Laptops revolutionized computing in the modern age, but the first laptops were really heavy. Eventually computer companies came out with a solution -- a smaller, cheaper version that was easy to transport. It was called the netbook. It looked like a miniature version of the standard laptop with a few features taken away.
Rewind to the early 1900's and typewriter manufacturers were working on the same thing, making writing machines portable. The original machines were huge, desktop writers. Then, companies began to miniaturize their machines in the early twentieth century. The first major success was the Corona 3 which had a folding carriage that went over the keyboard when transporting it in its case. This machine was popular with reporters for its compactness and ease of transport.
But, as is always the case, other companies try to to compete -- enter the Underwood typewriter manufacturing company. Their engineers designed what is, in essence, the smallest fully-functional (in the traditional sense) typewriter ever produced. It is seen by many as a marvel in miniature engineering and considered one of the easiest machines to type on.
Later, as with most advancements (for example, the cell phone) the trend changes and people wanted more features in their writing machines. Therefore (just like cell phones) the trend reversed and companies were making larger typewriters with more features. Like the netbooks of today, these smaller three-bank machines were eventually pretty well phased out.
Personally, I'll take the portability over the features because when writing a story those extra features often just distract me and to have something really compact trumps bells and whistles. Therefore, my search began for the smallest mass-produced typewriter...
I found ones like the Bennett which was a pocket machine but had problems and doesn't take classic ribbon -- and had a space bar at the top which would be too hard to adjust to. Then I came across the Corona 3 and many were calling it one of the smallest machines (which it is). But that "one of" stood out to me and I kept searching to see what the others were.
Then I found the Underwood Standard Portable and instantly I fell in love. The genius of the three-bank keyboard over the four was instantly visible to me and the machine looked basic but sleek. I wanted one.
It was today that my new writing machine arrived at my doorstep and I got to try it out. Was it worth the research and money? How big is it, really? How (well) does a three-bank keyboard work? Find out the answers to these questions and my overall impressions of the latest addition to my collection in this video overview:
A few years ago I saw a controller made for the PC that had a fan and vents to cool your hands which looked amazing. I don't recall the brand name, but I do remember it was PC only and being an Xbox 360 gamer, while it was compatible with my needs, it obviously wasn't compatible with my equipment.
Fast forward to a year ago when I came across the Air Flo by Power A. Now they only have the Medal of Honor version, but whien I bought it the controller was just released, so it was in basic black. I instantly loved the feel and design as well as the features. I have quite a collection of various controllers with unique designs and features which I purchased over a few year period as I searched for my favorite weapon against online opponents -- I finally found it with the Air Flo! All other third party controlers I had used either broke after a month, or I just didn't like/couldn't get used to so I'd go back to a regular Microsoft controller. The Air Flo was different...
It has been almost a year since I made the video below and the Air Flo is still plugged into my 360. It is my ONLY controller...so much so that I even bring it to friends' houses when we're going to play Xbox. All others feel wrong to me now. I love the fan, it works as it should and as strong as it did day one. The rubber grips are great for keeping a tight hold while in an intense gaming session, and the LED lights always get a reaction. It has stood the test of a year which, as most gamers know, is quite an achievement for a third party controller that only cost about $35. I can't recommend this controller highly enough, it is solid, its features are unilike any other controller...and yes, it works on PC too.
If you are in the market for a new controller but don't want to shell out the $55-$60 for a first party Microsoft one, get the Air Flo -- you won't regret it, I guarantee it.
Below is the original video I did for Facebook on my initial impressions of the controller after a few days of use and my opinion has not changed. (I apologize for the somewhat low quality of the video, it was shot on my phone.)
Well I have finally done it, I've branched out into videos on my blog! Check out the video below (posted on my Facebook page and shared here) about my typewriter collection. I've enjoyed writing on typewriters since I was a young boy and I have steadily grown a collection of them. After picking up a Smith Corona Eighty-Eight today at a thrift store for $8, bringing my working collection to 8, I figured it was time to make a video of my collection.
Also, I'm always looking to add to said collection, so if anyone has a typewriter they don't want anymore, contact me either through the comments or the contact page. I'm currently looking for an Oliver Number 9, Underwood Standard Portable, and a Corona 3 Folding. Hope you enjoy the video:
*One minor correction is that the second and third typewriters were closer to $15 apiece, I had gotten them confused with the third one's price.