What is this thing called a "typewriter?"

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Back before there was an Internet, back before there were even computers, people used to have mechanical writing machines called “typewriters.” Typewriters were a very popular and efficient way to quickly write letters, papers or news stories, and although correcting mistakes was a tedious and laborious process, typewriters added a satisfying physicality to the process of writing. Later, when the home computer became ubiquitous, the typewriter faded away into obsolescence to the dismay of those of us lucky enough to have worked on these brilliant machines. Until now.

Behold, the USBTypewriter™, created by Jack Zylkin. The USBTypewriter™ uses the open source Arduino microcontroller platform to add a circuit board to the undercarriage of any mechanical typewriter, turning it into a USB Keyboard that will work with Windows and Mac computers, as well as the iPad. No doubt inspired by Terry Gilliam’s 1985 Orwellian Masterpiece Brazil, the USBTypewriter™ brings a much needed Future We Were Promised edge to modern technology. Although a little pricey to purchase an already retrofitted model ($450 at the Etsy online store), you can also purchase a kit for $75 and do it yourself, provided you already have a manual typewriter.
So now you can say goodbye to the pathetic plastic clicks of the modern keyboard and make some real noise with the USBTypewriter™. Not to mention get a great workout for your forearms. And the best part is that the typewriter remains fully functional, so you can create a hard copy of everything you input to your computer, which may prove extremely handy in the post-apocalypse era.

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Rob Womack

If there’s anyone who can honestly say, “Been there, done that,” it’s Rob. After traveling the world for seven years in his 20’s, Rob went to LA and started working in film production. Then it was off to New York, where he learned how to program, which eventually brought him back home to Louisville to build websites. At Current360, Rob heads up our in-house production studio, creating all things digital for our clients — videos, commercials, radio spots, and a lot more. 

When he’s at home, Rob likes to create things like homemade kombucha and music.