Contemporary and Vintage Laptops

Started by Julio Di Benedetto, September 02, 2021, 11:38:44 AM

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Julio Di Benedetto

Well obviously the typewriter is not a laptop but for its day it was portable and could be taken anywhere.     

I recently bought this red Sears Courier typewriter made in 1968 and manufactured in Mexico by Olivetti.  It really is a rebranded Olivetti Lettera 22 that Olivetti stopped production in 1964 and started manufacturing the famed and larger Lettera 32.  So the department store Sears probably wanted to add a portable typewriter to their famous Sears Roebuck catalog which was like Amazon and in a way more diversified considering it went back as far 1800's and sold farming machinery, cars and guns as well as typewriters

About 30 years ago I use to write on an Olivetti Lettera 22 and in many ways it was superior to the computers of that time.  I really enjoyed the writing experience and the percussive sounds.

My little 13" MacBook Air is certainly no slouch and Pages is very go word processing software.  Obviously this computer has many more functions and could be the center of my music studio but writing on it is quite different.   I would not dream of writing a large volume - novel, non fiction on a manual typewriter but that may say more about my typing and spelling.  Short stories, poetry and letters are good to create on a typewriter like this one.

Great works have been written on manual typewriters like Cormac McCarthy's last 10 novels that came off an Olivetti Lettera 32.

If you are interested in typewriters it is worth checking "California Typewriter" Documentary.....
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

Julio Di Benedetto

For reference here are the 2 Olivetti machines I mentioned above, Lettera 22 & 32

And if you really want to get into it go to this site as I do and peruse the best website I have found in the UK that restore these wonderful machines...... 

They are not cheap but buying a used 60 year old typewriter of eBay could be a bit hit or miss.   

My Sears Courier was restored and the man who did the restoration post a youtube video  8).....

Ok enough......back to music!
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley


I remember the blue olivetti writing on paper with a good pen, there is something different in the experience from word processing.....

something that is becoming much rarer nowadays

Julio Di Benedetto

Quote from: Seren on September 03, 2021, 12:20:06 PM
I remember the blue olivetti writing on paper with a good pen, there is something different in the experience from word processing.....

something that is becoming much rarer nowadays

I do agree there is something to writing on paper with a good pen.  I have a very nice fountain pen that is lovely to write with but these days I actually have trouble reading my own handwriting.  I have a friend living in Czechoslovakia who will only correspond by snail mail.  He truly enjoys deciphering handwriting and has a deep love for the Art of the letter. 

I don't know that I write differently using a pen, typewriter or a computer word processor.....I must.  I do notice though that the typewriter makes me focus more because of the natural manual element of writing and I find my vocabulary seems to expand when using it.
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley


Brings back memories.

I use a mechanical keyboard on my computer. It is a good compromise between the traditional and the modern.  8)


I bought an album recently:

It is 2 CDs of music in a hardback book
This was clearly a labour of love and reading the book was very interesting.
The short histories of the poets Natalie has provided is a reminder of how corresponding by letter could take weeks - and reminded me of this thread.
Publishing poems and or books could take forever, if at all.
The lives of the poets, even the privileged ones, were often difficult and I've realised how little I know about even 'famous' ones. Mervyn Peake's dementia, others who were born into families of 21 children, parents in debtors prison.
The easy availability of things like music is such a recent development but it is often easy to forget, that even in my own lifetime, the way I had to save up to buy records and physically search out the sorts of music I discovered I liked.
I'm not waxing lyrical about the past or the present - but sometimes I am reminded of how little I actually know about many things. so much music, so little time, so much history, so little time.


Secondly I thought I would share a story I wrote about paper (on a computer.....)

   The man looked down at the last sheet of paper. He had been working all day and had just finished, leaving a single sheet of paper on the desk. Despite having supported all the other sheets all day there was not a mark on it. He turned it over and found it was as clear on that side as the first. That pleased him as it showed the desk was clean - important when working with paper. It was a modern desk, all veneer and chipboard - but in his mind's eye it was an ancient piece of hand carved woodwork, solid enough to be the foundation on which the paperwork was completed. The wood was shiny with age, statuesque and the top inlaid with a dark green leather so worn by the caress of paper it was as smooth as warm ice.

   It was a Thursday in early June, there was a thin layer of cloud, much like a single sheet of paper in it's own hazy way. It meant the day was not so hot that people sagged heavily in their chairs, their necks and foreheads perspiring - but nor was it too cool - allowing them to relax. He could hear conversation and laughing from other offices.

   Looking at the sheet of paper he did not feel it would be right to scrumple it up into an untidy ball and throw it away. It was pristine, filled with infinite possibilities - He could feel the yearning to become, it wanted to be filled with the words that would communicate. They were swirling around, floating, hanging in potential. Awaiting their moment to pop into existence and arrive in their unique form upon the paper.
   True, a single sheet would never be a novel, weaving stories and taking the reader into other worlds with it's vivid descriptions, characters and complex plots. Nor would it become an encyclopedia brittanica, holding all the knowledge of the world. But a solitary piece of paper is not a lonely piece of paper. It could become a love letter, taking the emotions and passions of one lover, refining, distilling and encoding them so that when the other lover sets eyes upon the words; fire is met by fire. They are lifted, enflamed, engulfed and taken deeper into the dance of their love.
   It could hold an intent, a statement, a pledge or the magna carta a single sheet could change the history of the world forever.
   Looking at it he thought of different sorts of paper - the fish and chip shop wrapping heavily perfumed with salt and vinegar, the thick coloured paper cut by children for their art in school, the sound of book pages turning.
   He lifted the sheet up - it had virtually no smell, unlike paper with experience. Those books that have been shared in libraries with notes written in the margins or drinks spilled on them. Or old books from a long empty house - spiced enough to make your lips tingle and your hands itch.
    As he placed the sheet back down he remembered reading somewhere that you can only fold a sheet of paper so many times - now that would be a worthy task to consider with this piece of paper.
   He turned the sheet so it was landscape - a concept so basic and ingrained that he was not even aware of the memories and wishes it evoked. His childhood garden, which had been a huge and endless place of adventure full of bouncing balls and pedalled bikes. Every place he had been and seen, held as if being looked at through a window. The sunsets, the trees, the cities and the people.
   Every place he had yet to visit - the Amazon, the Sahara, the plains of Africa...and in its pristine whiteness the poles, the icy laden ends of the world.

He placed his right hand on that edge of the paper, like a spidery paperweight waiting for the other side to come into reach. He slipped his left hand under the opposite edge, seeing the free part of the sheet raise like a wave before it flicked up and onto his hand.
  Slowly he moved his left hand up and over, hearing the gentle crackles as the fibres got used to the change, knowing that it still had it's own life, that it could choose its own direction of fold unless he was careful, controlled and firm.
   As the top came over and touched the other side he could hear the ssshhh as paper slid over paper. His spidery right hand lifted and caught it's prey, pulling it in and settling it until each corner met and matched perfectly.
   He slowly slid his left hand back across the surface changing the curve to a bend, to a crease and finally to a fold. He turned his thumb over and ran the nail along the new edge until it was sharp - a fold to be proud of. He turned the paper and folded it again - it was less fluid this time, but slightly harder to get the new edge sharp. He folded it again, and again and again.

   Despite his unconscious rummaging around in the nooks and crannies of his memory he was unable to recall how many folds were 'possible' and because he never doubted he could fold, he did. Again and again and again and again and again.
   At this point it was as thick as a ream of paper - but just over a cm wide by just less than a centimetre high. It was almost more fold than paper.
   He folded again and kept folding. 4 reams, 8 reams, 16 reams thick.
He kept folding. Soon it was about 6 feet thick and he realised, looking at the lowish ceiling, that if he folded again it would not fit in the room. He carefully carried it outside leaned it against the wall and folded again. He ran inside and up to the first window and folded again - then realised the building was not high enough.
   He went back outside and very, very, very carefully laid the folded paper down in the street - then folded again and again and again. Very soon it was the length of the street, but he kept folding again and again and again. Soon it went round the whole world once. Then twice, then 4 times, then 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024 times......

At some point it had become so thin it had no width or depth - just length. The wind blew through it and and people walked through it without knowing it was there.
   Still he folded and soon, despite having no width or depth, it had filled the atmosphere and he kept folding it out into space. The fiery furnaces of the stars and nebulae did not burn it. The solidness of planets did not block it. Even gravity appeared to have no effect.
   Still he folded and eventually it filled the entire universe - at which point he finally paused and considered what to do next.

The man looked at the universe, true it would never be a multiverse - but a solitary universe is not a lonely universe. He placed his right hand on top of one edge, his left hand under the opposite edge and folded the universe in two.......

Julio Di Benedetto

That Seren is a wonderful story and very well written....good of you to share it and it does need to be shared.  I will not look at a sheet of paper in the same way again.  Perhaps more as a portal, clearly with universal possibilities.

Thank you!
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley