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1987: Uh, no, really, the typewriter is not dead

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Talk about a missed opportunity to save the typewriter from oblivion. Rather than promote the insurgency, Dean Shulman, sales director for Brother in 1987, lamely suggested that people were misusing their PCs:

“PCs are wonderful as number crunchers. That’s what they were designed to do, and they do that very well. But I think anyone who uses a PC as a word processor is really misusing the technology. I mean, you don’t buy a horse and buggy to haul stones today. By the time you boot up and long on a PC, you could create a document and print it out on a typewriter.”

Now, I’m off to play Tetris on my Brother JP-1.

Full article:

The Southeast Missourian - Nov 3, 1987

© 2014, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • T. Munk November 1, 2014, 8:05 pm

    Nice find! Poor fellow was trying to save the Titanic with a teaspoon, but he was right. Sadly, the one thing Brother did right was outfit an entire line of wedges with a data port to which you could attach their IF-50 computer/typewriter interface (the typewriters so outfitted were a large section of the CE series between about 1983 to 1985 or so). They stopped that feature (I believe) by 1987. No idea why – seems like the added value of buying a typewriter that could also function as a letter-quality printer would have been a slam-dunk for them.

    I picked up an IF-50 a couple of days ago, now I’m on the hunt for one of the mid-80’s CE models that will take the interface (CE-50 and above, plus the Professional 90 and 400). I wish I had one now, I’d do a companion post to this 😀

  • Richard P November 2, 2014, 12:10 am

    Interesting (and kind of pathetic).

    I truly don’t understand the horse and buggy metaphor!

    • Mark Adams November 2, 2014, 1:26 am

      Yeah, I didn’t get that either. It sounds like he didn’t have his “talking points” lined up. Consider the phrasing of this quotation:

      “People said a few years ago when computers came out that the typewriter was dead… Well, they were wrong, and, up until early this year, the market has been very strong for typewriters, and we expect 1988 to be another very strong year.”

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