Typewriter Database News

twdb-ssIt’s been awhile since I did a news update for the Typewriter Database, tho things have been humming along very nicely. 750 Manufacturers and Marques, 2460 Typewriter Galleries and 1238 Typeface examples as of right now. Quite a few new Typewriter Hunters have joined and have uploaded some very nice collections. Checking the scores for the top 10 Hunters, I see that Uwe Wachtendorf has finally raced past Nick Beland to take first place, while Nick maintains a healthy 2nd place pace. I’ve been knocked down to 3rd place with half of the points that the two leaders of the pack have, with Michael Hoehne nipping at my heels in 4th. In 5th and 6th place are Brad Sarno and newcomer Piotr Trumpiel, who is uploading like a madman, and is likely to shoot further up the pack quite soon. Some of the newcomers have set a pace such that Richard Polt and Vilhelm Dromberg have finally been knocked out of the Top 10.

One especially gratifying thing is that the comments for galleries have become a very useful way for Hunters to communicate new information and discussion about specific typewriters. This function has been very helpful in drilling down dates for specific machines, coming up with new categories for manufacturers and other informative and interesting tidbits. Between the many new galleries and the comments they generate, there’s really something new and interesting to look at and participate in every day.

In other news, I’m still deep in the update for the Remington Serial Number Page. Got a few sections of Portables done, still many more to go. It’ll be a few weeks before I’m finished at this rate. Then I’ll need to go back and check all the other sources for Portables and probably re-add some things not covered by Source #18, along with reconciling any sources that are significantly different. This is still the current task on my plate, but I have plans for a complete update of the Brother Serial Number Page using the information I’ve gleaned from the large collection of Service Manuals and other dealer documents I’ve obtained. Also in the near future is a complete overhaul of the IBM Serial Number Page, but I need to consult heavily with the guys at the GolfBallTypewriterShop group at Yahoo to make sense of the mess of sources I have now. ProfessorC has offered to take a hand in organizing that, and we are likely to get some pretty good results considering the number of ex-IBM techs and dealers who hang out there. I vow that someday soon, the IBM page will make sense! :D

There are more future plans afoot, things I’m slowly and thoughtfully laying the groundwork for, including a donation method to collect funds for helping out with server costs and possibly financing certain things like the obtaining of sources not yet acquired which really can’t be acquired on the funds I can spare from my food budget – also the acquisition of a certain important domain name which is currently hanging in domain auction limbo. The domain name thing I’ve already laid the groundwork for, and come January we’ll see if that pays off, but there is a possibility that it won’t due to the rather paltry offer I can afford to make. I’d like to be able to mount a serious businesslike effort to acquire these things, and that requires more than my lunch money. More on that as it starts to coalesce. (:

Updated: September 14, 2014 — 2:09 am


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  1. The database has become a fantastic source for research. So many variants and serial numbers of certain models that would have taken years to collect on my own. Apart from the shere beauty and eyecandy offered. So thank you Reverend Munk!
    Curious which domain you are targeting. The current one seems perfectly adequate?
    One thing as to content: there is the occasional repainted or otherwise altered machine in the Database. Mostly the author says in the comment it has been altered. But what if not? For the purpose of historical research, which relies on exact and original sources, this could be a dangerous tendency.
    Cheers shordzi

    1. Re: domain name, I’d like to start keeping the actual domain name I’m targeting on the down-low, because I think I can pick it up pretty cheap if there’s no interest in it before it expires in January. If you ponder it a moment, I’m sure you’ll remember which domain it is. (:

      Re: repainted machines. Frankly, it would become difficult enough to strictly enforce uniform entries just in the fields that exist now, so things like “original color” are best handled in the Description field, with gentle nudging from the comments from other Hunters, I would think. I do very occasionally fix entries that are badly or confusingly misfiled, but generally only after a nudge in the comments to try and get the owner of the gallery to edit it themselves. I want to maintain a strong community self-correcting vibe with this project. It’s a puzzle that we’re all involved in putting together, a mystery that we’re all trying to solve. :D

  2. I’ve also found the TWDB to be invaluable reference (and great fun too). I’m sure most of us would be wiling to chip-in with a donation. Keep up the good work. :)

  3. I am one of the many who appreciate all the work you have been doing on the database. Fantastic work! I know it takes hours upon hours to do what you are doing.

    I hope to soon get back to trying to upload my typewriters after I settle into the new job.

    I’ve got to check out some of the new features.

    You can count me in if you need some $$$ to maintain servers and such. It is the least any of us can do as you are doing all the other work. This is a site we cannot loose.

  4. Hey Rev,
    Did you mean servers, or hosting? Let us know what you need moolah wise, am more than happy to chip in to keep the longevity of this amazing site!

  5. Keep it up! It has become a really excellent site and gets more useful every day.

  6. I’ll have to look at how the points are calculated. That sure is shaping up to be the go-to resource. Excellent job!

  7. from the Typewriter Database updates section:
    Points are now being compiled nightly for Typewriter Hunter members who have uploaded typewriter galleries or have added links anywhere on the site. Currently, the points are compiled as so:

    Gallery entry: +1 point each.
    if it includes front-facing photo: +3 points.
    if it includes type sample: +3 points.
    each additional photo uploaded to gallery: +2 points each.
    Links added anywhere on the site: +1 point each.

  8. With the increase in activity on the Facebook group I end up pointing folks to the site and encouraging them to sign in and upload. I’m not alone. That says a lot about the way the database as become THE resource people are using, so well done and thanks!

  9. I have to offer a well-deserved pat on the back to you Ted. The Typewriter Database is so much better than it’s predecessor. I appreciate your vision and tenacity to build it. Well done.

  10. Thank you for your commitment and a fantastic source of information – both from serial number resources and the interactions with other Hunters.

    May I be so mad however and propose a “Manual” section where Hunters could upload digitized manuals that passed through their hands? You could even award such effort with a couple of points too ;)
    I assume that would have to be truly mad thinking the idea hasn’t popped to your head yet but there might have been technical reasons for such additions not being incorporated.

    It would probably put a squeeze on the available space for all the data but maybe with a donation system in place the storage could somehow be expanded to accomodate additional files. I hope that owners of the current sources of typewriter manuals shared freely wouldn’t mind having them copied both for the greater good and as a backup :).
    In my view such feature could make the database more complete.

    1. It’s been considered and decided that the Database offers a way for Hunters to add links to sections of each manufacturer page, and one of those sections is “Manuals”. Thus you can already link each manufacturer page to manuals for the models that manufacturer produced. (:

      1. I’d say it should’ve been observed and recognized that this system doesn’t work as good as it should ;) Of course I didn’t go through all of the pages but only a few popular ones and I don’t see great activity in this region unfortunately. Links get broken and not everyone is prepared to host documents online – especially if they have just one or two manuals. But it may happen that they might be a highly desired ones.
        Ultimately – you’re the boss :)

        1. Heh, there is no-one to blame but ourselves for lack of participation in the manufacturer info linking. Every Hunter-level member can do it. (:

          Now, for future consideration, it would not be amiss for someone to take on the project of collecting PDF user manuals for typewriters and sort them by manufacturer. If someone were to amass a large and broad collection of such documents, it would go a long way in convincing me that it would be worth hosting. The problem I see is mainly organization, collection and quality control to weed out poor scans and duplicates.

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