On the Joys of Primitive Computing: The AlphaSmart Neo
I keep hearing rumblings about the AlphaSmart Neo, but haven’t put my hands to one yet. Anybody out there got one? Tried one? Seems a bit steep at $250, but I’d love to play with one
(<accent belle=“southern”>Why, I declare: I do believe I’ve dropped my kerchief: AlphaSmart, would you be so kind…?
Kendall Clark seems to think Neo’s part of a larger trend:
I am so over hardware, and I have been for more than a decade. I take pride in making my living from technology and doing so with very old, even decrepit hardware….
Oddly enough, the Neo is basically a computer for school children. It’s stunningly stupid and, well, primitive. I’m enjoying it so much, and being so productive with it, that it’s got me thinking about what I’ll call Primitive Computing and Power User Devolution.
The Neo is interesting not because of what it does or what features it has, but what it can’t do and the features it’s missing. It’s all about one thing and one thing only: writing. I’m most comfortable turning any task into a writing task (when all you have is a hammer…), which means I’m super comfortable with a primitive device that’s really only good for writing.
And no internet. Some days, I believe I’d find that pretty appealing.