Anybody out there actually used one of these for real writing? Is it worth tracking one down?
@kl I have no experience with it, but tbh I believe there are cheaper modern alternatives that are also smaller and lighter to carry. You probably want a machine you can use for writing without distraction? There are solutions.
I personally would be interested in a teletype machine. I could dial into a 9 machine and use ed for writing.
@sirjofri I fully admit that 50% of the appeal is nostalgia, 25% is my genuine love of amber monochrome displays, and the other 25% is “distraction free writing.” Teletype is an interesting idea… lately I do most of my writing in Org mode and use pandoc to do something with it.
@sirjofri my problem with “retrocomputing” in general is that the devices pretty quickly become data islands. The methods of getting files in and out are just fragile enough that it’s easy to lose work. Text files on a “real” computer don’t have that problem.
@kl sure, that's often the issue. We still have no memex with microfilm instant cameras for your head.
As long as you stick with some standard ansi txt file you have no issues, as long as you can transfer the file. Worst case, you can write a qr code builder and scan it from a modern device to get your data.
Also that's why teletype is the idea: you have everything on your modern machine with a very old interface. I'd love to experience that
@sirjofri @kl I've got a Tandy 1400LT which I've managed to boot ELKS (https://github.com/jbruchon/elks) on, and I've got my home server spawning a tty over serial so I can use the Tandy as a vt102 (I think?) compatible terminal.
The joy you'll get out of writing on something like that is, IMO, entirely dependent on the keyboard quality and the layout. The Tandy's fucking fantastic for that, Ctrl is right next to the A where it belongs and the keyboard is mechanical. The screen fucking sucks though ;)
@kl @sirjofri https://github.com/jbruchon/elks/blob/6cfd16c0e7f2c11f6ec6194e55b70b6379fbd063/elkscmd/man/man5/keymap.5 would suggest yes for anything that can run ELKS
(Somewhat related, I haven't been able to convert totally to the 9 religion yet. It's inevitable, just like the guy who only starts going to Mass once he has kids. I just haven't had "computer kids" yet that push me over the edge.)
@kl @sirjofri Oh I'm not like a total convert, I'm like someone who goes to church on Sunday but acts like an asshole the rest of the time ;) I like to use 9 purely for things I enjoy doing and I use more modern (and overcomplicated) stuff to actually get shit done.
wrt using Emacs, be aware that I had some terminal compatibility glitches with vim, but I'm sure by finding the right `TERM` env var and possibly kneecapping a few features you'd be fine!
A couple of things to be aware of: ELKS won't run on anything that's older than an 8086(? possibly, you might want to double check that), and I can't guarantee what your client device will do when faced with UTF-8 (mine does https://cybre.space/@grimmware/107570895453692811 this), I think it depends on the BIOS.
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko