Friday, April 6, 2012

How is a Typewriter Like Google?

Well, if it's a Chinese typewriter -- or any designed to handle a large number of ideograms -- then there's a certain level of prediction that can be built into the system to help figure out "what's next."

Google does this when you type in the search box. I get as far as "typosp" before Google has figured out "typosphere" and placed this blog up at the top of the results (*blush*) This video talks about how Chinese typewriters pre-date the current predictive systems in use by engines like Google. Not coincidentally, it's a Google talk:  

A Chinese Typewriter in Silicon Valley
 

And in case you've never seen one in action, here's some footage of a Chinese typewriter in use. Note the two-handed motion to slide the symbol-picking mechanism as the type-tray is also being arranged.

 Chinese typewriter 中文打字機 1978

 Thanks to the Typewriter Movie guys for the tip!

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