Everything old is new again.
I learned how to type in high school. Only the girls took typing
in those days. The one boy in my year who took the class was
considered to be either brave or an oddity. I remember the huge
manual Underwood typewriters we used. I never thought I would be
able to stretch my fingers far enough to reach the upper keys.
The room filled with the slow clack… clack of the keys as we
memorized where the letters were. And if anyone made a mistake,
there’d be a groan from the student and the grinding sound of the
carriage moving backward to correct it.
Well, thanks to Tom Hanks’ vision, I can relive the good old days.
He launched his app called Hanx Writer this week. The basic
version, Hanx Prime Select, is free at the iTunes store. It
combines the sound and experience of pounding away at the keys
with the convenience of the digital age. I’m figuring out how to
use it as I write this. One thing for sure, it’s a heck of a lot
easier to fix mistakes than on the real thing.
Spell check is available and the cursor makes it easy to make
revisions. There is a return key like the electric typewriters had.
Manual typewriters, like the Underwood I learned on, had a return
handle you had to slap with your left hand to bring the carriage
back to the left side of the page and the next line. However, the
app automatically brings you to the next line if you don’t use the
You can turn off the sound and the animation, but then that’s part
of the fun of using the app. Extras like colour ribbon and
background colour are extra.
It’s fun to use, but I’m not sure if I would use it to write a book.
Now I just have to figure out how to save this blog. If you’re
reading this, then I’m a genius. If not…
One more thing, I did learn how to use that Underwood and by the
end of the semester, I could type 90 words a minute.
If you’re trying out Hanx Writer, what do you think of it? If you
have any tips, please let me know.