Likeness & Differences of a Computer & Typewriter

Written by sam grover
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Likeness & Differences of a Computer & Typewriter
Typewriters and computers have some key differences. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Computers and typewriters have a few similarities but, by and large, are completely different. The key similarities are in how the user interacts with the system, but the key differences are in what the system does with the information the user puts in.


All typewriters have a keyboard that activates letters covered in ink. Most -- but not all -- computers also have keyboards that are essentially identical to typewriter keyboards. Rather than mechanically activating letters, though, a computer keyboard sends electronic impulses. Indeed, modern computer keyboards are actually less-efficient than they could be because typewriters could not move as fast as people could type without jamming. So, QWERTY keyboards are designed to put commonly-used letters and characters far away from one another to keep the system from jamming. These keyboards are used on computers even though computers are not mechanical and do not jam like typewriters do.


A typewriter is only used for word processing -- putting words on paper in a neat, orderly manner that cannot be achieved by writing by hand. This means they are similar to computers, which are also used for word processing. However, computers have many more functions, such as web browsing, gaming and file transfers that are not possible with typewriters.


A typewriter prints the moment you strike a key, which means you cannot delete mistakes. A computer, on the other hand, saves the information you put into it and allows you to edit it until you are pleased with your final copy, at which point you can print. So, a computer gives users a much greater margin of error than a typewriter does.

Other Parts

A typewriter is just a keyboard and a mechanical printing device. A computer, on the other hand, is a monitor, keyboard, mouse and often other periphery devices. Indeed, where the keyboard forms the core of a typewriter's identity it is just a part of a computer's identity. Computers exist in abundance without keyboards, with examples such as video game systems, networking systems and mobile phones. A typewriter without a keyboard is not a typewriter at all.

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