Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Grandma's Printer

Printer that writes in shaky cursive using a ballpoint pen
  (+10, -3)
(+10, -3)
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It's just not the same now that Grandma, Crazy Uncle Merton, and old Hector Heckletooth have computers and inkjet printers--all their letters look alike, printed in Times Roman 10-point, spell-checked, and neatly left-justified. They need printers that clamp a cheesy ballpoint pen of their choice in a holder and proceed to laboriously scrawl out the idiosyncratic handwriting we used to love.

At setup the printer would be configured with a custom handwriting style, a mixture of user-chosen components such as "spidery," "angular," "looping," "sloping left," "sloping right," "hand tremors," and so forth. The user could set it to write on any size and type of paper as well, so that Crazy Uncle Merton can once again use those grade-school lined tablets he used to love.

But of course Grandma can still create her letters on her Win ME box using her new voice recognition software and all, so she doesn't actually have to go back to the Dark Ages or anything.

Dog Ed, May 01 2001

Illegible writing. http://babel.uorego...da/fonts/inuit.html
Useful if your grandma is Inuit. [angel, May 01 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       I laughed and laughed, but then... I realized... Harold Ramos told us all in Ghostbusters: "Print is dead." If gramma can't be bothered to even set up an AOL account, then to hell with her.
Wondertoad, May 01 2001
  

       Yes baked yonks ago. I did it on my old Amstrad 8256 of fond memory which, by the way, crashed only about once a year. Those were the days.
redpony, May 01 2001
  

       Nah, nah, me lads, read the idea. I've yet to see a cursive font that actually looks handwritten. I've not seen any printer that will duplicate Grandma's ballpoint pen, the one that leaves little gob of blue ink in odd spots and sometimes skips a bit. And, to be bickerous about it, I've never seen a printer that creates a custom font based on user-set parameters. (To elaborate a bit, there should be some random variation in letter size and shape so that the same letter is not written the same way twice--just like me dear old Nuncle used to do it...)
Dog Ed, May 01 2001
  

       Certainly bakeable. Current script fonts (the one's I've seen, at any rate) have multiple characters for each code to account for the difference between connecting to an o,w,b,v, and connecting to the other letters. Extending this method a bit further...
nick_n_uit, May 22 2001
  

       I recall reading somewhere about some japanese font designer that added subtle software generated variations because viewers thought the text looked too precise/mechanical and it bothered them.
Widgit, Apr 11 2005
  

       So you are looking for personality over legibility is it? Refreshing. Perhaps we could set up some sort of challenge where a random halfbaker cough*Vernon*cough posts an idea written like this and we see who is actually able to read the whole thing.
hidden truths, Apr 11 2005
  

       Could we design one that prints the letter J like a backwards C that has been crossed? I always had a hoot when I got a letter with that one in it. Similar confusing letters would also be wortwhile, such as the three pronged Y. Users would of course select these along with the print style.
ye_river_xiv, Jul 24 2006
  

       My Gran was nearly blind so all shopping lists, birthday cards etc. written by her went like:
A very happy birt
my lovely. Lots of lo
from Granny.
  

       To get the rest of the message, you just had to go round to her house and read her kitchen table.
squeak, Jul 25 2006
  

       what do you mean Grandma? I write pretty bad sometimes and can't even read my own writing. I think this is great and would add lots of personality to all kinds of documents.+
xandram, Jul 25 2006
  

       [squeak], that might have been a ploy for more visitations.
tcarson, Jul 25 2006
  

       Coulda been. We saw her almost every day but, as she was rather forgetful, didn't know if we'd been or not.   

       My granny died a while back, unfortunately, and I've inherited her dining table. It's just occurred to me that I could take a rubbing of it and see if she left me a message.
squeak, Jul 26 2006
  
      
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