Monday, September 15, 2014

Royal Typewriter Becomes Sentient, Invades Internet

...or more correctly, San Francisco Chronicle pop culture editor found at least one  Royal KMG down in the photo archives, and wrote a blog entry on it. In a move that should surprise nobody here, it types right away, with nary a hiccup.

What's more, it's started tweeting (@NewsTypewriter) perhaps channeling the spirit of SF's beloved Herb Caen, who put his own Royals through their paces. Is this one of his castoff machines? It would be interesting to dig out the provenance.

I can personally attest to the good quality of a KMG. A trip to a local repair shop like California Typewriter might be all this typer needs for another half-century of function.

Call Us/Touch Control

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Carbon film ribbons: new old stock at bargain prices


Mike Holt ( has thousands of non-correcting IBM Selectric I carbon ribbons that have been stored in a temperature-controlled environment. He is closing his business and wants to sell these, preferably in cartons of 144 ribbons, but in smaller quantities if necessary. I got a carton and they're very nice, new old stock.

These carbon ribbons will work not only on Selectrics, but on many manual typewriters, producing crisp black text. You must make sure that the typewriter advances the ribbon quickly enough to avoid overlap of characters. I have used these ribbons successfully on Olympia SM series, Hermes 3000, Groma Kolibri, Olympia SG1, and others.

If you are interested, please contact Mr. Holt directly.


"I've still got 15 cartons left.  My price is 50 cents a ribbon ($72 per carton). Over the summer I refrained from shipping to the Southwest (Phoenix and San Diego) after UPS said they would be on an un-airconditioned truck for 4 to 5 days in the blazing hot summer the Southwest has experienced.  I'm hoping in a month or two it will be safe to ship to that part of the country." —Mike Holt

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

iDevice owners: time to upgrade to the Hanx Writer?

I don't know if the provenance is legitimate, but honorary Typospherian and Friend of the 'Writer Tom Hanks has supposedly put his name and blessing on a typewriter simulation app for Apple devices.

via Apple

I suppose this is either the pinnacle of pretension, some wry meta-joke on the nature of high tech vs. low tech, or a strange hybrid of the two. For low-tech editing, I personally use an editor designed for coding (naturally monospaced.) For a true simulation, I'd banish the backspace key, but I suppose one needs to take baby steps.

How long before the "dumb blond" jokes get updated? (Putting White-Out on the screen, or carriage returning the iPad across the room.) Any Typospherians out there willing to put it through its paces?

Update: it's currently number one in the Apple App Store. Commenter Mark Adams ( did a screencast and posted it on YouTube. Joe Van Cleve has been trying the Hanx Writer "in the field" by producing typecasts: his review is in three parts so far: part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Palm Beach Post story

This Palm Beach Post story on the endurance of typewriters has lots of good closeup photos with interesting (though occasionally inaccurate) captions.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Follow up to deek's post a few days ago: typewriters are getting serious attention in privacy-minded Germany. Here's one of several similar stories on the topic.