Tappety-tap – typewriters live on

USB Typewriter

USB Typewriter

“Mum! Get out your ‘old’ music!” ‘Old’ music is my children’s code for cassettes and records, as opposed to Frank Sinatra. I wish I could also impress them with my ‘old’ computer (a typewriter) but unfortunately one of my favourite childhood toys has long since gone. Maybe I have reason to buy another…

Jack Zylkin is the brains behind USB Typewriter. He takes vintage typewriters and modifies them to work as a USB keyboard for your PC, Mac or even your iPad. The modifications include many non-standard keys, such as F1-F12, via a special toggle key – who knew you could hit ‘Esc’ on a Remington?!

The bit I like best is that the typewriters still operate as first intended – roll in a blank sheet of paper and you’re away, tappety-tap. Opening a new blank document on your computer simply does not have the same zing as rolling fresh paper into a typewriter and hitting ‘return’ on your computer does not match the ‘kerching’ of a returning typewriter carriage.

Converted typewriters are available at Zylkin’s Etsy store, USB Typewriter. Prices begin at US$649. Also available is a DIY Conversion kit for US$69 – before you start scouring eBay for an inexpensive typewriter to convert, be aware that Zylkin recommends “intermediate skill with a soldering iron” and about seven spare hours to complete the project. USB Typewriter ships to Australia.

(via Cool Mom Tech)

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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