A Typewriter For The Paperless Age

Writing is, as any of the Hackaday crew will tell you, a task which requires concentration. For your best work there’s a need to be in that elusive Zone, and for some that means making the experience as distraction free as possible. For them there’s an entire class of minimalist word-processors and text editors which reduce the UI to nothing more than the text. [Adam Blumenberg] has taken this a step beyond software with his digital typewriter, a single-purpose Raspberry Pi-based cyberdeck that serves only for distraction-free writing.

There’s not a lot in the way of descriptive text at the above link but in a way there doesn’t need to be as the photographs tell the story. A mechanical keyboard and a wide but not very tall display fit with the Pi in a fairly rudimentary wooden case, and running Focuswriter it leaves very little in the way of distraction. In that sense it’s not quite so much a cyberdeck in its application as something more like the smart digital typewriters from a few decades ago without the printer, but we can see that it makes for a very handy writing implement. Sadly the job of writing for Hackaday requires constant access to online sources on a larger screen, or we’d be tempted to try one ourselves.

The one-purpose writing computer is an idea we’ve seen before from time to time, for example in this one with an e-paper display.

9 thoughts on “A Typewriter For The Paperless Age

  1. Yeah, some need “zone concentration from a minimalist typewriter” but some need “access to online sources”.
    It really depends on what you’re writing.
    Binary writing philosophies.

    But need a totally different setup for writing jokes and comedies (i.e., additional jokesters in the room with you to bounce ideas off of). Make a typewriter for that!

  2. In addition to its home on GitHub at:

    FocusWriter Portable is also available as a Portable App at:

    where its Version 1.8.5 memory footprint is listed as 65MB download / 379MB installed.

    Compare this with AbiWord at:

    which has a memory footprint listed as 6MB download / 15MB installed.

    Apparently, by removing the “distractions”, FocusWriter put on a lot of weight!

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.