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The Last Word on Justification

So, I thought that this post would have been over some time ago, but as I dug further and further into the topic, I could see that there was more than I could have ever imagined. We have all drooled over the Varityper at one point or another. That's a shame because I know– from my vast experience and rugged good looks– that drool really falls short as an ink substitute. Drool'n aside, the idea of cold typesetting typewriters really heats up by typeshuttle. Mostly because of justification which I have mentioned here.  The Varityper later became the Coxshead DSJ an example of which Richard recently acquired in an antique shop. A more drool-worthy machine never existed. I, however, will confine myself to a drier, lesser history of the justified typewritten page.

Let's start, again, with the snippet from Popular Science that started my interest in this topic. I posted it some months back. It details a new device that can be added to a typewriter to make it a justification-cap…

USB Typewriter: The Final Chapter

After what seems like weeks of false starts and broken deadlines I can say:


Can't you feel the full promise of the digital revolution?

It has been difficult reconciling my excitement over working on this project and the vague shadow of apprehension that haunted me at various points along the line. The apprehension did not come from a fear of knowledge. I knew what I was doing and I had confidence in my ability as a maker. I was worried for something else. Perhaps I was worried about the typewriter's soul. Perhaps I was worried for my own. Regardless I decided that converting this typewriter wasn't a good thing to do.

The promises I made earlier did not come to pass. I said that this USB typewriter would be in the beautiful Underwood that I have been showing off for weeks. No Underwood. The plan that I made for my version of the USB typewriter was far too complex and diverged from Jack's well thought out plan too much. I didn't heed the advice of minds more experien…

Angering the Typewriters

So after lofty promises and Greek-drama-sized hubris, the USB typewriter project has come to a halt. The mounting point I imagined just won't work and I am starting to question the wisdom of using my Underwood. Mostly because the rear feet are too squished and are providing almost no clearance for the sensor bar. 
While the mount point I picked was beautiful and it made some sense, I was unprepared for how much it would affect the feel of the movement. Stopping the intermediate linkage even a few millimeters made the whole machine unresponsive. I am beginning to see why the ribbon vibrator bar was a wise choice on Jack's part. The vibrator bar is a piece that interacts with every key bar, yet has movement so as to prevent any major alteration to the feel of the typewriter.
You win some and then you loose some.

I guess that the Ancient Ones of the Typosphere looked unfavorable on my enterprise. Yet, like Herbert West I shall reanimate this idea.

Typewriter Hacks

When I think of typewriter hacks I think of:


or:

But folks of the digital world that are hooking up typewriters to computers. I haven't decided whether it's a silly idea, as expressed by Strikethru, or something fun as Robert has described. That vacillation hasn't stopped me from giving the USB typewriter kit by Jack Zylkin a go. A few days ago I posted the main board assembled, soldered, and tested. I have a few other pieces to assemble, but my big hang-up was the location of the sensor bar.
As Jack shows on his Instructables page, the sensor bar is attached to the ribbon vibrator cross-member. The reason why he chose this location makes sense. Each key top linkage arm touches this bar and there is a significant amount of play in the trip point. In other words, this is a pretty good place to put a part like this. However, I did not like this location.


The fact I would be mounting something to a moving part made me nervous. I know that most of these typewriter USB conversi…

It Came in the Post

Soldered by yours truly. This is the first step in a larger project. This project has derailed the Underwood Universal restoration, but I think what's coming will more than make up for it.