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      I don’t know why, but I love to see e-ink used in projects. And the mix of new technology with old ideas is alwyas awesome.

      Having see this, now I want an e-ink teletype. Get the teletype feel without all the paper.

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        I’m very excited. E-ink is great for people who have problems with their eyes. If you are not able to stare at a screen for longer periods of time, you are excluded from a lot of jobs today. I’m hoping that e-ink eventually could change that.

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      Relevant video on e-ink refresh rates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsbiO8EAsGw

      I am curious how this 13.3” display would work for this same type of setup. Obviously the price is very high but it may be more comfortable and it looks like it has a higher refresh rate.

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      I feel like a small 14 segmented led based text buffer could mitigate the frustration due to slow refresh. the text buffer shows all the typed text that hasn’t yet rendered on refresh.

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        Indeed, that’s an option.

        I investigated this during the project, it actually makes the whole GPIO wiring/driving really tricky.

        Cf. this thread

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      I’ve wanted a laptop with an eink display for a long time now, and was disappointed to see the kickstarter to being over the pomera DM-30 fail. The possibility of hacking one together myself is appealing.

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      Something that might take more battery than a purely e-ink solution but perhaps be easier to drive and find would be to use display like what was on the original OLPC. It was a color screen that could go down to a 4 bit, unlit mode that looks absolutely gorgeous in any light for a grayscale display. I wonder if that would be any easier to come by but still accomplish a lower battery usage than a regular display.

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        The generic name of that technology is “sunlight-readable LCD”, and it’s definitely still available. Also much faster, somewhat cheaper, and more colorful than e-ink. Uses more power, but transflective displays work without backlight, though at a relatively narrow viewing angle. Some of the old Blackberries had them.

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      Not an open device at all, but the King Jim Pomera DM 200 is a great little device that serves only as a typewriter and fits into a bag nice and easily.

      I think that for the ideal digital typewriter, one could build an interface to boot into directly that is optimised for the slow refresh rates and general slowness.

      I would be interested in seeing an open variant of something like this. I think going for a greyscale TFT screen would give you a much nicer experience than the e-paper without really paying much of an energy cost (they use very little energy when things aren’t changing, much like the e-ink devices in a way).

      Awesome project

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      Fascinating project, thanks! I’ve just ordered a waveshare display and I am looking forward to my own build :)

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      This is a wonderful project, thanks for sharing it!

      I am wondering whether you could achieve something vaguely similar by approaching it from a completely different angle: Use an existing ereader for the screen and computer, build the case to hold it and connect the keyboard as a USB peripheral.

      I’m assuming something like one of Kobo’s ereaders, which I know has the benefit of a well documented i.MX* SOC, already runs linux and has a decent size community of hackers (a lot of their models also use a micro-sd card as their internal storage, so you can back it up / clone it onto a larger card as a starting point, etc.), but I imagine other ereaders could also be used.

      Off the top of my head, I would expect:


      • Support for the epd display already exists in the kernel. Qt (which kobo’s application uses for its interface) has an imx epd backend. I believe you can also just write to the framebuffer.
      • Don’t need to build power/battery circuits unless you want to.
      • There are quite a few existing FLOSS applications (mostly document readers, such as koreader), to study when trying to work out how to do stuff.
      • If you already own an ereader, the costs would be pretty low, and excepting catastrophes, you should be able to keep using it as an ereader as well.
      • Various bonus features for free such as touchscreen and frontlight.


      • Might not include USB keyboard drivers, in which case you’d need to either compile the necessary kernel module to match the existing kernel or compile your own kernel.
      • Doesn’t really help advance the state of open hardware/software epd knowledge.
      • Less control over what components you use.

      I’m now tempted to give this a try…

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      This is fantastic, i love wood. Great combination.