April 2011

Does anybody have any experience with an Olivetti Studio 45? It appears to be the plastic-bodied successor to the Studio 44/Model 21, with a few cost-cutting measures in terms of components thrown in. But is it basically the same machine, with the same feel and durability?

I have to admit the plastic chassis reminds me of the old Apple II’s and Atari computers of my youth, and I just love the shape of the keys and the BIG letters on them. Before I take the plunge, however, I’m looking for some insight, since I probably would have to commit to one of these sight unseen.


I’ve given away a few machines lately (the latest was my only electric portable, an early one), mainly because I know I wouldn’t have used them as much as they deserve to be used. I’ve pared down my collection a little to the essentials. Several factors prevent me from having a larger collection:

1. Money, or lack of it.

2. Lack of space. I live in a modest home with not even a place to have a permanent workbench.

3. I’m not much of a collector by nature. I don’t just pick up machines in an effort to have examples of everything (although I applaud those that do – they are preserving a part of our history). I selected the ones I own because I like to type on them.

I figure I’d like to have a small collection of machines in excellent working condition. This dream team would include one of each of the following: Hermes 3000 (2nd generation), Olympia SM9 (got it), Olympia SM3,4 or 5 (got the ‘3), Smith Corona Silent Super from the 50’s (got it), Olympia SF or Hermes Rocket, Olivetti Lettera 32, Olivetti Studio 44 (got an Olivetti 21 – essentially the same thing), Torpedo portable, Underwood TM5 desktop, Olympia SG1 or SG3 desktop. That’s 10 machines total to achieve Omnipresent Galactic Creaminess. A goal worth reaching for, I think.

Let’s hope I can achieve it before they all end up either in the landfill, or with their fingertips all cut off.