Laptop computers have largely replaced word processors for most folks who want to do some writing/typing on the go. But laptops are also fabulous procrastination machines: games, websites, and cat videos await every time you sit down to write.
So it’s not surprising that companies like Astrohaus have managed to convince some folks to spend hundreds of dollars on distraction-free writing machines like the Freewrite and the upcoming Traveler.
Then again, you could just build your own. It’s a great way to procrastinate when you should be writing.
Software engineer NinjaTrappeur decided to walk the unbeaten path and build a word processor for scratch.
It’s powered by a Raspberry Pi computer and uses an E Ink screen for the display. There’s also a mechanical keyboard and a battery that provides about 16 hours of run time on a charge.
The whole thing is held together by a custom-built wooden case.
While the project was partially inspired by the Freewrite, one goal was to produce a version running only free software. The use of a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B makes this easy, since there’s a strong developer community around the single-board computer. NinjaTrappeur was able to use the Raspbian operating system for the digital typewriter.
The DIY E Ink typewriter is still a work in progress: it’s fully functional, but the screen refresh rate is on the low side and the battery life could be longer. So before producing more units and putting them up for sale, NinjaTrappeur is hoping to explore options to address those issues, possibly by using a different single-board computer.
via Hacker News