Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sueño hecho realidad: Andina Especial 90



When I last visited El Polt's typewriter collection (read: Typewriter Disneyland!), I had the privilege of test-typing four rare and stunning Spanish-made machines. If you recall, the one that made an impression on me, both for looks and typing feel, was the top-grade Andina Especial 90. The enabler that he is-I mean this in the best possible sense-Richard graciously gave me a lead to an Andina listing from a Spain-based seller. Although affordable, I decided to wait a bit in hopes that the price would further decrease... and it did by about 40%! So I am now the happy owner of an Andina Especial 90 in excellent condition, which is a bit of a shock considering that the seller sent the typewriter without a packaging box. Horrors! Despite my instructions that I had very carefully written in Spanish, he simply taped a single layer of bubble wrap around the case. Nada mas. The fact that it arrived with just a misaligned return lever that I was able to massage back into place is a minor miracle.










Since he pimped me to this Spanish beauty, I'll let my friend Richard (a.k.a. Usain Polt, world's fastest typist) do the honors of a first typecast...




Save for a mention in the typewriter journal Etcetera, I haven't found any
info on the Andina Especial 90. According to Richard, it is a rare typewriter
even in Spain.
 

Establishing year of manufacture can't be done with any great accuracy but the serial number is 12231. If anything, this debunks Richard's conjecture that the first two digits reflect the year of manufacture (his machine is 75004). Early 70s is my best guess. By the way, do you think I transgressed against my lose-one-gain-one dogma? Nope, Richard purchased my Bulgarian Omega II, remember? I told him that aside from my Olivetti grail- M40 -the only machine that I would acquire without having to let go of one is a QWERTY Groma Kolibri. Nuff said. For now. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Typewriters, Coffee, and Polt in Chicago


From my office window, I spotted this
suspicious looking character. For sure,
this guy is up to no good. 


I was right, it's Richard Polt with a carload of typewriters!


He bought one of my machines.
Guess what? I'll let him do
the reveal.

Over coffee and chocolate croissants,
we talked about typewriters, the
arcane rituals of academic life,
typewriters, Chicago, typewriters...

We went to my new digs, which I have yet to completely
move into, and he let me test-type this rare beauty...



But my ulterior motive was for him to test-type my Lettera 22.
See I am standing firm on this theory: an Ivrea-made Olivetti
Lettera 22-the 50's model with round keys-when it is in optimal
condition, ranks among the best laptop typewriters ever produced.
It will live up to its original reputation of being an awarded
typewriter, and one of a select few chosen by New York's MOMA
for permanent exhibition. I knew that Richard has a mixed take
on L22 but after typing on my Tom Furrier-refurbed beauty, this
is his verdict...

Sigh, what a rewarding day this has been.

Now back to packing for my move on Tuesday.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Mad Men's Joan types in the 21st Century


What would Joan Halloway, Mad Men's bombshell office manager, do when she time travels to the digital age? You've got to see this: Modern Office with Christina Hendricks



One of my favorite characters in Mad Men, Joan shrewdly
lets the egotistical arseholes around her think they
 have the monopoly on power. She knows better.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rise of the Planet of the Typewriters




The premise of the now defunct apocalyptic TV series Revolution is turning out to be more science than science fiction. This morning's news about a near-miss from a solar storm two years ago certainly triggers scenarios of an unplugged world set back by at least 150 years. Read: no electricity, no internet, no digital anything. Solar storm or not, we're already seeing a return to lo-tech for reasons of security and privacy, as in the typewriter renaissance that's now hitting Germany. Interesting times, Typosphere. By the way, how odd that Revolution would use a typewriter for its teaser but never feature one in actual episodes, at least, as far as I know.





















* The near miss as reported by NASA
* Last post from the Sanctuary, for real.(: