ended on April 10, 2013.
Typewriters: less complicated, more reliable, last for centuries!
Something tells me things were not that different as they are with computers... Ok, so you wanted, say, a desktop model; which type? Front strike? downstrike? with inked ribbon, or inked pad? Silent? Carriage shift, or segment shift? decimal tabulator, standard tabulator, or no tabulator at all? And of course, there also was the matter of cost; how much were you willing to pay? $15.00? $50.00? $100.00 USD? Lots of options even back then, and no typewriter had all the desirable features... just like there's no such thing as the perfect PC configuration available off the shelf. And that's what makes shopping for a computer (or a typewriter) both frustrating and fun. XD
I completely agree with Miguel. There were even manufacturers that sold the same model with and without tabulators, for example. Or in different coloring schemes.
I disagree. I find it a lot easier to buy a computer! Typewriters also have a lot of options, but you can't change those easily. So, you have a qwerty keyboard on your new laptop but you actually want to use dvorak? Sure, just change this into that and voila! Done. Of course you do need to know how to do such a thing, which might also apply to typewriters. ;-)
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