What word processing appliance did I have back in 1983/4?
September 1, 2011 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Google ninjas: What word processing appliance did I have back in 1983/4?

Back when I was a US college freshman/sophomore in 1983/4, I bought a word processing appliance. It was a lot like the the Brother EP43, but had the following features:

1. The single-line LED display showed about an entire sentence's worth of text (much wider than the LED on the Brother in the image).

2. It had a memory that permanently stored only one document at a time, up to about a 5-page college paper.

3. It did not have any other storage (e.g., diskette)

4. It had a built-in thermal printing mechanism. You had to buy special heat-sensitive paper for it. You fed it single sheets by hand, I think.

5. The print was pretty blocky, maybe only 10 pixels high or so.

6. It was definitely not typewriter-looking. The form factor was similar to the Brother that I linked to. I believe it had a lid that closed over the keys and ran on battery or AC (don't quote me on those memories). It was designed to be portable.

7. It was most definitely NOT a typewriter with an LED grafted on. At the time, there were a lot of such devices around.

8. It may have been Sharp brand.

I've searched for it a few times over the last couple of years but my Google-fu has failed me. I'm looking for a manufacturer and model name/number, and hopefully a photo, since that's the only way I can definitively identify it.
posted by tippiedog to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I'm pretty sure it had a beige case.
posted by tippiedog at 1:29 PM on September 1, 2011

Something from Magnavox? I had a Magnavox Videowriter that required special thermal paper, but it was a little bulkier than the unit in your picture.
posted by Melismata at 1:38 PM on September 1, 2011

I bet it was a Casio I had one in the late eighties. It ran on 4 C batteries and would print a line at a time. It looked like the brother you referenced. I don't know which model it was. But i do remember it would store at least a page.
posted by jmsta at 6:20 PM on September 1, 2011

I think it was
this one or a very similar model
posted by jmsta at 6:25 PM on September 1, 2011

A company called Alpha (possibly now called AlphaSmart) made similar units in the mid-90s. I think they were intended as an adaptive technology. Their simplicity was the hardware equivalent of full-screen mode with a text editor. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 8:33 AM on September 2, 2011

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