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Old Fashioned Typewriter Designs Used as USB Keyboards

By - Source: Etsy | B 23 comments

Etsy user transforms antique typewriters into functional keyboards.

Are you a fan of the tactile feel of those lovely mechanical keyboards? Because Etsy shop owner Jack Zylkin has a very nice treat for you. If you thought the satisfying click response of your keyboard was nice, prepare to be blown away by these antique typewriter keyboards! USB Typewriter offers users a chance to get their hands on 'luxury' keyboards for the PC, Mac and iPad platforms. Made from various antique typewriters, these keyboards are fully equipped for all of your modern computing needs, meaning each keyboard has its own built-in set of modern keys such as alt, control, escape and even the function keys. In addition, users will also be able to insert paper into the keyboard for a physical copy of whatever it is they are typing up.As awesome as these keyboards may be, they are called 'luxury' keyboards for a reason. With price tags ranging from $699 to $849, these usb typewriters aren't the most affordable peripherals out there, but adventurous hackers will be able to purchase a DIY kit for $74. This DIY kit comes with all of the necessary parts to make your own typewriter keyboard, all you need is an old typewriter and some tools to get started. If you're interested in getting your hands on one of these, head on over to Zylkin's shop here.

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  • 7 Hide
    egmccann , April 9, 2012 8:21 AM
    ... ok.

    I mean, I used to like typewriters like these, and used them a fair bit. But ... wow. And actually using the carriage return (NOW you know why it's called that!) for enter?

    Even considering someone who's a "retro lover," I can't help but think these would be hugely impractical. Maybe a few "steampunk computer desks" will have them (and probably with a nice, real keyboard tucked away somewhere.)

    It's different. I'll give it that, and good work to the people who got this to work. I'd say it's pretty much the definition of "niche market," though.
  • -4 Hide
    tomfreak , April 9, 2012 8:23 AM
    first typewritter with backspace + enter? Sold!
  • 4 Hide
    Ezence , April 9, 2012 8:44 AM
    Do they make authentic typeriter "dook dook dook" sound when you write? :D 
  • Display all 23 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    Super_Nova , April 9, 2012 9:08 AM
    It looks very nice indeed but I'm curious about a couple of things.
    Does the paperfeeder at the back moves with each keystroke, do you have to manually move the feeder back to the start and makes it a 'ping' sound at the end of a sentence?
    But more important: can you play [insert any game] and how does it play?
  • 1 Hide
    PreferLinux , April 9, 2012 9:09 AM
    EzenceDo they make authentic typeriter "dook dook dook" sound when you write?

    It IS a typewriter!
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , April 9, 2012 12:05 PM
    if it was in the 100$ range, i would get one, but this is to expensive for me.
  • 0 Hide
    teddymines , April 9, 2012 12:26 PM
    Impracticable. The instructions (see their web site) indicate that the arrow keys and function keys are accessed through alt key combinations. Also, could you imagine having to buy and install ribbon? If I used one of these at work, I'd get beaten within about 2 minutes.
  • 0 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , April 9, 2012 12:37 PM
    last i checked aren't most typewriters taller than the bases on lcd monitors? how am i supposed to lean way back when I'm feeling lazy, the typewriter would block the screen! :( 
  • 0 Hide
    jgutz2006 , April 9, 2012 1:13 PM
    i'd love to see someone try to play an FPS game with these keyboards! Does holding down a key let you repeat over and over or do you have to tap it over and over like an actual typewriter? (at least earlier ones like the ones above)
  • 0 Hide
    jgutz2006 , April 9, 2012 1:14 PM
    Actually, why not make a paper weight for a mouse, just to keep the theme going!?
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , April 9, 2012 1:44 PM
    john_4Find an old typewriter at a pawn shop/antique store and buy the conversion kit for $74.

    they dont show a video or instructions... i am not willing to drop 85$ + whatever the type writer cost (probably allot due to vintage and collectibility they have) on something that is possibly out of my skill range completely.
  • 1 Hide
    belardo , April 9, 2012 3:00 PM
    Where do people FIND a typewriter?!

    The OLD-STYLE typewrite is quite cool... it would go great with any iPAD...
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 9, 2012 3:13 PM
    A little too mechanical for me, thanks...
  • 1 Hide
    husker , April 9, 2012 4:05 PM
    trumpeter1994last i checked aren't most typewriters taller than the bases on lcd monitors? how am i supposed to lean way back when I'm feeling lazy, the typewriter would block the screen!

    Just convert an old RCA cabinet TV into a monitor. Problem solved!
  • 0 Hide
    Tab54o , April 9, 2012 4:28 PM
    This is a huge step backwards I don't care how "cool" it looks. After about 3 min of using it im sure anyone would be like %$@$ this and unplug it.
  • 0 Hide
    brett1042002 , April 9, 2012 4:37 PM
    Pretty sure I'd lose a finger in that thing when playing BF3 or WoW :) 
  • 1 Hide
    bobusboy , April 9, 2012 5:18 PM
    Tomfreakfirst typewritter with backspace + enter? Sold!

    My 1930's Royal Arrow has a back space and a "enter" button too...well it's more of an enter leaver.
  • 0 Hide
    mdillenbeck , April 9, 2012 6:34 PM
    First post had it right - this is for the steampunk movement. You know, the "what if the information age hit during the Victorian era and all the tech was still hand-made and not mass produced" pining for the past. Still, there is a guy who makes steampunk computer keyboards that look beautiful - but are sold as works of art at 2x-5x the price of these things. Also, these still smack of mass production and not hand craftsmanship.
  • 1 Hide
    silver565 , April 9, 2012 7:46 PM
    Hipsters are going to love this
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , April 9, 2012 8:30 PM
    I still use my IBM mechanical keyboard that was made in 1985. The reason I like it is the main keys have a layout, dimensions, and feel identical to the old IBM model D electric typewriter keys. I learned to type on one of those model D's. The keyboard weighs 8 pounds and is virtually indestructable. There were more of those model D's sold than all other typewriters in the world combined.
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