Skip to comments.Old technology in NSA age: Typewriter sales surge in Germany
Posted on 07/23/2014 7:09:30 PM PDT by Enterprise
Earlier in July, German politicians said they were considering going back to old-fashioned manual typewriters for confidential documents, in order to protect national secrets from American NSA spooks.
Patrick Sensburg, chair of the German parliaments inquiry into alleged NSA spying, said committee members are considering new security measures and are seriously thinking about abandoning email and returning to old school typewriters.
(Excerpt) Read more at rt.com ...
The return of typewriter ribbons and carbon paper?
I’ve been thinking of looking for my manual Royal Typewriter. Built in 1927 and weight a quarter ton. I hid it somewhere, maybe to weigh the house down. If this trend continues, you may find young people studying Greg’s Shorthand along with entering typing contests.
And WHITE OUT! Woo Hoo!
Guess they never heard of Tempest.
I bet the NSA owns those IBM Selectrics...
I actually have one.
Had an old Remington that I loved and it would be much more secure than these monitored electronic gadgets.
A security expert might advise them of the hazards of using electric typewriters regarding tempest. Not to worry though if they are going to be using the old non electric typewriters. Maybe a few jobs for clerk typists will come back.
They made a top secret version of the selectric to prevent spies from intercepting what was typed on them by measuring the change in voltage on the power line while typing,
Just don’t connect the computer to then Internet and it can’t spy on you...
I have good memories of using the old ones. Kind of like someone who likes old cars.
Same story used a couple of times on “Ben Mattlock.”
The Germans are right on this.
Let the NSA try to snarf up typed documents through secure carriers.
Some things you can’t just effortlessly skim and store in Utah.
Add TYPEWRITER to the list of NSA spying/search history red flag words along with PRESSURE COOKER, and BACKPACK. Something to hide.
Going back to a typewriter must be an experience since there’s nothing to put a squiggly red line under spelling errors, and no backspace key to facilitate in correcting errors.
ICH BIN EIN TYPELINER
Actually there IS a backspace key but it doesn’t correct an error. You had to erase the typo and type it over.
Later model Selectrics were available in self-correcting.
Typewriters can be hacked and monitored.
It’s a real chore typing a lengthy document, without making grammatical errors, mistakes or misspellings, and without leaving something out. And if something important is left out, you may have to type the whole thing over again.
Have my manual Smith-Corona I bought with graduation money in 1977. Doubt if a ribbon could be found for it, though. Are electric typewriters out of the question, or can they be compromised, too? We own a Brother one of those.
You may be able to find a ribbon on line.
How about just buying a computer with no internet connection?
Yeah, let them hack my manual typewriter. THAT would be funny.
you may find young people studying Gregs Shorthand along with entering typing contests.”
In one of my old scrapbooks my mom kept I found my typing award from 1955 - 70 wpm!!! I still find myself making notes in shorthand although, on occasion, I do have to stop and think about some of the characters for a minute. Hadn’t even heard anybody mention Gregg’s shorthand for many a year.
Last month, I bought 3 ribbons for my 1962 curvey Hermes 3000.
You had to erase the typo and type it over.”
I remember when the original White Out came out. Somebody always forgot to screw the lid back on tightly and then it dried and you had to add thinner. Or you put too much on the paper and then had to blow on it to get it to dry. Sometimes the correction cover - like paint - would pop off and you could see the incorrect letter below. Had to be careful erasing errors on onionskin or you had a hole in the paper. We were so delighted when those white out strips came along. No more liquid to mess with. Interesting times.
Who knew, ribbon readers would make a comeback.
Yeah right. Unless there's a 7-foot tall goon standing over you with his arms crossed.
Here’s a bit of trivia: who invented Liquid Paper?
A Monkee’s mother: Bette Nesmith Graham
I still have my sleek, chic Olivetti portable from college in the mid-60s. It was considered a cutting edge Italian design back in those days.
“A Monkees mother: Bette Nesmith Graham
And I still use it——white kitchen floor,little dings, apply White-Out,poof—————ding gone.
Pretty neat article. I was thinking the other day how many “low tech” devices that have fallen out of use could find a role today.
Now, I admit I was thinking in terms of various “bug out”/SHTF scenarios at the time, so I was thinking more along the lines of carrier wave radios and mechanical computers. :) But the typewriter seems to be a very good example of an old tool finding new life in a real world situation.
I didn’t know that. Leave it up to a woman to invent it though. Don’t remember ever seeing a guy do any typing back then.
I do remember during the early 1980’s one of the secretaries in our office was going to be out for several weeks so the regional personnel office got a really great temp to fill in. Typed 120 wpm without error, super organized, had all kinds of awards from the secretarial school, etc. Only one problem it was a guy. My boss had a fit and fired him. Said “only a guy who was gay would even want to be a secretary”. Pretty funny looking back, particularly since many of us thought my boss was a closet gay.
HF shortwave is very difficult to DF.
70wpm is quite good. Enough for a good job at that time. I have never gotten faster than 26 to 30 wpm mistake free. If typewriters become big again, I expect newer models will be a little quieter and more sensitive to touch. I still need a way to erase besides empting a bottle of white out every other day.
Well, there is a up side to all of this!
When the next crater is in a US city, our politicians, intell and law enforcement will have their excuse in pocket, blame Snowden.
Of course a failure to secure our Southern Border, deport those who over stayed Visas (which actually includes the terrorists of 9-11 but isn’t mentioned often), our managing of this threat as if it is a mere law enforcement function, our political correct approach that doesn’t focus on the actual demographic from where the threat emanates, our immigration policies that are allowing in hundreds of thousands that have a value system that is entirely incompatible with liberal Western society and our Constitution, not can they actually be vetted, THOSE MINOR DETAILS our politicians, intell folks and law enforcement won’t touch once the next hole in in a city somewhere!
You know, there was a time before we had a terrorist problem, and back then we didn’t have massive surveillance systems that fly in the face of the US Constitution, a 9 billion per year TSA that has caught zero terrorists...
Leave the goon at home.
HA, I predicted this. The written word survived for at least 4,000 years on rock, skins, parchment, cloth, glass, and paper. One EMP could wipe out every word typed into computers.
70wpm is quite good. Enough for a good job at that time.”
It did lead to a good job. Went to work for TWA at $244 a month. Seems to me like I had more money then than I do now. Two huge bonuses came with the job. First, lots of young, single good looking guys worked there and second had a chance to fly non-rev. It was space available and I didn’t have any seniority so couldn’t bump anyone but it was free and got to see a lot of the U.S.
My first boss wouldn’t allow any corrections on letters and he dictated and I typed a lot of them every day. Established good work habits from the onset which have always helped along the way but also made me a very picky boss! It’s just a mindset which unfortunately isn’t present any more.
I very much approve. Low tech is the best!
I don’t know why I decided to take typing in high school but I did for two years and I have probably used what I learned in typing class more than anything else I learned in high school. Now it seems that everyone learns to use a keyboard but in the old days that was not the case.
Now it seems that everyone learns to use a keyboard but in the old days that was not the case.”
I think one of the differences was that we did all our classwork and tests using a paper and pen/pencil and wrote in cursive. Now everyone does everything on a computer and cursive is becoming a lost art.
Found that you can tell whether someone learned on a typing keyboard or on a computer keyboard by watching which keys they use when typing numbers. We old typewriter users still tend to use that top row of numbers. Newbies use the number pad on the right hand side of the keyboard.
I learned on a manual typewriter over fifty years ago but I use the pad on the right almost exclusively for numbers, probably because I used to use an old adding machine with that number keyboard and am used to it. I used to be very fast with the adding machine but I am much slower now on the computer.
I too use a ten key adding machine by touch and frequently throughout the day because of the type of work that I do. The way I do it works for me without slowing me down and I see no reason to change. Have enough other irrelevant stuff to learn just to be able to get to what is really relevant so I can complete a task.
At least someone had the wisdom to accommodate people like me by leaving the number keys on the top row where IMO is the only place they belong.