works.

You'd be surprised at what that's worth in an auction for collectors.

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28 minutes ago, maddmaxx said:

You'd be surprised at what that's worth in an auction for collectors.

It's hard imagine collecting a few of the earliest personal computers. It's just me.

  I mean it's not even like a model railway village set-up which is quite interesting and whole creative world in itself for enthusiasts.

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11 hours ago, JerrySTL said:

My handwriting was so bad that I bought a Royal manual typewriter when I was a freshman in high school. I'm sure that some teachers gave me extra credit as they could read my reports.

I learned to use the IBM Selectric typewriter later in life. The most exciting thing about that was finding a snake in one! We would save energy by turning down the heat at night in the building where I worked. Someone left the IBM Selectric typewriter on overnight and it had a small motor inside of it which created heat. When I pulled the cover off the typewriter, the snake came out. The was much better than caffeine for waking up in the morning!

By lst year university, my handwriting/printing had degraded so much...that for essay written answer tests in class at university, I infuriated 1 prof. in 2nd year. He bloodied my paper with red ink corrections and told me I was downgraded by half grade because of my illegable writing.

I majored in English literature for my lst degree (4 yrs.), so yes blend of either typed papers or handwritten (we were allowed). Computers were god-send for split second corrections for a poor typist like me.  Above all computers accommodated the varying speed of my thought processes when drafting papers. 

I can't hand write a letter anymore for someone, that can be read easily.

 

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9 hours ago, jsharr said:

My mother has a degree  in business major from the University of Texas.   She did many things in her career working in the insurance and health care industries but for a short period, she was a high school typing teacher.  She sounds like a machine going off when she types and watching her write in shorthand is just freaky.   She used the shorthand to take minutes at meetings, etc. 

I remember seeing her IBM selectric and a few of those balls.  

 

9 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

Ninth grade we had to take typing for one semester. I can't remember the "passing" grade but it wasn't that hard - 30 words per minute with no mistakes?  But my dad's secretary - holy shit - like a Tasmanian Devil with speed and accuracy that was truly fun to see.

WOChrisL can type like nobody’s business as well.  I have never heard anyone type as fast as her. I bet she could give them a run for their money. 

I think I got to around 60 WPM when I took typing in HS.  One of the reasons I got off the road and became a Desk Sergeant was I could manage the chaos and I could type.  Blotters & Journals had to be typed and so I started as the grave yard Desk Sergeant.  I had to take the handwritten  Day & Swing shifts Blotters & Journals and type them on the proper report forms as well keep my own shift. 

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10 hours ago, maddmaxx said:

You'd be surprised at what that's worth in an auction for collectors.

Perhaps.  I should see if it still works.  AFAIK that box also contains the tape drive and the 1541 disk drive (5-1/4"). 

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