Author Tools: I wrote this review of a Freewrite on a Freewrite

Author Tools – things to help you get your writing done

I don’t know that a first draft only mobile word processor is for everyone, but if you want to what one is like head on over to Boing Boing where Jason Weisberger reviews his.

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I wrote this review of a Freewrite on a Freewrite

Jason Weisberger

Jun 3, 2016

Astrohaus-Freewrite_lg_05-1024x768I jumped on the Freewrite/Hemingwrite kickstarter ages ago. It took so long for the single purpose, first-draft-only word processor to show up, I’d occasionally forgotten it was coming. I’ve had it for a few weeks now, and last weekend I typed a review out, on the unit itself.

Thing is, you can’t edit on the unit. The review below is the raw output of my clattering away at the old-timey keyboard.

If there is elegence to be found in simplicity, the team at Astrohaus have done their damnedest with the Freewrite, their single-purpose, distraction-free word processor. Originally billed as the Hemingwrite, I bought into the kickstarter on this years ago, hoping it’d help me focus on some short stories I never get finished while working on my laptop, or bother to transcribe from my notebooks.

I waited a long time for this unit, so I’m a little less forgiving of the problems than I might be with another kickstarted piece of kit. I have absolutely no complaints about the fit and finish. The device is pretty lovely in its gaudiness. It is supposed to resemble a typewriter, I think of the 1920s-1930s generation of my Remington Rand Deluxe Porta 5. It sort of does, the selector switches are mounted in a way to resemble the reels for ribbon, but it more closely feels like a mid to late 1990s portable wordprocessor. It weighs slightly, but not much less. It works about the same, and part of its charm is that it throws back to a mechanical keyboard like they would have used back then.

The keyboard is pretty much heaven, if you come from the days of yore, as I do. It feels like I am jamming along on a Commodore Vic20, or a WYSE terminal. While the e-ink isn’t vac green, its about as slow as the old led based screens would have been. You get just enough text on the screen to let you read back 1-3 sentences. You can’t edit at all, aside from erasing with backspace, so watching as you type and not looking at your fingers on the keyboard is really critical. I find that if I miss a typo by more than 5 words, I try to leave it and not go back.

Read the full post on Boing Boing

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