Charles Petzold

Out with the Old — At Least for Us

September 9, 2007
New York, N.Y.

Today was the New York City Department of Sanitation / Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling Fall 2007 Electronics Recycling Event for the borough of Manhattan — time to make our tiny New York City apartments just a little bit roomier by getting rid of electronic junk.

We didn't have much — a scanner with its own SCSI board and two inkjet printers, one HP, one Epson, with parallel port cables and three unused cartridges. We loaded the stuff on a handtruck and walked it to the north end of Union Square Park, joining the parade of other handtrucks, to the docking area where they were unloaded by young men who sorted the items into tall neat stacks of system units, keyboards, printers, notebooks....

On the way back home we passed an open window and heard a distinctive click, click, click. "Did you hear that?" We stopped walking, but it was now quiet. After a pause: click, click, click... click, click. A typewriter! An actual manual typewriter!

Interesting tool, the typewriter. It encouraged you to actually think before applying fingers to keyboard. And they lasted for years.