As if I thought size equated with cool, I’ve populated my life with collections that compete with my children for space in our small house: record albums, books, and typewriters. And anything I can do to make these old things relevant to my modern life I’ll try; I’ve transferred records into MP3s and I read constantly to my kids.
But finding a modern application for the typewriters has been tough. That is, until I opened a YouTube link six months ago and saw Jack Zylkin click-clacking away on his USB Typewriter.
Zylkin is part of Philadelphia makers co-op Hive76, and he figured out that if you put sensors on a typewriter’s spring-loaded crossbar, you can
translate the machine’s manual action onto your computer.
For $69, you can buy a DIY USB typewriter kit from Zylkin (I swear after my kids go to college and I get a free weekend I’m doing this) or you can get a turnkey, ready-to-go typewriter-iPad combo starting at $799.
Once I do get my USB/typewriter going, I’ll finally stop suffering and write that novel. Because surely it’s only the lack of the key-smacking noise and that satisfying swing of the carriage return that’s kept me from doing it. -Scott Adler