I recall an Asimov short story from the 1950s or before, in which a reporter character hides a mini-typewriter in a pocket, so he can surreptitiously type notes during an interview. It's a great example of a bad prediction of new technology, since Asimov didn't postulate a miniature wire or tape recorder, even though both of those technologies existed when he wrote the story - but I don't remember what story it was.

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    The Clarke novel The Sands Of Mars has people using typewriters In Space! but I don't remember if they're miniature ones.
    – Shawn
    Jul 25, 2023 at 22:01
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    Heck in Hostess, one of the female characters uses a hidden recording device during an interview.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jul 25, 2023 at 22:30
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    "It's a great example of a bad prediction of new technology" - I don't think so, the Microwriter Agenda had a chord keyboard and could fit into a jacket pocket. I admit the physical layout isn't quite right for a jacket breast pocket use because the chord keys would need to be on the left of the unit, but the size ok. If the QUERTY keyboard and display were removed it would be better for another pocket. There are legal reasons for written/typed and not wire recording. Maybe he failed to predict the fashion, not technology Jul 26, 2023 at 9:50
  • Fair enough - thanks
    – Andrew
    Jul 26, 2023 at 10:39
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    @SamLiddicott Not just that, but it also allows the journalist to make unspoken notes. Even if you have an audio recorder running, being able to note down "[Person A] looked shifty/nervous when [Person B] mentioned [Thingy]", or queries that you want to follow up on later, is a valuable tool. Jul 27, 2023 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


This sounds like the framing story for I, robot. The reporter interviewing Susan Calvin has a device in his pocket to record the interviews:

I was taking it down verbatim on my pocket-recorder, trying not to show the knuckle-motions of my hand. If you practice a bit, you can get to the point where you can record accurately without taking the little gadget out of your pocket.

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    Exactly right. It being a frsme story is probably why I couldn't remember what story it was
    – Andrew
    Jul 26, 2023 at 0:14

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