Items Tagged With technology

Typewriters in the 21st Century

by Rachel Lieff Axelbank

News and Trends

Posted 12.16.14

January/February 2015

Innovations like the USB Typewriter, Hanx Writer, Hemingwrite, and Typing Writer are giving new life to the classic typewriter by updating it for the digital world.

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USB Typewriters

Posted 12.16.14

Since 2010, engineer and designer Jack Zylkin has renovated typewriters for the digital age, transforming them into more versatile, practical writing tools. Plugged into a computer, tablet, or smartphone, Zylkin’s USB Typewriters function like modern external keyboards, combining the physical writing experience of the manual typewriter with the ease of modern word processing. Zylkin sells ready-made USB Typewriters, as well as do-it-yourself conversion kits customized for a range of models. The following images highlight Zylkin’s process.

Article: 
  • 1 of 91. Materials Needed

    1. Materials Needed

    A USB Typewriter conversion kit includes (clockwise from top left) a roll of cloth tape, an assortment of magnets, four magnetic switches, a sensor panel, and a control panel. A user can install the kit with a few basic tools: a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a hot glue gun, wire strippers, and a metal file.

  • 2 of 92. Attaching the Sensor Circuitry

    2. Attaching the Sensor Circuitry

    Zylkin’s first step in creating USB Typewriters is to attach the sensor circuitry under the keys of the typewriter. The sensor panel, which is either soldered or glued to the machine, detects which key is pressed.

  • 3 of 93. Zylkin at Work

    3. Zylkin at Work

    Zylkin attaches a sensor panel to an Underwood typewriter.

  • 4 of 94. Zylkin at Work

    4. Zylkin at Work

    Zylkin solders the sensor panel to an Underwood typewriter.

  • 5 of 95. Attaching the Control Panel

    5. Attaching the Control Panel

    After the sensor circuitry is attached, Zylkin mounts the control panel to the side of a typewriter. The control panel—which includes CTRL, ALT, and CMD buttons—connects the typewriter’s sensor circuitry to a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

  • 6 of 96. Magnetic Switches

    6. Magnetic Switches

    Magnetic switches detect the motion of magnets Zylkin glues to the typewriter’s spacebar, shift key, and backspace key.

  • 7 of 97. Metal Stand

    7. Metal Stand

    Zylkin uses a strip of brass or steel to create a stand for a tablet. USB Typewriters are compatible with all computers and many tablets and smartphones.

  • 8 of 98. Olivetti USB Typewriter

    8. Olivetti USB Typewriter

    Zylkin has created USB Typewriters out of a variety of machines including Underwoods, Olympias, Remingtons, and this red Olivetti Valentine.

  • 9 of 99. Underwood USB Typewriter

    9. Underwood USB Typewriter

    An Underwood typewriter converted into a USB Typewriter.

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Nabokov's Ode to America, Amazon's New Crowd-Sourced Publishing Platform, and More

by Staff

Daily News

Online Only, posted 9.23.14

Banned Books Week continues; George Bernard Shaw's garden spade unearthed; the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association takes aim at Amazon; and other news.

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Ben Lerner on Writing Fiction, Tim Howard Inks Memoir Deal, and More

by Staff

Daily News

Online Only, posted 8.28.14

Robert Hass wins Wallace Stevens Award; two new typewriter apps for the iPad; against "against"; and other news.

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