The BBC offers a pleasant bit of retrophilia. (Thanks for the link, Robert.)
Mrs Huggins tried using a computer about 15 years ago and the memory is
still raw. “I had four pages of instructions I had to learn, to send
[my previous employers] the stories. Then the blooming thing blew up
and they told me that it was my fault, and it wasn’t, it just burnt
She says she can produce her stories at least as quickly as her
rivals, because the risk of technical failure is virtually nil – she
keeps a spare typewriter at hand – and because the typewriter
encourages her to get the story right first time.
This may sound like an impossibly Spartan ideal, where cut and
paste is done with scissors and glue, and deleted words remain on the
page as angry little blobs. But for some left jaded and distracted by
their smarty-pants computers, it is tempting.
The writer Will Self is a convert. He went back to using a manual
typewriter several years ago. “I think the computer user does their
thinking on the screen, and the non-computer user is compelled, because
he or she has to retype a whole text, to do a lot more thinking in the
head,” he said in a recent interview.