I busted out my AlphaSmart a couple of days ago when, in a fit of claustrophobic anxiety, I almost made the ridiculous purchase of a Freewrite.
In case you aren’t aware, a Freewrite (previously called a Hemingwrite and changed because…. reasons) is basically a digital word processor with an analog feel that costs about $500. A company called Astrohaus makes them with loving care. They’re absurd for a million reasons; they are degraded by many as hipster nonsense. People who have them love them, but their price point and their very limited utility make them a stupid purchase in the eyes of many.
They’re stupid, and I have desperately wanted one since they were released. They now have a travel version, which is even more ridiculous and which I want even more desperately. They’re amazing. I am a ridiculous person. It can’t be helped.
A couple of years ago, I bought an old AlphaSmart on Amazon for about $20 to try to fight that itch. I wanted to see how much I used it. The AlphaSmart is also an electronic word processor, lap-sized, no longer in production.
I like the AlphaSmart, but its screen is SO SMALL, and it’s old, so the keys stick. I also realized that it’s not my writing tools that are at fault, but myself, which made me glad I didn’t spend $500 on a Freewrite.
Fast-forward to earlier this week when I was in the throes of a nervous fit in which I bought two different kinds of planners. I was also fighting with buying 1) a sewing machine (I’ve never used one in my life) and 2) a Freewrite (even though I already have this AlphaSmart). I bid on a sewing machine on eBay and, thankfully, lost the auction before I found myself the owner of a very large paperweight.
I went and looked at the Freewrite and the Freewrite Travel, which I do every couple of weeks, like a little kid pressing her dumb little face against the glass of a bakery, smearing her spit and boogers on it until her mom smacks her for licking windows in public places (we’re in a pandemic, moron). To curb my desires, I pulled out the AlphaSmart and read some of the bits I had written on it.
I’m damn good, I thought, before putting it away and then going back to play games on my phone.