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    The forever computer described here is not be a computer at all, just a box you swap computers in and out of. IE, it’s a 19” rack.

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      For me personally I have already solved this “Problem”, and built myself a simple “Typewriter” computer, that I use daily:

      • Base: A Lenovo S10-2 (Released in 2010, ~10 Years ago)
      • Display: A Pixel Qi 3Qi (a Transflective liquid-crystal display, as used by the OLPC, ~2008 ish??)
      • Operating System: Haiku OS (an open source OS designed to imitate BeOS which had its last official release in 2001, ~20 Years ago)

      The Wifi is NOT working, which I consider a feature, not a bug.

      The Text Editor provided by the default Haiku OS installation is sufficient for me, so that is what I use.

      I use git to sync my work, whenever I plug into a physical network.

      The OS is super snappy, and I am writing way more without distractions. I recommend anyone to build one of those machines for themselves, who’d like to go back to a time where computers were simple writing machines.

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        Typewriters are incredibly complex and precise piece of machinery. At their peak in the decades around World War II, we built them so well that, today, we don’t need to build any typewriters anymore.

        Cool, now it’s time to find all the many typewriters to help me type in my native script. Oh wait a minute, they don’t really exist. This is also a great solution for CJK languages which have multiple scripts and large ideographic orthographies.

        A heavier and well-designed object feels different. You don’t have it always with you just in case. You don’t throw it in your bag without thinking about it. It is not there to relieve you from your boredom. Instead, moving the object is a commitment. A conscious act that you need it. You feel it in your hands, you feel the weight. You are telling the object: « I need you. You have a purpose. »

        Right, so I should tell my partner, who has a lot less upper body strength than I do, that she needs to carry a metal weight in her bag to help her feel connection with her writing device, and also give her back pain? Come on. Portability is a huge leveller. It helps folks ride around on bicycles or walk instead of driving with their goods. It helps women, who have less upper body strength, carry things around. It lets kids, the elderly, and anyone who has issues hauling things be enabled to use the device. This feels like an anti-accessibility measure to me.

        Instead of being mass-produced in China, ForeverComputers could be built locally, from open source blueprints.

        Nice we got some xenophobia here as well.

        Geeks and programmers know the benefit of keyboard oriented workflows. They are efficient but hard to learn.

        With the way my RSI is going, I’m really hoping we as a society can move away from keyboard oriented workflows, but okay. I’m glad our vision of the future only has people with full range of motion with their 10 digits as writers.


        While I like some of the ideas here, I really want to question these choices that the author has made. Who actually wants to use these devices? Certainly not my parents, my partner, nor I. These are things that a certain subset of the software community values, but far from universal. There’s also a lot of implicit eurocentrism in the typewriter. Modern computers have dramatically increased the accessibility of reading and writing to folks with poor vision or dexterity, and we don’t remember the typewriters that did break or jam frequently. Let’s not throw away accessibility due to some nostalgia that a programmer has.

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          Instead of being mass-produced in China, ForeverComputers could be built locally, from open source blueprints.

          Nice we got some xenophobia here as well.

          What’s wrong with localized production instead of long-distance mass-production in typical mass-producing-nations like China? His remark neither meant China specifically (but rather used it as a device), nor did it address the Chinese people but the nature of China’s economy. Or are you going to argue that China does not primarily focus on mass-production?

          Apart from that, I agree with your statements.

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            Because it’s naive if the point is about mass production and shipping. If you’re trying to argue that your device is made externally, then I’m pretty sure the entire thing is not assembled in China. The chip may have been fabricated in Taiwan (through TSMC), other electronic parts in China, with small parts from, say, Indonesia. Modern supply chains are complex, and assuming something comes solely from China feels disingenuous.

            It would have been simpler to say “Instead of being assembled and shipped over large distances, ForeverComputers could be built locally”

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              It may very well be naive, yes. But I still don’t see how it’s “Xenophobic” to say what they’ve said.

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                Sure, I can go either way on it. I wasn’t inclined to give the piece the benefit of the doubt when the rest of it seemed so out of touch, but I can see it being both naivite/figure-of-speech or mild Xenophobia.

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            Really the issue is “social computing”. We could all be running Debian 4 for 100 years if we really wanted to.

            As for the writing, yeah, everyone should just be writing in plain text, it doesn’t have to be markdown.

            See: http://len.falken.ink/misc/writing-for-the-internet-across-a-human-lifetime.txt for what I’ve been doing for the past months.

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              The benefit of a platform like WriteOnly is that adding a new method of publishing would automatically add all the existing content to it. The end goal is to have your writing available to everyone without being hosted anywhere. It could be through IFPS, DAT or any new blockchain protocol. We don’t know yet but we can already work on WriteOnly as an open source platform.

              The problem with cool “oh we can host it everywhere, it can’t be controlled!” ideas like this is that people who want to share illegal and reprehensible content will just take advantage of your free data utopia. They will do this every time. If you can only share text, they will encode images as text. Sharing platforms need moderation, and they need centralization– anything else is dangerous and naïve.