Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

Sometimes, retro is more than just a style choice...

I tend to just send most of my Kickstarter links directly to Facebook these days -- part of a general philosophy that FB is good at light-contact links without much depth, and LJ gets saved for stuff that I consider real content. But some still deserve a post here.

Today's example is the Hemingwrite, which is kind of horrifyingly brilliant because of what it is *not*. It is *not* a tablet, *not* a browsing device, *not* a general-purpose PC. It's simply trying to be the freaking *typewriter* for the 21st century, focused on churning out words and nothing else.

I suspect I would find some of their decisions frustrating, but I get where they are coming from. It contains basically no word-processing features, not even cut-and-paste -- the theory is that the Hemingwrite is for creating text, and you then sync it to a real computer (one-button sync to your favorite cloud word processor) for editing. The theory is clearly that writing is modal: that when you are writing, you should *write*, and not be thinking about the editing. (Much less social networking.) So this is a device that is highly optimized for that one task.

That said, the hardware decisions look smart. The screen is e-ink, and it has an old-fashioned, serious keyboard; the result is that the thing looks preposterously retro, very much like the earliest toy laptops. But of course it holds a million pages, lets you work on multiple documents at once, and claims an expected month of battery life.

I don't write seriously enough to need one of these -- most of my writing is LARPs, and the process is about 90% design, 10% writing. But my gadget lust is piqued by such a clever device; if I really was writing a lot, I'd actually think about this...
Tags: kickstarter
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