I’ve just got back from a walking holiday in the Greek Cycladian islands of Andros and Tinos; very different, but very similar in many ways, with winding walking paths, terraces, amazing wildflowers, lizards everywhere, and far, far too much good food (and wine and beer).
I found a new toy in my favourite local junk shop! It’s a battery-powered portable typewriter from 1986, the Canon TypeStar 4 (slightly German edition), which uses an interesting technique to make the marks on the paper: a thermal print head, which I hadn’t seen on a typewriter before. It would print on special treated paper or use an equally special ribbon (which came with it). I got it for five francs, and I can see them on eBay for about $15, so that’s 200% profit.
Back when I bought the IBM WheelWriter 6 at the junk shop for five francs, I also got myself a Brother LW-30 typewriter word processor (also for five francs). It’s a fascinating piece of early 90s consumer technology, and is actually surprisingly useful; I wrote a letter on it just the other day. I made a moderately incoherent and rambly video about it.
It’s been a while since my last post but it’s been all go here: I’ve been working on a toy I’ve dubbed The FluxEngine, which is a floppy disk controller based around a $15 (sometimes $10) off-the-shelf microcontroller with no additional parts. Literally, solder on 17 pins in a row and you’re done.