A simple writing device/word processor

One of our members @textbook_quest brought up the idea of a simple writing device/word processor- something akin to a modern typewriter. We’re curious what others think about this. Take it away @textbook_quest :slight_smile:

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There is already a device like this: It’s called the Freewrite https://getfreewrite.com/products/freewrite-smart-typewriter?gclid=CjwKCAiA_9r_BRBZEiwAHZ_v1-UlWPhXLGf-xU6fXQXnV5ZS0H1F1cKaei1R1RrLHMLJ44bkObTMChoCMjgQAvD_BwE

But more competition never hurt anyone.

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@Jose_Briones I agree, competition is key! I checked out Freewrite & my first reaction was…let me put this as diplomatically as I can… It’s not very aesthetically pleasing to the eye (at least for me). I wouldn’t display it on my desk :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Personally, an all matte black/pebble grey word processor- in line with Mudita’s style would be much more my style :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the post @urszula!
I will repost my initial comment below:

I am certain there would be a decent market for it — particularly if it’s done well . There have been a lot of poor attempts to create this kind of product (Freewrite, Pomera, Scripto) but none of them have been very well executed and almost all of them are tacky and cheap looking.

Tactility is the most important. I would want something that feels solid — not like a cheap piece of plastic rattling around. I would love this sort of device because it would remove my need for a laptop. I love to be able to write anywhere . Laptops/tablets also disappoint me for writing because of how poor the battery life can be and how hard it is to see the screen outside. Plus the obvious blue light effects on my life.

Software could be as simple as something like IA Writer. Straightforward plaintext writing. Of course, I wouldn’t mind basic screenplay formatting options.

To add to this, there are many videos/guides online — not indifferent from the “How to Turn Your iPhone into a Feature Phone” guides — that are dedicated towards taking a cheap laptop and turning it into a dedicated writing device with zero distractions.

The idea of being able to go virtually anywhere — the woods, the beach, a coffee shop, a different room in your house — and write without having to worry about bringing your power cord, inclement weather, blinding glare, and more would be incredible. All of those are unnecessary stressors that interfere with an already challenging task. Above all, a device that feels like a solid tool and not like a toy.

Writing is also something that, like with reading, just feels icky when done on a bright LCD screen.

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Yes, please. I was never able to find such basic word processor that I liked.

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Have a look at the Alphasmart Neo 2. This company was founded by former Apple employees. I picked one up on eBay recently: it feels pretty nice to type on, great battery life; quick & easy to use. However, it’s now discontinued and support has ended. You can still use it to some extent with any computer, but will need to run an older OS version for full functionality with their sync software.
In my opinion, if you aim for an updated product from this starting point, you won’t go far wrong!

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@chrisnb
Ah! This is the one product I forgot that was on the tip of my tongue. Great example. Very much room to improve!

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There’s always the Pomera DM30.

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Definitely the best out there currently IMO. Still, it’s quirky and not terribly ergonomic I feel. Just feels like a prototype to me

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I was thinking of something on the lines of: https://getfreewrite.com/collections/writing-tools/products/freewrite-traveler

But maybe matte black and more “zen”. And have it only be a digital EXTERNAL keyboard and monitor, that would pair somehow with the mudita phone (or any phone that has the specific simple mudita writing app).

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To go even more minimal, I just got the idea of a keyboard with a small, simple projection lens on the end, so that there’s not even a screen attached. Simply set the typing device on a table near a wall or other vertical surface, and it could project your document in front of you! (White words on “black”, it would have to be.)

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That is interesting! I do feel like there’d be a technical hurdle with text being visible during sunny days, but it is an interesting suggestion in the spirit of minimalism!

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I ordered a Mudita Pure today because – in large part – of how much I have enjoyed the Freewrite Traveler that I have had for two months. The distraction-free nature of the Traveler will, I expect, be matched by the distraction-free nature of the Pure. The book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World – by Cal Newport – inspired both of these purchases.

I can hardly wait for Mudita to ship the Pure! My funding on Indiegogo of the Traveler meant a 19-month wait for delivery, so I am hoping that I won’t have to wait 19 months from now for the Pure. (The order page today predicted April of 2021 for the start of shipping.)

Meanwhile, I have dumbed down my Android phone in anticipation of getting the Pure. This has pushed me back to my laptop for actions that I formerly performed through apps on my Android phone. For example, I no longer check email on my Android phone, and I log in to my bank’s website through my laptop to transfer money to others.

My biggest concern about the Pure was the lack of support for navigation by GPS. Now, however, instead of relying on the Google Maps app for driving navigation, I am learning to use the GPS navigation system built into my Mazda.

I agree that the original Freewrite looks unusual. But, if you do not need a built-in frontlight, then take a look at the new Freewrite Traveler. (I use a clip-on book-light when I want to use my Traveler in the dark.) Here is the review that I posted at Freewrite’s website:

IBM CORRECTING SELECTRIC ON STEROIDS

The Freewrite Traveler is like an IBM Correcting Selectric II typewriter on steroids. Yes, it loves touch-typists, frees you from distractions, and lets you backspace-delete letters. But, you get much more in 1.6 lbs. than in the Selectric’s 40.5 lbs. You can backspace-delete whole words at a time. You can move your work to a computer without retyping everything. You get computer-like scrolling to reach and correct typos that won’t leave you alone. The “EN (INTL)” setting is like the International-English setting in Windows 10. And, you can use the [alt gr] key to type even more characters: https://www.kirkmahoney.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/freewrite-traveler-en-intl-keyboard.png

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@kirkmahoneyphd Thank you so much for your purchase! We’re delighted that you chose Mudita Pure as part of your journey. The question of GPS often comes up. I recently covered the topic in an article on our blog: The Lure of Geoloaction. It’s a very matter-of-fact take on the concept that convenience always come at a cost. If you get a chance to read it, let me know your thoughts. Welcome to the Mudita family!

Thank you! It was that article (The Lure of Geolocation) that convinced me to switch to my in-car GPS-based navigation system, which cannot beam my location to anyone.

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Yes, please!

Make it distraction free, give it beautiful, minimalist design, a good, quality keyboard, an e-ink screen, load few quality fonts and I’m in!

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@Wladyslaw_Foltynski Stay tuned :slight_smile: We have many exciting surprises up our sleeves. :wink:

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I don’t use US QWERTY💔

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I use vi on openbsd with a happy hacking keyboard without xwindows installed.
I personally would never give up my keyboard or vi to use anything else.

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I am also a vim user, as was my grandmother!
In fact, this thread inspired me to write the following, related contribution: SSH on a feature phone with a hardware keyboard [Done it]

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