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Electronics news

Micro Journal offers a customizable Writer Deck

Micro Journal, developed by Un Kyu Lee, is a family of loosely related iterations of Writer Deck.

The new iteration, number four, is similar, but modular, with a conventional keyboard. Most of the device is entirely in a single 3D-printed case that houses the screen, the ESP32 development board, a battery, and a couple of control buttons. The ESP32 acts as a USB host, so users can plug in any keyboard they prefer.

Using the ESP32 board is advantageous for several reasons. First, it boots up almost instantly. Second, it consumes much less power than an SBC and can therefore run longer. It can run for a similar amount of time from a much smaller battery. Finally, it can work directly with low-cost, low-resolution LCD screens. In this case, Micro Journal's fourth iteration uses a 2.8-inch TFT LCD based on the popular ILI9341 driver at 320×240 resolution.

The project is open source, and anyone can build any iteration of Micro Journal they like. But Un Kyu Lee is also selling the fourth iteration on Tindie: https://www.tindie.com/products/unkyulee/micro-journal-esp32-writerdeck/ already assembled. Users need only provide their own keyboard. It runs Un Kyu Lee's own firmware, which is a very simple word processor with no distractions. It supports synchronization with Google Drive, which should make it easy to use. It's currently out of stock on Tindie, but interested writers can join the waiting list.