Is Alphasmart the ultimate writers' tool?

If you can type without pain and without editing, that might make sense.

If you are writing stream-of-consciousness, too, that might make sense.

If you are writing from several sources, comparing them, etc. it helps to be able to check your sources, compare them, correct errors, etc. as you write.

If you have arm or hand issues, it would help to be able to use speech-to-text software, but it will take years of development, recognition of dialect differences, better dictionaries with more words, tolerance for speech differences, and freedom from noise bombardment.

I understand that Neo and Dana are two different beasts, though, especially where battery life is concerned.

What do you mean?

What do you want it to do that it doesn’t do?

Why not just use a decent sized Bluetooth keyboard and a bare-bones note-taking app on a dedicated smartphone with no sim card? It works for me.

I have a hemmingwrite on order…silly looking things are my style.


Hmm … this has me thinking. What could be hacked together with a Raspberry Pi. Joe would be perfect, it’s probably the closest analogue to old school word processors like Word Star (@peemlives, you can get your diamond). There are all kinds of basic, low-powered displays that work with it (check out The original model A had no network connection by default. Another fun possible project to add to the list of things I’m unlikely to get to.

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Before I got an alphasmart I was actually pretty set on designing a 3d-printable frame that would take a Rpi with screen hat, a cellphone charging battery and a tenkeyless keyboard. I was planning on using jstar or emacs to actually write. Joe (in jstar mode) is probably my favorite text editor right now and I’m surprised that I didn’t discover it years ago.

I realized that I wouldn’t be able to make anything as light, durable, reliable, inexpensive or with battery life nearly as good as an alphasmart. It would be much more versatile and and solar powerable, though.

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Here’s what I mentioned earlier, I will probably end up buying one in the next year:

Not that I need to ask, but please review?

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one more thing kinda

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Thank you! Corrected.

Recently, for first-draft style writing (where, for me at least, it’s mostly about getting some words down on a page…) I’ve been using the following setup:
A original iPad running iOS 5.1.whatever and a copy of WriteRoom with a KD Paradise V60 mechanical keyboard (cherry mx clear switches) plugged into it via the old 30 pin camera connection kit dodad. Works a treat- battery life is workable (though, to be fair, not Alphasmart long), and they browser of the iPad is so hobbled that doing any meaningful distraction via the web isn’t practically possible. And I get to use a lovely proper mechanical keyboard that feels really, really good to type on.
Not for everyone, I’d imagine.

Sorry this did not auto-close as expected. Our bad.