Say Hello to TWDB Mobile!

Well, half the town was on lockdown yesterday thanks to some loony neo-nazi running around shooting at people, so I had some time to look at the jQuery Mobile documentation and ponder ideas about implementing a mobile-friendly version of the Typewriter Database. Well, you know how it goes – I zoned out and whipped this thing up in a day:

twdbm-3 twdbm-4 twdbm-5 twdbm-6 twdbm-7 twdbm-8 twdbm-9So, This is basically the first draft of a new mobile & tablet friendly version of the TWDB, and there are issues. Primarily, some of the very large serial number pages (such as Remington) can choke an older smartphone like mine, and the internal navigation on large pages like Remington just doesn’t work at all (something to do with how jQuery Mobile intercepts anchor hrefs).

In order for the serial number pages to really work well on mobile screens, they’ll need to be split up, probably by Models. This would, interestingly, allow linking the serial number sections directly to model name key indexes – but would require the current Model name data to be completely normalized and standardized. That’s a goal to be attained in the future, but is certainly a goal that can be attained. For now, this rough sketch will do for browsing the Typewriter Galleries and looking up serial numbers on your phone or iPad thingy.  Give it a try! (:

Updated: March 19, 2015 — 9:28 pm


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  1. Does this mean I finally need to get rid of my flip phone?

  2. Hey! This has been a long time coming…. I often refer to it on my phone. Great stuff!

    How did you go with the serial numbers and getting funding, BTW?

    1. oh, got a burst of donations the day I made the post, enough to pick up “The Parade of Progress – NOMDA’s First 60 Years” and put in an inquiry on “The American Digest of Business Machines, Combined with the American Trade Guide of Store and Office Machines: A Compendium of Makes and Models with Specifications and Principles of Operation Described, and Including Used Machine Valuations“, but haven’t gotten any answer, so maybe that source dried up. If so, I’m planning on either picking up a pdf of “The History of The Typewriter in the United States From 1933 Through 1977“, or letting the rest of the cash sit there until something tasty shows up for sale.

      1. Good news. Looking forward to seeing how that goes!

  3. The hits just keep coming! I will have to look at that if i canfigure out what to ditch tomake room.

    1. you don’t have to ditch anything. it’s browser-based. just bookmark in your smartphone or tablet’s browser for easy access to the latest galleries and serial number lists. (:

      1. A million thinks for making the TWDB easier to use during the hunt!

        I know it’s not a priority – and it would be a total PITA – but I would love an actual App.

  4. Brilliant!

    I often check TWDB on my phone, especially when I’m in the workshop. The new interface is very promising, especially the ability to type in the name of the brand instead of scrolling through a very long menu. Thanks!

  5. Hello! Ted, you provide an invaluable service for the Typosphere.

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