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The Automatypwriter
November 2, 2010 6:08 AM   Subscribe

The Automatypewriter is a typewriter that can type by itself.
posted by empath (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I'm all for hardware hacks, but seriously, it would have been MUCH easier to use an old teletype. This is, after all, pretty much exactly what they do. Building a USB interface would probably be trivial (and probably has been done).

Oh look - there it is.
posted by grajohnt at 6:32 AM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


At the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion, they have a print shop with four or five linotype machines set up. they only have two running, though. One is for custom requests: you can pay and have them make a lead slugs that say whatever you want.

The other machine is hooked up to a paper-tape reader. It is loaded with a tape that is about six inches long, and is looped around and taped to itself. That one spends all day with nobody sitting at its console, making slugs with the one line of text encoded in the paper tape. Every so often someone has to come by and empty the galley, but the rest of the time it's typing away, letters falling from their banks, then when the tape gets to the end of the loop it thunks and reloads the letter blanks as the tape starts over. It's hypnotic to watch.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:38 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's more than a typewriter than can type by itself. From that page:
It can also detect what’s being typed on it. It can be used to send text to and/or receive text from a computer via USB. It was designed as a platform for playing interactive fiction games, in particular to play custom software being developed for it by Jim Munroe.
It was covered on Slashdot as a typewriter hacked to play Zork, where a commenter who knew more about the original model pointed out that it is a ASR-33 Teletype. But because teletypes are some sort of arcane telephone magic to most current readers, "hacked typewriter" gets more readers.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:03 AM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sweet, typewriter keyboards! Only $500 or more...
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 7:37 AM on November 2, 2010


I always wanted to convert my 30's era Underwood to be a keyboard.
posted by ahimsakid at 7:40 AM on November 2, 2010


This is fantastic. There's something about that serify typewriter typeface that gives the text adventure quotes a subtle menace - Jack Torrance, the game developer.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 7:51 AM on November 2, 2010


I guess we don't need all the monkeys any more?
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:07 AM on November 2, 2010



I guess we don't need all the monkeys any more?


The infinite monkey price index has fallen through the floor.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:15 AM on November 2, 2010


Does it come with a mirror that looks into an alternate dimension?
posted by aaronetc at 9:27 AM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn, I was going to make the Selectric 251 reference, but aronetc got here first.
posted by quin at 9:30 AM on November 2, 2010


aaronetc...
posted by quin at 9:30 AM on November 2, 2010


it would have been MUCH easier to use an old teletype

In terms of engineering and fabrication affort, true, but on the other hand it is MUCH easier to acquire an old typewriter.
posted by CynicalKnight at 11:12 AM on November 2, 2010


Apparently you can still get an old teletype. (and not one of those sissy 1960-era teletypes either)
posted by MtDewd at 11:38 AM on November 2, 2010


If they can make it look like the robot from "Read All About It" I might buy it!
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:22 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


If they can make it look like the robot from "Read All About It" I might buy it!

Whoa, I was JUST about to type this! Man, I loved that show and yet I was absolutely terrified by it. To this day, the creepy music freaks me out!
posted by 1000monkeys at 8:54 PM on November 2, 2010


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