February 23, 2003
Sir, we have a stowaway.
Three and a half years ago, I posted a little blurb in my weblog about hacking my Newton to use a Stowaway keyboard. I ended that particular post with an encouraging “stay tuned for more…” Well, if any of you were around when I first mentioned this project, let me thank you personally for staying tuned all this time. Today, I’m finally using a Stowaway to enter data into my Newton. All it took was a disused Palm III, a length of old serial cable, an alpha release driver from the amazing Daniel Padilla, and about 36 more months than I had originally anticipated. Yes, the physical connection still needs to be finessed, the Palm case is just plain ugly, and the driver doesn’t support the full set of character modifiers or function keys. But damn it, I’m typing on an actual Stowaway portable keyboard — something with enough inherent design aesthetic and technical chutzpah to deserve being connected to my MessagePad. It’s a thing of beauty, even if the wiring looks like a big pile of spaghetti. I’m also in the midst of turning the static Stowaway project page into a weblog of its own, so updates won’t be nearly as sporadic. Clickety, click.
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