My New Olympia

olympia1I was at the Blacktown Car Boot Sale last Sunday. We got there after noon so it was free to get in and most people were packing up and leaving. The market is held in the old drive-in theatre and next to one of the speaker stands someone had abandoned a 1960s-70s era Olympia manual typewriter. Just like the ones i used to type up incident reports when I was a Military Policeman back in the early 80s. It all works and while it needs a clean up and a new ribbon, the kids love playing with it. These things are German made and pretty much bullet-proof. It will clean up nicely and look as good as the one in the photo.

amstrad_pc1512_2sWhat I like about it is it is solid, heavy and reliable. A bit like me some would say. I won’t be doing any work on it but I do recall the transition between typewriter and word processor on my desktop computer. It was an Amstrad 1512 and I bought it as they were being replaced by 286 models. It had two 5.25 floppy drives and a CGA monitor. I hooked it up to a dot matrix printer and away I went however I kept the Canon portable electric typewriter I had been using for a few years for invoices and ‘quick’ stuff. Back then dot matrix was the only printers available, it was right before laser and bubblejet (inkjet) came in. Remember the special printer paper with the holes down the sides for the drive sprockets?

When I upgraded to a 386 PC in 1990 or 91, followed by a $600 bubblejet Brother printer I could buy today for $49, with colour print, scanner and photocopier, I never went back to the typewriter. No need as I and my income had caught up with technology. All that was nearly a quarter of a century ago! No matter how technology changes, though, the need for quality writing never disappears. You can have the best writing tools in the business, which I have) and that won’t ensure good content.


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