The world of technology moves at a fast pace. Previous inventions and innovations are made redundant or considered outdated almost as fast as we can pump them out. That doesn't mean that some advances don't stick around for a while, but the typewriter is one that's been lingering since the widespread adoption of the computer. It's like an old family dog: Full of good memories, and a stalwart compatriot in the past, but it's more or less been dead for years. Brother, the last manufacturer of typewriters in the United Kingdom, has finally ceased production.
Morskoiboy over at Morskoiboy.com has created an absolutely wonderous device I never knew I needed until I saw it in action: A typewriter that mixes drinks. That's right, this typewriter, instead of writing letters on paper, essentially writes letters in a glass. Through a crazy series of tubes, pumps and syringes (a detailed explanation of which you can find at his site) the user can press letter "keys" which will dispense liquid into the receptacle glass. The result is a cocktail with a word or a sentence for a recipe.
I'll refrain from making a joke about eating your words, but really, how amazing of an idea is this? Of course, given that so many ingredients are used in such small amounts (unless you tweak letters to have the same liquid) chances are you'll get a mix that is pretty weird and either unremarkable or undrinkable. Still, how incredible must it be to suggest that someone try your favorite drink and be able to tell them the recipe is "mouse twinkies." I want this immediately.
Mdziewie, a Pole with a fondness for old tech it seems, decided that he would rather text from a Teletype instead of a phone. Now, if you're anything like me, you're probably thinking "Awesome! What is a teletype?" Well, as it turns out, a teletype is what the ancient romans used for electronic, peer-to-peer communications way back in the mid-20th century. The particular model Mdziewie is using was new in 1963. These telegraphing typerwriters haven't been in wide use for decades, which makes Mdziewie's schizo-tech texter all the cooler. The teletype can both receive and send text messages, what's more, it does it in style. Portability schmortibility, I am all for devices with rhythmic clacking noises.
British gift company Spinning Hat had us briefly aswoon over the Typescreen, a typewriter which, for the reasonable price of £35.00, allows users to reinvigorate the hunt-and-peck touchscreen typing on the iPad and the iPad 2 with the sophistication of a classic typewriter.
After 16 months of intense product design and laborious research and development we are proud to say that our wishes (and hopefully yours) have finally come true! From texting to web browsing, the new Spinning Hat Typescreen™ gives you all modern functionality of an iPad with the sleek classic feel of retro typewriters that we all miss so dearly.Who needs the Magic Keyboard when you've got this? Alas: It's only an April Fool's joke. C'mon Spinning Hat and/or ThinkGeek, make this happen. (Spinning Hat via Reddit)
Beloved early interactive text adventure game Zork? Check. Ingenious hardware hack? Check. Jonathan Guberman's "Automatypewriter" consists of an Arduino-controlled mechanical typewriter, complete with moving keys, that can be used to run text-based interactive fiction games.
Introducing the Automatypewriter, a new way to experience interactive fiction! It’s still a little rough around the edges (in particular, you can see that the spacebar sticks a little, and the whole thing needs to be tidied up), but you get the idea: the Automatypewriter is a typewriter that can type on its own, as well as detect what you type on it. By reading what it types to you and responding, it can be used interactively to play a game or participate in a story (in this case, Zork).(Up, Not North via Topless Robot)
Here's something an iPad can't do. ...What do you mean it can?