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!