Look, Ma. No Ink!

This Brother EP43 is infuriating. How are you supposed to set the margins? Without the manual, I have no idea. I asked Joe Van Cleave, but he didn’t have the manual at hand at the time. What he remembered didn’t work for me. Either his memory is faulty, or my typewriter is! Haha… (Sorry, Joe.)

As with most of these thermal typers, the keyboard has a wonderful feel, this even better than most. It’s really a delight to type on. I just miss the ability to type character-by-character, and easily set the margins. If you haven’t used one of these thermals, it may be hard to fully appreciate the problem faced: how can you tell where you’re setting the margin if you’re typing into a buffer? Well, apparently the only answer is to count the number of spaces you’re typing. For example, if I want to place the right margin at 60, I have to press the space bar 50 times, the left margin being at 10. Speaking of the left margin, I can’t figure out how to make it less than 10, or one inch. Is one stuck with a minimum of one-inch margins?

I do like the line-by-line mode, especially for editing. And the text can be justified using the Right Margin Flush feature. That didn’t seem to work, did it? Here, I’m trying again, but I have my doubts. Oh, wait. I see what it is. It’s not justified, it’s right-aligned. Like this:

this is right-aligned, not justified

Well, it’s Mother’s Day and here I sit typing as I watch yesterday’s game, Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays. The Sox are up 6-1 in the bottom of the 8th, one out, 1-1. It’s a little strange how I’ve gotten into baseball more so than in the past. Living in Southern California, it may be odd being a White Sox fan, but I was born in Peoria, Illinois, and the White Sox were the first team I remember going to see as a kid. So they’ve been my lifelong team in my sporadic fanship. What can I say? I’m really a hockey fan. Go, Kings!

I am really enjoying my thermal typewriter setup. A half-inch dowel fits nicely in this Staples fax paper roll. The dowel is cradled perfectly in the joint of the legs of a folding TV table. And the paper loops up around the back of the table and into the typewriter. It feeds very smoothly, so I can type all day while never having to change sheets. Those that haven’t experienced thermal typewriters are missing out, in my opinion. Certainly, they’re of more interest to a writer than a typewriter enthusiast as the experience is closer to that of a word processor than that of even an electronic typewriter. But a writer I am.

Back to Mother’s Day, I have memories of my mom typing on a 70’s era manual Smith-Corona. A child doesn’t typically take note of the model of office equipment, but I do remember her top-notch touch-typing skills from her time as a secretary. Man, she could slam those keys. We cringed the first time she used a computer keyboard.

We’re very fortunate to still have our mom. Her strength inspires us.


Author: Gregory

2 thoughts on “Look, Ma. No Ink!

  1. Hold down second shift and use space bar or backspace to move the carrier to the left margin desired, then press LM/RM key. Do the same for the right margin, but hold down the code key when pressing LM/RM key.

    1. Thanks, Joe! I knew you would come through for me. I hope you don’t mind the jab; it was all in good fun. Hopefully for the both of us.

      I must say, after typing this entry, the feel of the keyboard makes up for all the frustration. Such a delight to type on! And although I only went a few lines past a normal sheet, the roll allowed me to finish my thought without taking the time to insert a new sheet.

      Thanks again for the help, Joe!

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