FORM OVER FUNCTION

Does anyone remember the last time they saw or used typewriter? In the
last few years, typewriters have silently disappeared as they were replaced by computing technology. Those of us who worked in newsrooms around the country remember banging out stories on manual and electric typewriters, making carbon copies as we went.
The worst typists (now called keyboarders) of us remember rubbing out our mistakes with dirty typewriter rubbers. If you rubbed too hard you made hole in the paper and probably had to start again. As you rubbed, the dust particles would fall between the keys, building small mountains of rubber somewhere in the casing.
The use of these erasers declined with the invention of Twink. That was the white sticky stuff you painted over your mistake, and once dry, you could retype the word. But remember how lethal it was when it dripped on your clothing, your fingers, your desk or the office carpet.
These things will not be missed!
No doubt these engineering masterpieces will turn up in homes as art treasures before too long.
The growth of computers has been so pervasive so quickly, we now have an entire generation that’s never known time when there were no desktop computers.
As this pace continues, it’s now looking like those grey boxes that sit on or under our desktops will soon join the typewriter in the antique (or is it ?retro’) stakes.
A recent Economist report on the so-called ?new economy’ found that the only truly booming area in manufacturing globally, was in computer manufacturing.
And now the grey days for computers look numbered, as computer companies have their case designers working on smaller, slimmer and more stylish appearances. Examples so far are Apple’s colourful Imac, and Compaq’s sleek Ipaq.
As computer design is about to emerge as major marketing factor, the question is, will managers Ñ already perplexed by what’s inside the box Ñ be dazzled by the packaging?

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