Thursday, 20 June 2013

Today's news

Air hose upgrade a blow to typewriter repairman

Many service stations around Brisbane are progressively upgrading their tyre inflators from the older style units with mechanical pressure gauges (left) to the newer digital pre-set pressure units (right).

While the older style tyre inflators are operated by attaching the nozzle to the tyre, checking the pressure on the dial located on the hose and inflating as necessary, the newer digital variety require the user to input the desired inflation pressure into the unit before attaching the nozzle onto the tyre. The machine then automatically pumps or deflates until the pre-set pressure is reached. The key difference between the two  is that the newer version will not blow air until it is attached to the tyre, whereas with the older style is user-operated by the press of a button and blows air on demand.

This progressive upgrade to the new digital pre-set units has proven a real blow to the local community of Brisbane typewriter repairmen. Especially those on the lower end of the socio-economic scale who cannot afford air compressors with which to blast the dust out of their recently purchased typewriters. The Impatient Press recently caught up with Graceville local Gus Higgins:

“I picked up a grubby old Royal 200 from a garage sale down the road and naturally hopped straight in the car to pop down to the local servo and blow out all the crap. But to my horror they’d upgraded the air hose.... Bugger me if I didn’t then have to drive two whole suburbs just to find a servo with the old style air hose. What do they expect you to do? Gather up enough puff to blow it out yourself? With this emphysema I’m lucky to blow out a candle!”

One of the main perpetrator of this upgrade is Airtec Corporation- a leading manufacturer of digital service station tyre inflators. 


A statement on their website offers: “Airtec continues to conduct research and development to meet the needs of its customers and provide the most advanced, highest quality technology available” (reference above). However no mention is made anywhere about how their accurate and convenient new tyre-inflation technology may have unintended and disastrous consequences; leaving increasing numbers of ailing typewriter repairman like Gus collapsed on the garage floor for want of oxygen.

Airtec were unavailable for comment yesterday, as they were contacted well outside of business hours.

Now, a short word from our sponsor.....

Max Cullen- Lawn Enthusiast: I had been starting to notice some unsightly bald patches on my otherwise emerald green front lawn. I went down to the local garden centre looking for some cooch seeds, but the lady behind the counter pointed me in the direction of Remington SJ Lawn Repair. 

Doubtful of the results, I went and sprinkled this seed mix in liberal quantities on the affected patches of lawn and watered it in. Lo and behold, only three weeks later I’ve now grown three gorgeous SJ’s on my front lawn and the bald patches have all but vanished. Thanks Remington SJ Lawn Repair! 

Breaking news: writer actually receives payment for work

In other news, a thin parcel arrived at my front door the other day, postmarked from Pheonix Arizona. This was exciting not only because Pheonix is a long way away, but that what was inside was something that represented the first time I had received something material for a piece of my writing. A “payment” if you will. A while ago Ryan Adney put a call out on his blog inviting people to write a short essay on a topic pertinent to the typosphere. The writer of every essay received a very groovy poster. In the past I have received a school report card with an A on it for English. This was OK. More recently I received university funded air tickets to a faraway place when a piece of my writing got accepted into a conference. That was even better. But receiving material payment for your writing? C’est magnifique. Some may call receiving a poster for a short essay more of a reward than a payment, but for the purpose of inflating my ego like a new digital air hose to an underinflated car tyre, I am calling it a payment. Sure a poster won’t pay the bills in quite the same way a $10,000 cheque from Time Magazine will, but in many respects, receiving this hand-designed, hand-posted organic creation from a fellow typospharian is even cooler (provided one has other gainful employment, which I do). So many thanks to Ryan for this. Mine is currently taking pride of place above the “everything” table in the living room.


  1. Very entertaining. Those @&(*$ digital inflators must die! I myself often use canisters of compressed air, intended for cleaning electronic equipment, but they are not cheap.

  2. But...but...but...

    It's one of those times where I think about what's involved with the new tyre inflators and how really cool they are.
    But how they're not any good for their main purpose, cleaning out grody typewriters anymore.

  3. I enjoyed this post, thanks! That inflator progressive upgrade is a bummer indeed. Hopefully, there will still be old school ones around. Love the table arrangement with the L32 and mocha-colored rotary phone.

    Oh, I can't wait for the Olivetti Lawn Repair. ( :

  4. Ha ha ha ha. Love it.

    As for your air compressor problems - have you tried setting it to 'flat tyre' mode, and using a nozzle from a cheap air pump? Or even just cutting the valve out of an exiting - but dead tube, and jamming it into the pump connector?

    Office works were selling little cans of compressed air for $2 not so long ago, I have a few left - as I now have a compressor.

  5. That really blows, man. Of course it's just another "revenue stream" to them.

  6. Funniest thing in ages, a lovely bit of sidelong prose - I like it. Whatever you do, don't buy canned air to clean out typewriters, please. The planet's screwed enough without using finite resources (the packing and transport, not the air) to de-fluff old writing irons. I make it into either a) a comedy performance piece or b) collaborative division of labour exercise. I use a bicycle track pump with a taper nozzle which, depending how many hands you have, looks ludicrous or purposeful. It does work though, especially alternating with an old paintbrush. Best thing? You don't have to leave the house!

  7. What a nice lawn you have. I must investigate this product.

  8. Thanks all!

    Ton- Olivetti at this stage only produce a weed killer that kills 80's beige electric typewriters but does not grow olivetti's

    Scott- I have passed on your wise suggestions to Gus who thinks that one of them should be viable. He praises your brains

    Rob- what a great way of involving other family members in the joys of typewriter repair. The one man dance or the perfect two (or more) person team building exercise!

    Rino- I hear Remington SJ lawn repair is available from all good garden retailers at a price too good to be missed out on...