Dear Jesse, What's up?

To: Jesse Andrews

You sent me a note some time time ago about wanting to build a hardware project and not quite knowing what the next steps were.

The project you listed was a note taking device with the following capabilities

  • You wanted to type with a qwerty keyboard
  • You wanted it to be able to sync to another device eventually
  • You don’t need a screen

There’s an important question from me to you: What’s your goal?

  • What do you want to learn?
    • Do you want to learn about batteries? processing logic signals?
    • Do you want to learn about PCB Design? fabrication?
    • Do you want to learn about coding on microcontrollers with different constraints than you’re used to?
  • What do you want to have accomplished?
    • Do you want to write on this thing, or do you want to have built it?
    • Do you want it to last a couple dozen years or for it to be a small piece of a longer DIY journey?
  • What do you want your process to be?
    • How much time do you want to spend on this?
    • How much time before you’re saving notes somewhere?
    • Do you want to get it all right on the first go with a long design phase or is an iterative approach to the design and build more ideal?

Those are all just the sorts of questions that would guide recommendations either toward or away from “first principles” sorts of approaches.

You mentioned that you might be able to build this with a raspberry pi and a bluetooth keyboard. My gut is that is correct and definitely in your wheelhouse but that you wanted something more. What was the "more".

I’m not the sort of guy who thinks that in order to take a note you must first mine some graphite and pulp some paper, ya know? But if you want to learn about that stuff, I do think that making a notebook might be an interesting approach.

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Issac Kelly