To Type, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth...

A man of the cloth and the steel he wields

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  1. Oh, the fun you’re having with this!

    There’s something really quite exciting about being able to type in famous typefaces.

  2. These are all really fun!

  3. Gotta love the IBM Selectric. I checked your previous posts for it and read up a bit on the Composer – fan-f’n-tastic machine!

  4. The Composer has all those neat settings that a standard Selectric lacks. The variable kerning and line-spacing (“leading” I think they call it) and so on. It really opened up a lot of avenues for creativity.

    I do wish I had a working Composer just because it had the proportional spacing. But then all the hundreds of elements I have wouldn’t work on it, so it’s just as well.

    I’m guessing the tilt detenting is off a little and that’s what’s causing the bouncing letters. If the pawl doesn’t seat completely in the tilt-ring notch, then the baseline will be uneven. Fiddly adjustments, I know. That’s why everyone had service contracts on Composers back in the day.

    1. yep, Bill down at MTE is a Selectric wizard, has the tools and is over his trepidation* and is actually pretty excited to take a crack at the next one, plus we have the reference manuals thanks to the Yahoo Golfball Typewriter group, so I bet if I turned him loose on it, he’d have it tuned to true in no time. I’m really liking the wonk right now, though.

      .. and there’s reason to believe that even completely tuned up, we may never get the wonk out, just because the typeballs themselves are made of plastic and have probably minutely warped and shrunk over the last 30-40 years. I bet it doesn’t take very much distortion at all to induce wonk, since these machines are *so very precise*. I’ve certainly noticed that balls that have obviously been stored in heat are much wonkier than the handful of elements (ha, not gonna say “handful of balls”) I have that are in relatively new condition, having been stored in cool conditions.

      * yeah, you know the fear. I’ll be naming all of mine after Japanese movie monsters because they inspire awe in anyone who sees them, and fear in everyone who has to deal with them. :D

      1. Can’t wait till you get to Gamera.

  5. I think if I ever come upon a Composer that is in good condition and with a fairly large set of type elements, I’ll try to get another one.

    1. Ooh, we should form a “Composer Club” and set up a typeball swap. I certainly have many duplicates, and maybe we could get Gerry Kaplan to join! :D

      1. I’m wondering what happened to the IBMComposer.org site that Mr. Kaplan use to host. It’s just a blank page now. I’ve tried to email him, but no response.

        1. I dunno. I went looking for it a couple weeks ago, and it was gone. ):

  6. So gorgeous! We demand more! :p

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