Wednesday, October 29, 2014


So have you seen the Hemingwrite? Here's a rendering:

 In a nutshell:
  • "Mechanical" keyboard (meaning using switches like the coveted IBM Model M)
  • e-ink screen
  • Aluminum body
  • Aiming for 6-week battery life
  • Magic hand-waving about saving to the cloud (Google Docs, Evernote?) over WiFi
Knowing my gadgetry predilections, my well-meaning family keeps emailing me stories about this mockup/prototype/thingus.

My honest take: I don't like it.

Or more specifically, I don't like what it touts itself to be: some kind of a return to the "simplicity of a 90s era word processor" (their words.) Really, I think it's just trying too hard, like the highly-priced reproductions of vintage technology from Restoration Hardware. It's just so... twee. And I remember the word processors of the 90s, and they were far from simple. Disk drives, endless functions and modes and styles and so on. Hateful things.

But why stop at the 90s? Why not go back another decade or so? What's that old quote about failing to learn from history?

Tandy Model 100

Cambridge Z88/Sinclair Z88

And of course the modern incarnation, evolved from decades of being in the single-purpose device market. A market that has shrunk drastically, alas.

Neo Rhino

This is a well-worn path, and I'm just a shade skeptical of the Hemingwrite, if it ever comes to pass at all. Six weeks of battery life, you say? Yeah... maybe. The Neo claims about 700+ hours on AA batteries, with no WiFi on board. Oh, and it's light, durable, and dead simple.

But maybe Hemingway would have thrived on a more high-tech typewriter? Ruben Bolling speculates...

(click to read on Boing Boing)

1 comment:

Richard P said...

What a brilliant comic!

I tend to agree with you about Hemingwrite, but I'll try to reserve judgment ...