The Chinese Typewriter

The Chinese Typewriter

How Chinese characters triumphed over the QWERTY keyboard and laid the foundation for China's information technology successes today. Chinese writing is character based, the one major world script that is neither alphabetic nor syllabic. Through the years, the Chinese written language encountered presumed alphabetic universalism in the form of Morse Code, Braille, stenography, Linotype, punch cards, word processing, and other systems developed with the Latin alphabet in mind. This book is about those encounters—in particular thousands of Chinese characters versus the typewriter and its QWERTY keyboard. Thomas Mullaney describes a fascinating series of experiments, prototypes, failures, and successes in the century-long quest for a workable Chinese typewriter. The earliest Chinese typewriters, Mullaney tells us, were figments of popular imagination, sensational accounts of twelve-foot keyboards with 5,000 keys. One of the first Chinese typewriters actually constructed was invented by a Christian missionary, who organized characters by common usage (but promoted the less-common characters for “Jesus" to the common usage level). Later came typewriters manufactured for use in Chinese offices, and typewriting schools that turned out trained “typewriter girls” and “typewriter boys.” Still later was the “Double Pigeon” typewriter produced by the Shanghai Calculator and Typewriter Factory, the typewriter of choice under Mao. Clerks and secretaries in this era experimented with alternative ways of organizing characters on their tray beds, inventing an input method that was the first instance of “predictive text.” Today, after more than a century of resistance against the alphabetic, not only have Chinese characters prevailed, they form the linguistic substrate of the vibrant world of Chinese information technology. The Chinese Typewriter, not just an “object history” but grappling with broad questions of technological change and global communication, shows how this happened. A Study of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute Columbia University


Author
Publisher MIT Press
Release Date
ISBN 0262536102
Pages 500 pages
Rating 4/5 (03 users)

More Books:

The Chinese Typewriter
Language: en
Pages: 500
Authors: Thomas S. Mullaney
Categories: Technology & Engineering
Type: BOOK - Published: 2018-10-09 - Publisher: MIT Press

How Chinese characters triumphed over the QWERTY keyboard and laid the foundation for China's information technology successes today. Chinese writing is charact
The Chinese Typewriter
Language: en
Pages: 501
Authors: Thomas Shawn Mullaney
Categories: TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017 - Publisher:

How Chinese characters triumphed over the QWERTY keyboard and laid the foundation for China's information technology successes today.
From Oracle Bones to Computers
Language: en
Pages: 280
Authors: Baotong Gu
Categories: Technology & Engineering
Type: BOOK - Published: 2009-03-25 - Publisher: Parlor Press LLC

From Oracle Bones to Computers not only provides a succinct yet in-depth account of the development of writing technologies in the five thousand years of China'
900 Most Frequent Characters of the Chinese Typewriter
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: Gérard Pierson
Categories: China Typewriting
Type: BOOK - Published: 1978* - Publisher:

2233 Most Frequent Characters of the Chinese Typewriter
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: Gérard Pierson
Categories: Chinese characters
Type: BOOK - Published: 1978 - Publisher:

Китайская Пишущая Машина. Chinese Typewriter. [With a List of Chinese Characters and a Summary in English.].
Language: en
Pages: 25
Beginning Reader for Modern Chinese
Language: en
Pages: 800
Authors: Isabelle Ping-I Mao
Categories: Chinese language
Type: BOOK - Published: 1987 - Publisher: University Press of Amer

Form, Macht, Differenz
Language: de
Pages: 406
Authors: Elfriede Hermann
Categories: Ethnology
Type: BOOK - Published: 2009 - Publisher: Universitätsverlag Göttingen

中文教師學會學報
Language: en
Pages:
Authors:
Categories: Chinese language
Type: BOOK - Published: 1987 - Publisher:

The 2233 Traditional Characters of the Chinese Typewriter Keyboard
Language: en
Pages: 6
Authors: Gérard Pierson
Categories:
Type: BOOK - Published: 1979 - Publisher: