Monday, January 11, 2016

A New Typewriter?

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Typecast128
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Typecast130

Post-Script: What would a hypothetical Neo replacement device look like? I'd like for it to have an eInk-type of display, and the same high-quality tactile keyboard and rugged build quality (the Neo was engineered for classroom instruction). The operating system should be just as transparent, with no frivolous apps or distractions. Forget Internet connectivity or WiFi. But I would like for it to take a memory card or USB thumb drive, and for it to be "seen" as a memory device once plugged into a tablet or computer, not needing any specialist software for communication. Since memory is cheap these days, it should have enough room for several full-length books. And the battery life should be just as good.

Will we see such a device in the future? I hope so. I can imagine some handy tinkerer might be able to get a prototype designed and fabricated in China, then manufactured via a Kick Starter-like campaign. But I'm not holding my breath; I have this Neo (and more are still available online), along with a collection of manual typewriters. But it's fun to imagine.

Composed via AlphaSmart Neo, typecast via Smith-Corona Galaxy 12.

8 Comments:

Blogger Ted said...

$30 shipped from a dozen listings on Ebay. Not too bad at all. I have 2 Danas, basically just a bigger touch screen, shorter battery life (about 20 or so hrs) and the handy ability to plug in and save to/from SD memory cards. If the Neo took SD, that would be ideal.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Richard P said...

Check out https://getfreewrite.com.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

Ha! Neo2's on the bay for as low as $28 shipped. I just snagged one to try out against the Dana.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Joe V said...

Richard, that "get free write" seems intriguing, I'll wait and see what it is.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

..aand just got back from a thrift run, and picked up a Neo (green version) for $7. :D

7:01 PM  
Blogger Richard P said...

The Freewrite was originally called the Hemingwrite, and is discussed under that name in my book (Chapter 6). Looks like a good idea, but it's not going to be cheap.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Joe V said...

@Richard: Ah, yes, I remember the Hemingwriter. It sounded interesting, but a bit pricey. Still, I hope someone else has the vision for something like a Neo.

@Ted: You might become the father of the Neosphere, with enough machines and a few blog articles. ;)

~Joe

8:47 PM  
Blogger jerry said...

I just bought a NEO from St Vinnie's for a princely sum of $8 US! I recognized the name from my reading on the Typewriter Talk forum, though I didn't remember any particular comments. Now that I've got it home and checked it out I think it's fantastic! I was especially sold when I plugged in the USB cable and plugged it into my computer and started up Notepad (or Pluma, which is used on my Linux OS) and it sent the text file without a glitch. Not a single garbage character to edit out! I've only had it out for a couple of hours now, but I am blown away by how great an idea this machine is.
treefaller

4:28 PM  

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~Joe

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