The Thick End of the Wedge
Posted on February 20, 2014
One good thing about these electronic wedges (in case you were wondering) is the fact that you can pick them up cheaply; largely for the reason that nobody wants them.
Generally, I don’t want them either, but there are one or two earlier model wedges I am interested in. The Brother CE-30 is one such wedge…
The “thick” end of the wedge
This typewriter came with what I consider to be essential for any function-rich electronic machine, instructions on how on to use it!
It’s difficult to find any dating information for the CE-30, but I think it’s a mid 80’s model.
The “thin” end of the wedge
The keyboard’s pretty much what you’d expect of a desktop computer, so the typing feel isn’t great.
On each key press, the Daisy wheel spins at high speed and the CE-30 hammers each character onto the page like a nail gun! It’s fun, and the end result is a nicely uniform line of crisp characters which – without the variation or the imperfection that you get from a manual typewriter – are decidedly lacking in character.
Having said that, there are plenty of nice features that you don’t get from a manual typewriter, like Pitch Selection…
interchangeable typefaces and keyboard symbols selection…
Ribbon cassettes and correction tapes are inexpensive and easy to come by…
but daisy wheels are harder to find, for some reason – and when you do find them – are more expensive than IBM element balls. Don’t ask me why! Brother must have manufactured millions of them and as far as I know they were cheaper to manufacture.
All things considered, I’m more than happy to keep this Brother in my collection, but it does make me wonder why Brother and other wedge manufacturers (with the possible exception of Olivetti) couldn’t show a bit more imagination.
Function over form I suppose!