The Typewriter Project

Last weekend I was down to my parent’s place outside Ulricehamn, and on Saturday we went to a huge second hand store/flee market.

There were a lot of things I wanted to buy but unfortunately I don’t have enough space in the apartment. These included a wonderful piano with a horizontaly placed frame (like a half-grand piano), an old Akai reel-to-reel tape recorder, a bureau with a built in radio and 78-rpm record player and lots of other stuff that i really don’t need but would just like to have.

What I did buy was a typewriter.

It’s an old Halda-Norden N.r 3 from 1931 in decent condition.

So what should I do with it? Well, my main plan is to rebuild it into a computer. Not that I need one, but it would be both fun and comfortable to have a dedicated HTPC/web/file server hidden in plain sight. Since Windows (probably XP) and Matroska with at least 720p (max resolution on my projector) is required, I’m thinking of either using an Intel DG45FC motherboard with a decent Core2Duo or P4 processor, something based on the Nvidia Ion platform (when available) or some mini-ITX solution based on Intel’s upcoming Atom Z500 processor. Any other ideas for a small, energy efficient and silent (preferably completely passively cooled) system are most welcome.

If possible, I would like a dual Raid 1 storage solution, probably using something from Western Digital’s Caviar Green series.

Anyway, there will be plenty of time for that later (like when I am trying to sleep). I can’t afford anything yet anyway, since in the coming month I will be going to both Iceland and Barcelona, followed by another tattoo session. But by summer I should have accumulated enough money to spend on this project.

Being as I am, I couldn’t resist to start pulling it apart, though. The mechanism was more complicated than I had expected, with a lot of little springs, bracers, levers and cogs.
Next project is to find a small enough keyboard (26,3 cm wide would be ideal) to use as a base. Original (or rather original-looking) keys will be used as far as possible, but it may also be completely keyboardless, keeping the original (non-functional) one if space allows.

Enough words. Time for pictures.

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14 years ago

If you arn’t gonna use the keys.. <– could you make me one of those in the process? ^_^