Instructables

Computerless typing

Hey,
   Would anybody know how i could make a keyboard that would work without a computer?
My idea would by a keyboard that you could type in, and the signals would be sent to some circuitry (would an arduino work?) and stored until you could send the files of everything typed up into a notepad file.

It would also have to be battery powered, and preferably not bigger then 2-3 times the size of a normal keyboard.

I am making the idea so that i could type stuff when at places other then home (and i dont feel like taking my laptop (mostly for stuff like on the subway, or when waiting... (i don't care that it will look absolutely ridiculous!)

Anyway, thanks for your help! Even if you don't know how to, but have any ideas, share them! everything is welcome! Thanks.

idahobeef2 years ago
Yeah its called a "Neo" and its AWESOME! I have one, perfect for an author and cheep too! Good luck.
Make yourself a "chording keyboard", its a one handed keyboard you hold in your hand. Typing speeds can be insanely fast .

Steve
schumi23 (author)  steveastrouk2 years ago
Ive never heard of that... Would that work? as it is meant to work without to a computer.
The first chording keyboard appeared on a device called the "microwriter", a British "wordprocessor" of the early 1980s - 5 buttons, and a small LCD and you could be motoring.
Thrasym2 years ago
Use your smartphone? I just assume everyone has one that can at least text. So even if you can't save anything, just text your email address.
schumi23 (author)  Thrasym2 years ago
Hehe, i never use my phone, and so, have never bothered getting a good one. It is just a flip phone, without a qwerty keyboard, and i never text, so, that's not really a possibility. :) I'm probably the only person in that situation (in america)
Probably not the only one, but one of a small number to be sure. I didn't even have a cell phone until recently...well, for a couple years I went without, until there was a reasonable priced product here in Canada for my limited use.

But anyway, you can get cheaper phones with keyboards, starting at around $50 here, depending how big you want the screen/storage, etc. Maybe free with or without contract? You wouldn't need to change your plan, most likely, but you might need a USB cable or a a flash drive or something if the phone doesn't include one (most do) to transfer the files, $10 to $20 for a decent one, here, in Canada, not sure where you are. I only mention it because it probably isn't much more than a keyboard and all the parts and batteries for the gizmo to work it. Phones would be way cheaper if you're in the US.

I think Kiteman makes a good point, laptops aren't larger than most keyboards. I'd never suggest anyone buys a netbook (since they're over priced and under powered) or anything made by Apple though (since they're over priced and under powered and restrictive).

As for creating your plan, I can't help at all.

Best of luck, whatever you end up doing.
Goodhart2 years ago
Back a few decades (about 2) we had computers that consisted of just the keyboard (of course, they had a tremendous amount of internal memory....64 K if I recall correctly LOL) any of which could be adapted to battery power, but....and this is where Kiteman comes in, as he says, you are re-inventing the wheel, only instead of being "handheld", yours will need a violin case to carry it around in. :-)

BUT, I don't like to sound discouraging even if an idea is not very workable, so yes,  using say a Color Computer (keyboard) or a Commodore 64 or 128, you'd have the keyboard and computer,  you'd need a power supply that was portable, and putting even just a small LCD screen in it so you can see the last few words typed, would probably be useful and not take up  any further real estate (wouldn't make it any bigger).  :-) 
schumi23 (author)  Goodhart2 years ago
It isn't workable? :(
From my point of view, it didn't look like it would be that difficult. I am guessing from what you said that it would be very difficult.

I still feel sad that i wouldn't be able to connect a keyboard wire to a arduino, and have it store it. :(
I suppose you could.....it will take a bit of doing (including some research).
Kiteman2 years ago
Er, a laptop is smaller than the device you envisage. A netbook is smaller again, and so are iPads and iPod Touches - all will do what you want without needing to build anything, and they all have a screen to see what you've actually typed.
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