Edinburgh student creates iTypewriter, a manual interface for iPad

JISHOU, HUNAN — Admit it, oldtimers. You really miss those times of jammed keys, inky fingers and bottles of WiteOut. Forget the iPad, you say, I want my old Smith-Corona back! Yeah, well, I don’t either. But these young people nowadays yearn for a simpler time, when all we had were manual typewriters and music that came on black vinyl discs called “LPs.” And so, Austin Yang, a design student at the University of Edinburgh, has prototyped the iTypewriter. Instead of a sheet of paper, you insert your iPad and merrily pound away at those Smith-Corona-like keys. In a cute way, the concept appeals to me. Though I don’t have an iPad, I do have an Android tablet, and typing on its virtual keyboard takes some getting used to. Even with that handicap, I still think i could type faster without iTypewriter than with it. So, nice idea, but no thanks. Next up: iSteam, the steam-punk iPad power supply.

Take two tablets, and call me in the morning

Take two tablets, and call me in the morning
JISHOU, HUNAN — Come listen, children, to this story of transpacific electronics shopping. I haven’t quite graduated to be a wholesale exporter of electronic goods, but it seems every time I visit the USA, I end up being a courier of some sort of assorted gadgetry. This time, I even bought one for myself. Last trip, I brought two media players from China to the USA as gifts. These Android-powered “MP5’s” cost about $45, play movies, music, etc., on a 4.5-inch touch screen, and are very popular among Chinese students. It seems they’re also popular in the US, since I had a request to bring three more with me on this trip. Ditto my iPad courier service. On my winter trip, I picked up an iPad for a friend in China, and got to play with it for two weeks before I handed it over. This time, I had to get an iPad2 for his cousin. While I was in Beijing, I visited the Zhongguancun district, where scores of computer and electronics shops huddle in several malls. Unlike American malls, most shops in China that sell similar merchandise are clustered near each other, making shopping and bargaining really easy for ...
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