Want to freak out a newsroom full of college journalists?
Sit them down at manual typewriters and ask them to plunk “2011” onto a piece of paper.
They’ll only make it halfway.
“Mine’s broken!” one reporter at Florida Atlantic University yelled a couple of Saturdays ago, when we launched the inaugural ALL ON PAPER project. “There’s no number 1 key.”
I don't know whether to be amused or horrified.
I used to write a column for the FAU newspaper The Atlantic Sun (now The University Press) and I certainly remember walking into the weekly meetings on Wednesdays and seeing the layouts for the current issue out on the tables. I would then use an X-Acto™ knife to cut out my column (since they were going to toss the layouts) as a momento.
I wrote most of my columns on my TRS-80 Color Computer but there were times when Wednesdays came around and I hadn't even started my column, much less finish, so on those rare occations, I would grab my manual portable typewriter (a gift from my paternal grandfather, who wanted me to learn how to type if I was going to become a programmer) and literally bang out my column at school.
In fact, the column pictured above was one such column banged out on a manual typewriter, written in the cafeteria as I was eating lunch with a few friends. And on my manual typewriter, not only was there no “1” character, there wasn't a “0” character either!
I also found it amazing that the students had to use a make-shift dark room. What? Is there no dark room at FAU anymore? I distinctly remember there being one, back when I took photography.
Yes, I know all about removing 35mm film from the canister and loading it onto a reel in total darkness, using obnoxious chemicals to develop the film, and once rinsed, letting the film dry overnight, then coming in the next day, cutting the film into strips of five pictures each, mounting the strips into a protective sheet, making the proof sheet, picking which photos (10 out of 72) to print, placing the film into the projector, exposing the photographic paper and using different obnoxious chemicals to develop the picture (and as much as I like my 35mm camera, I do not miss the expense of buying film nor the expense of having it developed).
So I find it odd that they didn't bother to ask the Art department if they could use the dark room.
That is, if the dark room still exists.