Similarly "typewriter" and "printer" are used indifferently for various
types of electric typewriters, regenerative and non-regenerative.
(j) Impressions of Colossus
It is regretted that it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the
fascination of a Colossus at work: its sheer bulk and apparent complexity; the
fantastic speed of thin paper tape round the glittering pulleys; the childish
pleasure of not-not, span, print main heading and other gadgets; the wizardry of
purely mechanical decoding letter by letter (one novice thought she was being
hoaxed); the uncanny action of the typewriter in printing the correct scores
without and beyond human aid; the stepping of display; periods of eager
expectation culminating in the sudden appearance of the longed-for score; and the
strange rhythms characterizing every type of run : the stately break-in, the
erratic short run, the regularity of wheel-breaking, the stolid rectangle
interrupted by the wild leaps of the carriage-return, the frantic chatter of a
motor run, even the ludicrous frenzy of hosts of bogus scores.
Perhaps some Tunny-breaking poet could do justice to this theme; but
although an ode to Colossus and various fragments appeared, all seemed to have
been composed in times of distress and despondency, and consist almost wholly
of imprecation or commination.