My Hermes 2000

I bought myself a Christmas present this year.

Maybe it’s because Christmas isn’t what it was. I don’t know. But my girlfriend showed me a “trip report” she made after a trip to Paris with her grandmother many years ago. It was so charming.

She wrote it on a typewriter, and carefully put it into a notebook, with pasted in photos from the trip. I saw Montmartre, and the Eiffel Tower. An older woman looking tired but game. And my Sweetie, young and dressed in the 80s. Gorgeous.

She wanted to sell it to someone who would use it

I’m a big believer in trip reports. In recording the amazing things that happen in life. But in the last years I’ve faltered. I’m facing a loss of faith in computers and the ability to really improve the world with them.

I’m afraid that computers destroy more autonomy than they grant. I’m afraid they help to spread untruth so much faster than truth. I’m afraid of a lot of things. So I’m spending more time in “The Real.”

My girlfriend is part of that. She isn’t as deep as I am into RSS feeds, into “an app for that,” into sprung up virtual communities for everything. She appreciates her home town, and lives and walks in it more than I thought possible. I ran to the New. But the new New looks like the old New. There might be a better way…

Image by Amy Dame, some rights reserved (license).

I ran towards virtual worlds because the real world was scary, once. But now the real world is chunky, and full of surprises. And the virtual one is plagued by a deep sameness in every interaction.

I’d rather walk than drive. The other day I walked 17 miles from the heart of the city out to the small town of Markt Schwaben. Now, if I traverse this distance on the train, I have a rich feeling of the country I’m passing.

How wonderful it is, to know depth. How worth the sweat it is!

I’d rather type on a chunky machine that hurts and smudges. That fights back. That pulls out of me what I want pulled out of me.


My Hermes was made by the Palliard corporation in Switzerland, 1952. It was sold to the brother-in-law of the woman I bought it from by Baggenstos (+44 51 25 66 94).

I found a rich history of the machine online. It was made by Lake Neuchatel, hard against the Jura mountains, with Lausanne and Lake Geneva about an hour to the south.

It was purchased at Baggenstos, Metzggasse 4, Winterthur.

I don’t know why this makes me feel good to know, but it does. Provenance somehow matters at this stage in the game.

I’m typing and I’m enjoying it. Ciao.

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