Winston the Typewriter Simulator - Gimmicky but Useful
I like typewriter scrolling. Ulysses has the best approach to typewriter scrolling that I have come across in text editors. Using Winston reminded me that true typewriter scrolling is different from the way it is implemented in text editors.
Let me explain. In a text editor like Ulysses, the point of concentration is a line. The cursor moves across a line till it reaches the end of the line and then on the next line, the focus is on the same spot on the page, where we have a new line. Typewriters don't work like that. Typewriters focus on a spot. One spot. The paper moves along in the background letting you type on the same spot. The spot doesn't move. The paper does.
I came across an application called Winston which is a text editor/typewriter simulator.
You get to customize some aspects of the experience:
- The paper you use
- The sounds
- The type
- Choose the animations that you want to see and turn off the ones you don't care for.
- Choose whether you want to auto wrap your text.
- Choose whether you can amend text or not.
- Show or hide the text cursor.
Winston gives you true typewriter scrolling. The focus is on one spot. The page moves behind the spot, like in a typewriter. It is an unique experience and I must say I like it. It is a gimmick. But it works for me. There is nothing else to the program. You get to save documents in its proprietary format and you get to export to a text file. There are some export options but they are meaningless. You are going to open the file in a text editor and deal with the text and the editing of the text there. So, you will not miss the lack of options on export.
How would I improve the product?
- Allow me the ability to add text by copy and paste. Copy and paste text into Winston and out of it.
- Fix the bugs.
- Support text expansion. Since you don't allow copy and paste, text expansions from Alfred or aText or TextExpander don't work.
- Support the text expansion from macOS. In macOS, two spacebar is equal to a period. I also get auto-capitalization in macOS. So, I can be sloppy and not worry about capitalizing the first letter in a new sentence. Makes the process of writing easier.
My suggestions are fringe use cases. The basic purpose of the product is typewriter simulation and it does a fantastic job of that. My suggestions are movements away from the typewriter simulation part of the product feature set. Might be a good thing to do but it will hurt the whole ethos of a typewriter. My only excuse is that this is a digital typewriter and probably can improve on an analog one.
Winston is recommended.
macosxguru at the gmail thingie