Total Pageviews


Friday, February 8, 2013


A great many Typewriter Brigadiers swear by these AlphaSmarts, so I always said that though I wouldn't go out of my way for one, if I found one at a thrift store it would depend on the price.  Obviously that happened and at $7.95 it was worth the plunge.  I think I will like it for occasional use, plus when I travel for work they sometimes fail to have a keyboard for me and this would be tolerable, with a usb number pad. 

I do wish it would continue to add to the stored text when connected (that could be what the y cable I don't have would do for me) and I would like to transfer text back into it from the pc - is that possible? 

Anyway I may take this on a bikecast some day. 

Or if I get ambitious - I do have a Zyklin usb typewriter (a Remette) and wondered if it could be grafted into the guts of this to make a FrankenAlpha or a BetaSmart..  What do you think of that?


  1. The AlphaSmart / USB Typewriter interface has interesting possibilities.

    I tried grafting an AlphaSmart onto a Kolibri with amusingly ineffective results: see here.

    1. That's awesome Richard! I do vaguely recall that post, and wishing it had turned out more to your satisfaction.
      In my mind I thought the usb typewriter was the halfway point - the "hard part" so to speak. I do wish you'd saved the alphadonor.

    2. It's easy enough to find another cheap AlphaSmart on eBay.

      I found the keyboard on my 3000 very irritating -- the keys wouldn't work unless you pressed straight down on them. I hope yours works better.

  2. Cool find! If you haven't already, I highly recommend joining the AlphaSmart group on flickr:

    There's a lot of expertise there. The keyboard on my old Pro was as Richard described it: pretty rough. But you can get a sense of what the fuss is about. The company just dropped the price on the latest model if you find you like it that much.

    One piece of advice: you probably need to open up the case and replace the lithium battery inside that is used to backup the data (it's all kept in volatile RAM, not flash memory.) One battery lasts years, so it's not a repair you'll need to do often. The folks on the flickr group can point you to the exact details if you need them.


Let me know if capcha comes back. Thanks for commenting.


Blog Archive