quite unfortunate -- i think they needed a little more hype.
It would be nice to have an e-ink display, but I can also buy a thinkpad x201/x220 for <$70/<$100 usd on ebay right now. It's not the smallest thing ever, but the x201 is pretty dang small for a "writing only" machine with a good keyboard. And I can still do basic web browsing or email if I really want to.
I have a better idea for an OS that runs off a stick and only has text editor capabilities and nothing more. Once can reuse their own laptop for writing. Once they boot in the writing mode with the memory stick on there's nothing else to access. The only problem is that as of now no such OS exists.
I'd also love to boot off a stick and only have access to a repl of my favorite language, nothing more.
Anybody out there up for the challenge of creating such an OS?
"n this way, the AlphaSmart provides an almost Pavlovian space in which to write: Get the device out, and the brain immediately moves into writing mode. This is another reason why I’ve been resistant to software on my computer that’s supposed to compel creativity and productivity. Because I do such a wide variety of tasks on my computer, my brain isn’t primed by the space to focus on one particular job. In this way, my computer’s all-purpose abilities, which is the main selling point of most laptops, actually becomes a liability. But the absolute simplicity of the AlphaSmart means that when I bring it out, I subconsciously know exactly what it is I need to do: write."
Yes, you can buy a laptop that is as much different from the other laptop you use, but it will still be that, a laptop. Not a mere writing device. I instantly get how that makes a big psychological difference, even if the machine is crippled in a way that would make it "impossible" to do anything else with it.
So, it is exactly NOT about any form of possible reuse for other purposes.
In one sense, sure. In another sense, it's just marketing for people who are unable to control their impulses and have a lot of money to spend.
> but it will still be that, a laptop
A laptop that isn't connected to the internet is a writing device.
There are numerous word processors based around this concept as well.
Spending $$$ on niche products won't make you write any more than figuring out a space to write in + a routine will. But people can't sell that for $400.
You don't have to spend -anything- to have bouts of focus for writing. Zero. Nada. But it's easier to spend money than to figure out why ignoring notifications is so impossible.
If you have the magical secret to impulse control, please share with the rest of us. Otherwise get off your high horse and shut up.
Parent comment never claimed to have this. Parent comment, and I, will retain the right to criticize overpriced products like this.
I would like proof that $$$ products like this are more effective at getting people to write than, say, creating a consistent routine, working out, dedicating a space/time just for writing, etc.
If we're just going to use anecdata, the most consistent advice I've seen from prolific authors is to "write something, even a little, every day, and read a lot". If you have lack of impulse control, then you need to sit down and reflect on why that might be the case. Maybe consult a medical professional if it's that dire. But those take work and introspection instead of just spending $$$ on a neat-looking product.
For the record, I -would- pay a lot of money for a laptop built like a thinkpad x201/x220, that had a good keyboard and an e-ink display! ...not for notifications, but I find e-ink displays significantly help me with eye strain.
I have zero issues with people criticizing a product for being overpriced. GP however in addition criticized people, implying that if you buy this product you should instead start practicing impulse control.
That's a comment very dismissive towards people with impulse control. Maybe things are different now, but when I was a kid, having poor impulse control was something that one would be criticized and shamed for regularly. It's very condescending to just say "have you tried improving your impulse control" as if that's going to be some revelation.
As a similar issue, a friend of mine has an autistic kid. She gets annoyed any time a pop-science article appears with some new treatment/method/etc. appears for autism because for the next year lots of well meaning people she meets will mention it when they find out her son is autistic. She doesn't typically say it, but her desired response is along the lines of: "Yes, I've been raising an austistic son for 12 years and yet I haven't done enough research about it to stumble across something that was published widely in the mainstream media."
> I would like proof that $$$ products like this are more effective at getting people to write than, say, creating a consistent routine, working out, dedicating a space/time just for writing, etc.
It's not an either/or proposition. As you mention, having a dedicated space and time make a big difference, but I think a computing device helps define the space. I will sometimes watch a youtube video in one window while reading an article in another window, but that doesn't happen when I'm watching a movie on my TV. Would people be equally well served with an old laptop with broken WiFi and no games installed? Probably. That doesn't make this device useless though, and if you don't already have an old laptop with broken WiFi, then $250 isn't that expensive, and this is probably much easier on the eyes if you want to, say, write outside.
> If you have lack of impulse control, then you need to sit down and reflect on why that might be the case. Maybe consult a medical professional if it's that dire. But those take work and introspection instead of just spending $$$ on a neat-looking product
I agree with this entire sentence! If all your problems can be completely fixed by spending $300 on a word-processor then your problems probably weren't that serious to begin with. However, I do think it can help create a dedicated space and time just for writing.
Just noticed that you wrote the GP comment to what I originally responded to:
> It would be nice to have an e-ink display, but I can also buy a thinkpad x201/x220 for <$70/<$100 usd on ebay right now. It's not the smallest thing ever, but the x201 is pretty dang small for a "writing only" machine with a good keyboard. And I can still do basic web browsing or email if I really want to.
This is totally a fair criticism of the product. I didn't feel a need to respond to it when I read it earlier, but since you got me hooked ;) I'll respond:
1. A new x201 display would be better in some conditions, worse in others than an e-ink display; I don't know how they age, but if you plan on primarily indoors work with not a lot of natural light, then we can call it a win for the x201; if you plan on working out side during the day it's a win for an e-ink display
2. "basic web browsing or email" is a downside for some people, but you could probably pull the wifi card (or cut traces if it's on the motherboard), or just buy one with broken wifi if needed, so inasmuch as an x201 could be modified to work this way, but a wordprocessor could not be modified to do web-browsing, that's a win for the x201.
3. For the freewrite traveler in specific, we don't know yet how good the keyboard is since it's not yet released. The x201 seems to have the traditional thinkpad keyboard that is arguably best-in-class for laptops. Some wordprocessors do use microswitch keyboards, but the freewrite does not.
4. All this reflection has made me think that an e-ink display running wordprocessing software with a USB port might be a great device; you can bring whatever keyboard you like and you can position the screen and keyboard independently. You would sacrifice some portability though.
Maybe, one could do some introspection about why they are unable to put notifications on hold?
Nah. Better spend a lot of money instead, because that will fix the root issue, assuredly.
W.r.t my original comment: For $70-$100 (at most!) I can take a laptop, disable the wifi, and open a word processor.
It is admittedly a splurge, as I already have a desktop pc and a perfectly capable macbook. However, that price point for a dedicated writing machine with a great keyboard was worth it to me. I did it for the keyboard, not the (lack of) notifications, but one could easily do it for that purpose.
A laptop with a keyboard is not going to give you different writing properties than a screen + a keyboard. They both will write text just the same. One can turn off notifications/connection to the internet if desired, and now they're both quiet devices.
I bought one of these things within 2 minutes of reading the blog post we're commenting on. I don't really need to "reflect" on the reasons that I sometimes have poor impulse control. It's not like not knowing why I'm sometimes tempted means that I'm no longer tempted.
And part of impulse control is "tying yourself to the mast" to avoid temptation in the future. It'd be stupid to keep piles of tempting junk food within arms length at all times and then berate yourself for "poor impulse control".
Similarly, it'd be stupid to put tons of social media, notifications, and games just a click or two away from where you're trying to do something hard and meaningful, and then berate yourself (or others) for your lack of reflection on your poor impulse control.
Which probably says something about the rise of keyboards and the fall of handwriting; I get that ASCII is more useful than paper, but $400 buys a lot of luxurious pens and paper.
Granted I’m a huge user of fountain pens and note books already :)
Wonder how much trouble it would be for them to integrate RIME, I'd buy that in an instant.
Would you happen to know any details on the OS/processor of the old sony PRS-350 e-readers?
There are two quirks in the older model I have. First, when opening the cover, it always starts in Japanese, so you have to press a key to get it to English. Second, some of the characters are in different slots; e.g. the apostrophe is inconvenient. Third, the keyboard is a tad scrunched.
[Technical side note: Back in the day, to transfer what you typed you used to plug it into the PS/2 keyboard port on a computer and press "send." It would then recreate each keystroke for the computer, regardless of what program you had open so if you hit send before opening up a word processor it would be chaos until it finished transferring.]
How does the saying go? "If it looks stupid but it works, it ain't stupid."
This is what it looked like: https://www.theultracomputer.com/images/20190118_032444.jpg
And you are right, I totally forgot about that extra ADB port on the apple keyboard!
This functionality still works to the day...and with even works with a USB adapter for iOS. You can write something out, plug it into an iPhone and have it “print” to the screen.
It also can act like a USB keyboard and can be filled used as such in iOS. The support us incredible. I have both a Dana and an Alphasmart 3, I prefer the Bondi Blue 3.
Now that I'm older I can better understand the frustrations the teachers must have felt. If I write painfully slowly and methodically my handwriting is legible so they knew I was physically capable of writing clearly. However I would have never finished my assignments if I had to do that so most of my work was in chicken scratch. My dad was a school teacher and I know how unappreciated/overworked they can feel. I know that sitting at home in the evening going through stacks of assignments and getting to mine must have been a bit of a gut punch. "Do I try and spend 10 minutes deciphering this or not?" As an adult I'm not sure what I would choose if I was in their position.
Still, there is no doubt in my mind I have had many, many lucky breaks and advantages throughout my life.
My teachers were frustrated and sent me to the counselor, who lucked into a solution for me. Combined with the fact that I was lucky enough to have a computer at home to use, parents who supported me, and teachers who wanted me to succeed was what made it work. Most people aren't as fortunate.
FYI, port speed on PS/2 was 7–12 kbit/s and Apple's was 10 kbit/s.
And it's a fun exercise to take this user's need and whiteboard out a new product for them. How are those ergonomics; could we hinge the display or project it somehow in a way that will let them type longer without discomfort? How's that LCD's readability; would eink be better? Should the device be doing incremental backups to the cloud? Should it offer dictation?
I think one of the key features would be no network connection.
It's my go-to for focus.
The send button is really cool. It turns it into an HID device and spews a stream of characters out over USB. It would be pretty easy and pretty cool to make a tiny little usb device that can accept that stream every time you hit 'SEND' and append it to a file on a... more robust system.
Maybe BTLE and an app on your phone for sync/backup would be an option? If I were using such a gadget, I'd really appreciate unobtrusive and just-works-ish features to make sure I don't lose what I've written.
- only film AND edit on my phone
- only create a movie as long as a single song track. don't edit the song track besides muting clips of the song.
- only spend < 60 minutes on editing the video
- publish daily
So now there's little workflow pauses waiting for files to transfer. It's now impossible to spend too much time in a rat hole of an edit. Of course this limits things I'd love to achieve with it, but on the other side, I get to publish so many more ideas and feel insanely more creative with it.
Feeling stuck? Probably need a good dose of giving yourself what seems like arbitrary and ridiculously limiting constraints.
The most powerful, expressive, flexible, and affordable way to make music, by far, is to do everything in a DAW inside a computer. Ableton + a few software synth plug-ins is a ridiculously powerful platform to make music in. You could produce albums for the rest of your life and never run out of inspiration. And the user interface for Ableton is just an absolute delight.
But it's so powerful that it takes me forever to get anything done. It's easy to spend three hours tweaking reverb settings and never finish anything.
The other approach is to do everything in dedicated hardware with real synthesizers. It's expensive to buy gear and a hassle to wire everything up. Decide that you want delay on your bass instead of the lead? That's five minutes of futzing with cables versus a single drag-and-drop in Ableton. Want two different reverb settings for the pad and the clap? Better shell out another $300 to buy a second reverb pedal. Undo? You're lucky if your sequencer supports it.
But because the set of options is so much narrower and the cost for rethinking choices is higher, the hardware environment pushes you forward and makes you want to finish things.
The tricky part is that, to a listener, the music made on hardware often just isn't as good in many ways as that made in a DAW. Listeners today are used to lots and lots of layers and very surgical production and mixing. That's easy (but time-consuming) in a DAW, but very difficult (and expensive) in hardware.
Finding the right balance here is hard.
I thought owning more plugins and getting better gear would mean I'd make lots and lots of music.
When I started out 9 years ago, I had Renoise, zero paid plugins (only free vsts like Synth1 and friends) and a cheap pair of earbuds. I didn't even understood basic things like translation, gain staging and etc, and I'd always wonder why my tracks wouldn't play correctly on other people's speakers (channels would clash frequencies, elements would downright disappear and etc).
Yet, my most creative, layered and musical (data amount, transitions and overall creativity) time was at that period. And I typed it all in using the computer keyboard. In a computer in the middle of the living room.
Now I have a huge desk with a pro usb audio dac, Yamaha Hs8 Monitors (excellent, btw), all plugged in with proper balanced xlr cables, 2 midi keyboards, an ATH-m50 pair of cans for when I can't be noisy in the Study (small kids), lots of paid plugins like Sylenth1 and Serum, a plethora of sample libraries scavenged and assembled painstakingly through the years... only the good stuff, categorized, ready to double click and peruse.
....It's been two years since the last time I actually used all this stuff
You guys are right. I need to get back to the basics.
What use is to be able to put 80+ tracks in your software because now you have a good pc that can handle that many if you can't even write the first part down because there are soooo many options and you're lost tweaking knobs.
"tweakititis" is a thing in music making.
One of my tracks, btw, if any of you got curious at what kind of music I make: https://soundcloud.com/flipbit03/ibu-kid
Meanwhile, with my little Electribe 2 and a couple of guitar pedals, I finished three tracks in like a tenth of the time and enjoyed it a hell of a lot more.
But, on the other hand, those two tracks I made on the computer are, I think, much better songs for someone to listen to.
So a big part of this dilemma is how much do I optimize for my enjoyment of the process versus the listener's enjoyment of the product? The two are not purely orthogonal. It's hard to make something people like if you're miserable doing it. But they aren't entirely aligned either, as can be witnessed by all of the many many ambient modular jams that I'm sure were fun for the artist to make but are just pointless boring noodling to the listener.
> One of my tracks, btw, if any of you got curious at what kind of music I make: https://soundcloud.com/flipbit03/ibu-kid
I like it! The filter sweep on the drums is <chef's kiss>. The overall structure is really cool. So much electronic music just has nothing interesting going on in the arrangement.
I first got into making music like, uh, 20 years ago using PlayerPro on a Mac. I was way more productive back then. Trackers are fun. But also my music was a lot shittier, so there's a trade-off. Have you talked yourself into getting a Polyend Tracker yet?
Here's my stuff:
I like putting it on YouTube because that feels less formal and less like a "release" to me. Though the downside is having to make some kind of video for each thing.
For the longest time I meant to write about the experience of working on my startup as a solo founder. I kept putting it off as it felt like a daunting task.
So I set a strong constraint for myself that I'll just talk into the camera every morning just while I have my second cup of coffee.
I'm very happy with the output and I actually enjoy it now https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHkgOonAQd5haT8HHJhpg6g (Building a SaaS business)
ignore the cellphone part here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQqWHLZjOjA
Small, Z80 based, with a few lines of text on the screen and powered by AA batteries. Other journalists used to laugh at the 'old guy with the Fisher Price computer', but the instant-on and distraction free typing was a definite advantage. Pretty nice not having to worry about a fragile, expensive laptop while out in the jungle or whatever, too.
Our students reporters had to take notes on paper.
In the early 90s dedicated word processing machines seemed to be pretty popular and writing papers with small lcd screens was common.
I'm kinda nostalgic for that less connected era, where life moved at a slightly slower pace. Like all nostalgia, I'm leaving out the bad parts.
I close my eyes and start typing.
In fact, Iv'e closed my eyes just now as I write this. Touch typing obviously helps! But it allows me to hyper-focus on my writing and not on anything else. If I wanted to, I could turn off all notifications. or just turn my sound off completely with "mute". No big deal. Granted, this isn't very portable, but I could do this with my laptop. The only thing I lack is the huge battery life.
As I open my eyes now, I re-emerge into the Real World where there exists more than my writing. I fix the typos, make an observation, and click "add comment".
But not before I add one more thing: You don't need a device to write. You need a process, and you need to get out of your own head.
These also have a mode where it just "types" the text into the program of your choice, via the usb cable. No drivers required and works with any OS that can recognize a usb keyboard.
For one, I've thought a lot about having two separate computers: one for writing code and a second for googling when I need help / slack / email / HN.
And then keeping the two devices in physically separate places.
I could accomplish this with software and accounts, but I know for myself it would be less effective.
It's worked really well for me for about 3 years now. And i hardly look at my phone.
I believe that too. I tried using my smart phone to take notes at trade-shows, and it just doesn't work well. I found having a little notebook + pen to be much faster than unlocking your phone, loading OneNote and writing down some notes.
I actually took a cue from the disability world for this and use a neonotes notebook and smart pen. You get the little notebook for immediate writing, but you can digitize it later and transcribe it into text for editing.
Immensely helpful tool. Just a god-send for those long technical conferences as well as day-to-day program meetings.
Please tell me the experience of using the pen(s?) is better than the site?
I started using one just to test it for our students. They're not getting mine back.
It's nice because you can change the weight and color of the ink electronically, highlight, and record audio to go along with it. It uses bluetooth to your phone, where you can transcribe, add tags to filter and search, and generally organize your notes in a very short amount of time. You can edit your writing on the computer or on your phone, so you can remove sensitive notes for individual people and share the page with very little work. It automatically recognizes separate notebooks and organizes them appropriately. It can integrate to my calendar; that way calendar events are added automatically if I write them on the notebook paper. The same for contacts via e-mail or phone - it can automatically add them to your contacts if you write them down. You can e-mail several file types straight from the pen using an e-mail link on the physical paper (small picture of an envelope). It can automatically backup to several cloud providers as well. There are picture editing and video illustration options as well, but I am not familiar with them.
They're pretty intuitive. My handwriting is garbage and it does a good job of learning what I'm writing based on the first few pages of transcription changes that I've made.
I use mine for all meetings and notes in my day-to-day. It is invaluable for those of us with garbage memories. I assign my team tasks in different colors and send the .pdf page out when necessary.
100% their website is crap.
I've recently gotten to experience this somewhat, although on a single machine. With the whole "no in-person meetings" thing, I've been working out at my cabin with LTE tethering as my only Internet connection. Since I've got a limited amount of bandwidth, I spend most of the time off-line. It seems like the (admittedly miniscule) activation energy to set up the tether connection is just enough to make me be thoughtful about when I'm connected to the Internet, and it's really refreshing to not have all the notifications popping up all the time.
Yeah, there is a really compelling idea in single use tech/computers, especially for creative use. AlphaSmart really is distraction free to an extreme and instant on, writing where you left off in like three seconds is amazing.
Problem though is that this is a cottage industry at best and any new devices will be priced in the same range as a POS laptop.. so why buy it? $600 for a new Justwrite? That’s a little dear.
I now leave wifi turned off on my main computer except when I need to transfer a file or edit a web page, and I have a separate laptop on the other side of the room that I use to check mail or browse the web. (Irony of ironies, it's the computer Steve Huffman wrote Reddit on. When Steve and Alexis auctioned off their old laptops for charity, I bought them for the Y Combinator museum.)
He added a note to the top, however, saying that he gave up on his method.
The Cambridge Computer Z88 is an A4-size, lightweight, portable Z80-based computer with a built-in combined word processing/spreadsheet/database application called PipeDream (functionally equivalent to a 1987 BBC Micro ROM called Acornsoft View Professional), along with several other applications and utilities, such as a Z80-version of the BBC BASIC programming language.
One area that was a disappointment is really doesn't like x-ray machines (or maybe the other bits in the scanning process — magnets?). I asked for hand inspection at LHR, they refused, and putting it through the scanner corrupted what was stored in memory. Only upside is doing something again is usually quicker and better than the first time.
Doesn’t look like it ever took off - I helped port an office suite to it.
I don't know about AlphaSmart though - the screen is too cramped. I suspect after the initial euphoria of finding another way to write wears off, the author will get tired of the limitations and go back to writing on a tablet or PC. Having said that, maybe there is a market for a writing-only device, similar to a read-only eBook reader.
The other device I often use is a Thinkpad A20m running Linux. The only web browser on it is lynx (which I mostly use or Wikipedia).
The article mentions just such a device
It seems as though writing is a highly individualized process.
I personally use occasionally an android based ebook reader with a bluetooth keyboard (Onyx BOOX Poke 2 with logitech k380). Distraction free writing is a thing.
Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a dedicated writing device but, for me as someone who writes pretty much for the entire working day, inconvenience is the biggest bar to writing other than lack of sleep. If I can't edit on the device, or find the text in my usual GSuite/Office 365 spaces, then maybe I'd be better off with a $40 dictaphone and Rev.com.
I posted elsewhere in this thread about this, so to summarize: I've been at a cabin using LTE tethering, and am consciously turning my Internet connection off and on.
I fully realize that the problem is in my brain, but putting up just that tiny of a barrier is enough of an effective "hack" to change the way I work in a positive way. Because there's no connection most of the time I'm working, there's no HN, there's no email popping up, there's no Slack notifications, and there's no "falling down a rabbit hole searching for a solution". I'm spending way more time writing down/rubber ducking the problem I'm trying to solve and coming up with the solution myself (which generally results in a much better understanding of the problem)
I have also considered minimal linux distros but realize that it's not going to be much better than my kindle fire.
For editing, I would still use my kindle fire.
I use a custom gulp-based build process from markdown files that I wrote which spits out manuscript format, and the NEO works fine with that. Of course it can only hold 9 scenes at once.
Now if I only knew where to get antiglare screen protection that actually works. I renewed it recently and the new one is not anti-glare at all. :/
The difference is unless you're already wealthy or talented, you _need_ to write effectively to compete in the modern 'white collar' workforce.
Writing something that people want to read is very hard. People don't read for the sake of reading, they read to learn something or feel something. It can take years of consistent practice to evoke anger, sadness, or laughter through writing. Think about how many books, workshops, and college courses there are on writing itself. It is sort of like programming, it is a skill that anyone can learn given enough time and it has very little barrier to entry. This makes it extremely competitive, so a lot of people need to exploit whatever edge they can get.
We had two in my house, even though we also had general purpose computers. I think they were still in use into the early 90s for school reports.
There seem to be tons of TFT options out there on the cheap, but they're probably not great in terms of eye strain and power consumption.
If price is no object, then e-ink displays seem a great choice, e.g. $70 for a 7.5'' display:
If you liked the Psion you might like its successor the Gemini from Planet Computers (https://store.planetcom.co.uk/products/gemini-pda-1). Same awesome keyboard.
If you need to frequently do admin tasks (e.g. config file and script editing) it's still a pretty interesting choice.
I've been able to ship a few projects using this trick.
Not sure who was (Maybe Seth Godin?) who recommended using a different computer, which may even work better.
It's a raspberry Pi, with an e-ink screen, and battery to provide an 'offline' repository of information, including Wikipedia.
It runs PalmOS!
Nice to know my crappy code is still causing problems all these years later.
Do you happen to know of any existing product like this, or the feasibility of building one?
If you do a search for "vtech abc" and variations you'll find a huge number of different types of devices.
There are a bunch of toy laptops for toddlers too. I dont think there is any space inbetween.
I suppose my proposed target audience is 3-5 year olds. Do you think there wouldn't be enough interest?
There were also a few simple word processors by Brother I think.
If you don't have a way to acquire one of these devices, a similar solution can be implemented with a Bluetooth keyboard (Like the Logitech K480,U$D 35 @ Amazon, and has a slot for tables or phones) and a tablet or your phone (Or _a_ phone).
You'll need an app for that, and my current choice for writing in my tablet is Joplin  that has apps for all the OSes and phones, and can be hooked with different ways of cloud storing for your files (Like Dropbox or NextCloud)
Do you never find yourself using your smartphone or tablet to procrastinate after intending to use it for a productive purpose?
My take was that not that many people will have the choice to get their hand on one of these devices (I, for one, can't).
The keyboard is mechanical, as is the rest of the device.
I also recall thinking he was nuts.
i've mostly been running it as a linux tty, but in spite of being designated a 'personal electronic printer', it has some memory and editing features so could pass as a portable word processor.
unfortunately its keyboard is quite unsatisfactory, so i'm considering acquiring a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_700 also for use as a tty.
i would be interested in further suggestions along these lines.
1. It uses a dated, proprietary cable to transfer your writing to a computer. Worst part of this is that the AlphaSmart re-types your writing so if you’ve written the 50000 word max then it will take some time to save it. The process is just annoying enough to trigger procrastination.
2. If the battery comes out then you’ve lost everything. This isn’t such a dealbreaker since I want a dumber word processor to get out of my way but I think it makes the keyboard a little too dumb.
3. Honestly, it’s not sexy. It’s huge, too. And people with no interest in writing just don’t get it at all. The looks people give me when I’ve used it in the public are like “what insane Jesus cult stuff is this guy writing on that??” Nothing crazy here, just hunting bugs on TempleOS.
I see a market for a machine like this but done better. The just write or whatever branding they are using checks a lot of boxes but the price is insane.
I think I’ll just rig up Atom to work a little bit more like Scrivener.
I use the cable that came with mine, but isn't it just a regular USB A->B cable, available for $0.50 at any thrift store?
I remember something like this being announced a few years ago called The Hemingway. This is what I found when I DDG'ed The Hemingway typing machine.
After all, part of the appeal is that you can't edit anything beyond what you're currently typing right now, like a typewriter. However, you still need to edit eventually, and that naturally forces you to move data occasionally to your computer.
And even if it does break, you probably remember what you wrote enough to recreate it anyway.
If you're writing hundreds of pages at a time, it's probably a mess anyway.
It also seems stupid-simple enough that losing data will require a pretty major event (i.e. more than just a power loss).
Personally, I would be in rough shape if I used this thing for more than 15 minutes.
I write my first drafts on my MacBook in a similar way where I turn the screen off and type away.
I guess this is better than "you don't have an account, no article for you!" but it still strikes me as odd.
Also, aren't cyberdecks the complete opposite to these devices? They strike me as a multi-purpose device like any laptop, but in a different form factor and maybe a bit more optimized for hardware hacking?
I would say that cyberdecks can be whatever you want. I've seen some single-purpose form factors like network testing or radio telemetry before