the typewriter-keyboard conversion
Aside from sleep apnea (and she did get great snoring help with this), my wife suffers from repetive stress problems in her fingers and wrists. Sometime
in October we were talking about different keyboards on the market for people
such as herself. In the course of the conversation she mentioned that she
finds old-fashioned mechanical typewriters much easier on her fingers because
they offer gradual resistance rather than the feeling of moving through air
then hitting a wall, like most computer keyboards. Ah-hah, I think to myself!
At last I know what I will give her for Christmas. The first weekend after
Halloween I went out and found an old Smith-Corona and got to work.
Yes, it really works. Even down to slapping the carriage
return for Enter.
(But believe me - this project isn't as awesome as you think. It's a neat
idea but has a few technical flaws - no "1" key, no backspace, no Escape.
I have plans for a second version that will correct these flaws. Enjoy what's
here, but don't think it's all that fantastic.)
The short how-to is thus: in a regular keyboard, each keypress completes a
circuit. There's a little circuit board
in there and I mapped all the connections from one terminal to another. This
was then replicated inside the typewriter by wires going from the circuit board to strips of adhesive lamé, which contact their counterparts when a key is pressed. Of
course, it's a bit more complicatedthan
In more detail: first steps