Last weekend I picked up this  Canon Typestar 6 electronic “typewriter” (circa 1984) for $10 in a “Good Sammy” Op shop…

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In mitigation, let me explain that I only bought it for the “タイプライター, タイプライター, タイプライター” (“Typewriter, Typewriter, Typewriter”) Japanese carry case it came in…

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(The three R’s: Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. If it’s good enough for The Fall it’s good enough for me!)

No power adapter, but the battery compartment houses 4  “D” size batteries. I purchased four of the same from the local supermarket and hey presto this thing works – however it struggles to feed standard A4 copier paper, and I’ll need to wait until the two rolls of fax paper I ordered arrive ($1 on eBay, $5 postage) before I can test it out properly.

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Without a user manual it’s hard to know what the function keys do and what combination to press  – but by trial and error I was able to type and print with it. I say “type and print” because that is exactly what you do – you type a paragraph, press the Enter key, and it prints.

While searching the Internet for a user manual, I came across a question that another lucky Typestar 6 owner had posted on an online forum:

How do I activate typing mode?”

It’s not a lot to ask of a typewriter, is it, really? That it should actually write as you type? Sadly, no-one answered the question even though the answer is obvious:

Dude, buy a proper typewriter!

Sorry Canon, but the Typestar 6 is no typewriter  – I don’t care how many times it’s written on the Japanese carry case – it’s a thermal  dot matrix printer which just happens to have a keyboard attached.

Still —  as unimpressed and underwhelmed as I am with the Typestar 6 —  I am curious about some of these electronic “typewriters”.  Don’t knock ’em till you’ve tried ’em, I say.

Well I tried the Typestar 6 and I can confirm what many of you may already know – it sucks!

Hmmm… wonder if that case will hold a Groma Kolibri? Now that’s a typewriter, typewriter, typewriter!

(Next post will feature a “proper” typewriter, I swear.)