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Who Still Uses Typewriters?

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Swintec clear typewriter

Oh, the things you find out when looking for something else entirely.

Remember typewriters? I remember spending hours hammering out nonsense on my sister's portable typewriter just because it was fun to mash the keys and have the satisfying thunk of the hammer magically imprint a letter. When using it to actually write something, one was inclined to spell  things correctly the first time because backspacing and jamming in the correction ribbon was a huge pain in the ass. You were frugal with exclamation points because it took four keystrokes to make one (shift-8 for an apostrophe, then backspace, then a period underneath it). There was no numeral one key, because a lower case "L" was the same shape. "Bold" was backing up and typing over the same text again. Underlining was backing up and hammering shift-6 to put an underscore under every letter one by one. There was a "¢" key ...and all those other nostalgic things.

Want to relive that nostalgia? Well guess what? Commit a crime where being forbidden to access a computer is part of your punishment and you're there.

Turns out there is a company called "Swintec" that produces a whole line of typewriters specifically for this prison niche market. Even more interesting is that these prison specific models are all made of clear plastic, some models right down to the ribbon cartridges, to prevent anyone from sneaking in the proverbial "nail file."

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