Monday, September 13, 2004

Well we at Fafblog are always tryin to bring you the hard-hittin news day in an day out. Lately a buncha questions have come up about George Bush's National Guard which may turn out to be the turnin point of the whole campaign. But only one person can answer that question - the 1970s IBM Selectric Composer typewriter!

FAFBLOG: Well it is an honor to have you on our blog today sir.
IBM SELECTRIC COMPOSER: *tokka tokka tokka DING tokka tokka*
FB: Now IBM Selectric, I need to ask you straight out: did you type these documents from the Texas Air National Guard?
IBM SELECTRIC: *tokka tokka CH-CHUNG tokka tokka DING*
FB: You are bein a little evasive here IBM.
IBM: *tok tok tokka tokka DING*
FB: IBM Selectric you must come clean! Where was George Bush durin his National Guard days? If I do not know what George Bush did durin the Vietnam War I will never be able to judge his administration today!
FB: You can't intimidate me with your loud angry rhetoric an your threatenin typefaces IBM Selectric! Who are you coverin up for?
FB: Do not paper jam on me now! We need your answers! You are the last hope of Truth!

Well it seems like there are no lengths some people will go to to evade the press. But do not worry! Fafblog will be on the case interrogatin page after page of 1970s fonts an typewriters for the next month if we have to until we come to the bottom of what various papers say our presidential candidates were doin thirty years ago!


posted by fafnir at 9:28 AM

on the occasion of fafblog's birthday i was reading the interview with the selectric typewriter, first published on sept. 13, 2004

for the convenience of those who missed my comment on it, posted it asynchronously, three years later - here it is again:


I knew the IBM Selectric. I used the IBM Selectric. In those pre-"word processing" (as today's youth call it) days it was the only way to get italics, or to switch fonts. It even ingeniously did bold using the same type ball.

Those days are gone, but not forgotten.

mistah charley, ph.d.
04.02.07 - 3:53 pm


postscript added 2008: the selectric was able to achieve the bold effect without changing the type ball by retyping over the same place on the paper, but with a very slight lateral displacement, making the letters slightly wider

our predecessors, even though their technology was rudimentary compared to that of today, were nevertheless just as clever, in their time, as the women and men of the 21st century are



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