Amazing work, detailed instructions.
Major drawbacks: no Control or Backspace keys...
sweet. Max Headroom computers, here we come! :D
I have an old turn-of-the-century typewriter sitting around collecting dust. It works, but it needs a little cleaning (some keys stick). I'm getting tempted...
If I do it, I'll post an account somewhere.
a couple months ago i took one of these old, heavy manual typewriters on an airplane as carry-on. solid steel, it weighed about 25 pounds, and the insides were filled with all sorts of sharp and pointed, easily-detachable parts.
what was funny was they made me remove it from my bag and put it in one of the laptop trays. and then they waived it through.
so it's good to know that when the next logical step is taken and we have fully portable mechanical-typewriter-based laptops, they'll clear airport security just fine.
They'll let you take a 25lb typewriter with scores of sharp little parts inside, but they won't let me clip my nails on the plane? Airport Security is just sharper than a tack these days.
When I flew Singapore Airlines from Melbourne to London in March 2002, we went through the full security rundown before getting on. Then, of course, discovered that Singapore supply all the disposable razors you could want in the toilets on the plane.
please, the nuber of places you could hide a sharp object are incalculable. plus, as Hiro learned from Raven, glass is easy to hide. or to not hide, since I've heard many accounts of people being allowed to take glass bottles on airplanes.
On my way back from Seattle, my fairly big carry-on was almost completely filled with glass. I told security to please be careful with it, 'cause there's a ton of glass in it. No problem, and I got right onboard with it. I mean, I'm glad I got to take the glass on the flight 'cause it would have been shards if checked, but the side of me that wants to feel "safe" on planes was less impressed. Then again, I don't believe September 11 was won just by having box cutters - more importantly, they had the will to succeed and Americans were trained to just let the authorities handle it and sit back for the ride. Once the latter was lost, the Pennsylvania flight was taken out (conspiracy theories aside). So I'm not too scared of glass.
oddly, I think even if Nothing was done to increase security, there would never be another kamakazi jumbo jet. why? it's been done. the previous conventional wisdom has been "cooperate and you'll be released". that's changed.
However, despite the heroics one might like to imagine one is capable of, being faced with someone holding a knife to a stewartess or child's throat and commanding that if anyone moves, THEY will be responsible for the victim's death, would probably put quite a damper on heroics. especally if a target with family on the plane is used, for then the family is now a reluctant ally of the knife holder. if someone you loved was under that kind of threat, would you be all keen on letting john-doe who fancy's himself a minor rambo to attack?
If I felt it's reasonable to believe we're all dead otherwise, and if I thought Rambo Jr might have a chance, it's possible - especially the way I've been feeling lately. And I'd probably be at Rambo Jr's side. I'd probably want to think about it for a few minutes, though - which fortunately we'd probably have. It'd really depend on the circumstances, but I understand at least in principle that great sacrifice might be necessary in such extreme conditions.
so picture this:
your grandma/favorite neice/SO/mom/person you love most is held at knifepoint, and Rambo Jr. is in the aisle arguing with the hostage taker. the blade moves a little, and a tiny drop of blood is released, the hostage starts sobbing and shreiking how they don't want to die. Rambo Jr keeps agitating the hostage taker. you are in between both and have the opportunity to lunge at one of them. once the hostage is dead, there is nothing holding you back, but you'll be forever plagued with guilt that you should have done something sooner, and might have been able to save them. or you attack the hostage taker, and the hostage dies, leaving you again with a lifetime of guilt. or you tackle rambo Jr, and hope that the plane won't be steered into a building, and the hostage lives on as long as you do.
yeah, not a pretty situation to face.
There's still too many variables. How many hijackers overall? Do we believe they have a bomb? Does Rambo Jr seem tough, or is he Bill Gates? How close are we to potential targets? What have the hijackers said they are doing, and do they look serious? Etc etc. Tons of questions in the blink of an eye. I'd probably want to stop Rambo Jr if I haven't had time to think about these things, but otherwise I don't know.
However, I'm not the type to regret much. I'm the type of person that believes the attacker is the murderer regardless of what I did (assuming I was legitimately trying to help, etc). Furthermore, I would probably believe once someone is in the hijackers hands, considering him or her dead already is completely reasonable and work from there. I mean it's not quite that simple, but for me it factors in. But I have to think about the other innocent lives, and others who would lose as much or more if we do nothing. It's all tragedy, and I can't predict what I'd do without being there.