My Freewrite Alternative

With my personal discovery of eInk devices also the topic distraction free writing came into perspective. Manufacturers claim that their gadgets support a free flow of ideas and inspiration by being nearer to the real world somehow than the other, more digitally and technically inclined stuff. Example: reMarkable points out that their product comes near to the physical experience of writing on paper. This should evoke positive energy to boost your imagination and give you a positive feedback when writing or sketching your thoughts.

These eInk tablets are computers like others, they differ in that they are much less powerful, much less versatile and multi-purpose, and that they use a display which is really good only for one thing: reading static text.

Don’t get fooled: these gadgets are only good for a certain, well-defined niche! And this niche is the only reason one could accept, living in a capitalistic world, the exorbitant price of most of these products!

But there is one further niche, quite similar to the eInk niche which leaves you baffled: the digital typewrite devices like the Freewrite!

The only thing these devices are capable of is, that they let you typewrite on a first-class keyboard. Already when you start looking on the screen awaiting your first character to appear there, you know: they can’t even do this in a reasonable way. The lag between keyboard and screen is enormous, so what the hell? A really good keyboard, paired with an underpowered tiny CPU board, text processor which is on the level of a line-editor in the 1970’s and a screen being good enough for being a price-tag in the supermarket, that’s it!

And people do buy these things, although the Freewrite being designed like a toad, so ugly I could chuck up, costs 730 EUR, the small companion (completely made of plastique) 560 EUR, the Hemingwrite or Hemingway Signature Edition (Hemingway’s dead and can’t sign anything anymore anywhere) costs even 1100 EUR. W H A T ?

I’m writing this complete text in one session in GhostWriter on a Linux notebook, a nice little machine with long-lasting battery and a fine matte screen, full-screen mode, of course! Absolutely distraction and bullshit free!

As a home project I’ll take my X60s (Lenovo ThinkPad), install GhostWriter on it and voila: my personal 0,00 EUR distraction free writing tool! That’s my solution to the problem.

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