Were we a bit foolish to abandon typewriters?

I started word processing with Word Perfect in 1988. Switched to Ms Word in 1995. Clearly computers are best for composing new memos or documents.

But computers are totally useless for updating pre-printed forms. Filling out a job application, Social security forms, and Medical history. It’s embarrassing to hand in a job application with sloppy handwriting. You’re applying for a job that pays 45k and the writing looks like a 5th grader wrote it. I never, ever hand filled out a form. Until my typewriter broke and I threw it out. I just filled out, by hand a six page medical history form my new doctor mailed me.

I need to update the lyrics on some sheet music. Simple. Apply White out over the words that require changing. blow dry and type in the new words. Except, I don’t own a typewriter anymore. :smack:

So now I have to type up the words and print. cut with scissors and tape it in place. Except I can’t line up the syllables of the words under the notes in the music. Simple with a typewriter. Press the space bar and line it up. Instead, I’ll have to do it by trial and error. Cutting several strips of paper until I get it close enough. a 5 min job will take 30 min with a computer. :dubious:

What the hell were we all thinking? Why did everybody throw out their typewriters? They are so darn useful. We could all easily type an address on an envelope in less time than it takes to boot a pc, log into Windows and start Ms Word.

I plan on going to a flea market soon. Shopping for a manual typewriter. I’ll always use a computer for new Documents. But I’m done handwriting forms.

Why not fill out the form using a PDF editor? That’s what I do.

You can do all this stuff with a computer with a scanner, and the right program – scan the form (or music sheet), and use a program like Adobe Acrobat Pro (or one of the various free equivalents) to add any necessary text. Once you do it a few times it’s very, very easy.

Its a paper form. Mailed to me by a new doctor.

Most businesses still provide job applications forms on paper.

I hadn’t thought about scanning. Huh, that might work. I’ll look into it.

You can still purchase new typewriters if you actually want. Brother makes several models.

I’ve never seen a job application you need to fill out by hand for any job above retail or McD’s. I’m always using a cover letter and resume in that case, and an application is not involved. There was one state job that had a form, but thankfully they’re in the modern era and just had a pre-programmed pdf that I could type into the blanks with on the computer, save, and send back.

I’m surprised we have a gripe about modern tech here but also an admission to bad handwriting. I’d have figured anyone wanting to go back to the good ole days of lower tech would also be griping about how “those darn kids can’t hand write anything anymore and we need to bring back good penmanship”.

The best thing is a PDF form designed to allow the user to fill in the blanks.

Are you applying for jobs at fast food restaurants?

I have an essential familial tremor that seriously impairs my ability to write anything by hand in such a way that it is intelligible (even to me, sometimes). Wherever possible, I make use of the typewriter function on my PDF editor. If I absolutely do not have this option, I steady my writing hand with my other hand, and ca-a-a-arefully draw the appropriate block letters necessary to fill out the required information.

It’s very time-consuming.

There used to be an old joke about a carpenter that spent 15 mins unpacking his Skil Saw, unwinding his extension cord, and searched for an outlet to cut one board. Ignoring his handsaw that would have cut it in 3 mins. :wink:

Knowing the right tool for a particular job is important.

I suffered through two semesters of Freshman English on a typewriter. Endlessly retyping my compositions until they were flawless. Computer Word Processing was a miracle from heaven for any struggling kid in college.

But its not always the best tool for quick print jobs.

nope. Most state agencies still hand you a job application. You fill it out and can attach a resume if you wish.

I think you mean “unintelligible”, by the way. It’s a common mistake. :slight_smile:

Penmanship was many student’s personal hell. I got dinged on every damn one of my junior high school papers for penmanship. I taught myself to touch type in the ninth grade. I learned from my older cousin’s textbook she had used in typing class. From then on I turned in typed papers. I still got dinged on written essay tests because of penmanship.

Speaking of white out. Did you know it comes in a pen now? I bought this Bic white out pen last week. Works pretty good.

I miss the IBM Selectric typewriters that had the white out cartridge in them. The Selectric had the font ball that could be switched out. Best typewriters ever made.

No, he used the correct word. He said his condition impaired his ability to write in an intelligible manner.

Define most. Ohio, not always the most technology forward of states, will not accept a paper job application. Many retail bottom rung jobs require applicants to sit down at a kiosk in the store and fill out an electronic application. Check out your local Target.

Also, boot up the computer, log into Windows? Maybe wake your laptop from sleep mode, but I tap a key on my home computer and away I go.

I was recently looking for work, and as others mentioned, I did almost all of the forms, except the ones I had to fill out in person, on my computer. It’s easy to just add a text field wherever, and unlike with a typewriter, I can change font, size, angles, all kinds of stuff. Best of all, doing it on a computer, I can then hold onto a copy if anything goes wrong. It is a bit annoying that I had one set of forms I digitially signed and they required it hand-signed, so I had to print and rescan it.

Ditto with the above. Even better, by scanning it and modifying on the computer, you get even more precision and can match the feel of it better. Plus, now you can print multiple copies and any future updates are even more trivial.

Frankly, a lot of people hate how computers have rendered other technologies obsolete, but there’s a REASON they went obsolete. Yes, you didn’t think about the scanning possibility, but really, if you only want to update one sheet, even someone with the worst handwriting can take his time and make it readable.

If your PC takes that long to boot, log in, and load a word processor, either it’s really old, you have too much crap on your system; likely both. Plus, again, text printed by a computer still generally looks better than anything from a type writer. But, frankly, unless it’s really important to be professional, or I’m doing several, I’ll just write the address by hand.

Also consider, while you talk about booting up a pc and loading programs, unless you leave your typewriter out, you have to pull it out, load in the paper or envelop, line it up, etc. And, generally, since I tend to have other things happening on my pc when I’m around, it’s probably already at least powered on if not logged in. I’ve probably done some social media, web browsing, games or whatever else already or will soon, so any time spent powering it on is gonna be done anyway.

Frankly, I feel like typewriters are an intermediate technology that just don’t really have a use anymore. There’s still plenty of uses for handwriting stuff, but chances are that anything that that would either look bad or be too much to write, the PC just does better.

My boss submitted a budget proposal to purchase a online job applicant system. It was really nice and included an applicant tracking system database. Federal EEO reports could easily be generated. It was about 150k and there was a yearly license fee. The Administration turned it down.

So we’re still stuck with paper forms and spreadsheets for applicant tracking. I import the spreadsheets into Access to create the EEO reports. a major PITA for the person that maintains the spreadsheets and for me to generate the reports.

You’re right. :smack:

Don’t know how I screwed that one up.

Do you have scanners and Adobe Pro (or a similar program)? Maybe you could put a new process into the office that would save everyone time and effort.

We have several scanners. I need to learn Adobe Pro. Get comfortable creating and editing pdf’s. My Acrobat skills are pretty rudimentary right now. Acrobat would be useful dealing with paper forms at home and at work.