Hi, David.

My real name is Lee Hauser, and I live and work in the Seattle, WA area, helping a large logistics company keep everyone supplied with clothing, tires and new iPhones, among other things. I thought I'd send a message rather than email at this time because (let's be honest) I can use Reddit from my work computer but not my personal email! I'm in my 60s, and therefore have a little bit of time and experience with this subject. I'm a writer by nature, if not by trade, and a techophile. Since, before the pandemic, I commuted by bus close to 90 minutes each way for decades, one of my great quests has been how to make my writing as mobile as possible.

I started trying to bend my PalmPilot PDAs to my will in the mid-90s. PalmPilots had very little ability to connect to the outside world except to synch with a computer, but they did have an infrared port, and someone actually created a keyboard that talked IR with the Palm. There was also a simple text editor available, and an onscreen keyboard that was optimized for tapping.

Eventually laptops became more available (and smaller), but affording one was difficult for a long time. Finally, in 2011, I got my first Android smartphone.

The next year was a breakthrough for me. With a Bluetooth keyboard and my trusty Samsung Galaxy III, I started writing a novel. I honestly don't remember what I used for a text editor, but between January and November of 2012 I wrote a 100,000 word first draft, and I estimate at least 75% of it was written on my phone during my weekday lunches.

To increase my portability, I wrote in Markdown, so keep my work in plain text, as portable as possible.

Eventually I got an iPad and went through a couple of different keyboards, then an iPhone, and settled on the Apple wireless Magic Keyboard. The only complaint I have is switching the Bluetooth connection between iPad and iPhone can be difficult.

I don't write much on my phone anymore, but I'm ready to...I keep work in progress synced to the phone, Textastic and other writing tools are installed, and I have a nice little stand for the phone. I've long regarded the phone as the most important piece of computing technology I own. It's not always easy to use, but it's always there, and it's certainly adequate for many everyday uses in most circumstances. The other comment on your post was "don't try to make a phone do what a computer can do," but I think that's short-sighted. It certainly can't do everything, but I like pushing the technology to see what it can do. I loved that Drafts 5 "review" in Macstories, too.

So, I'm enthused about your project, and I'd love to help, even though, like you, I don't know exactly what that will entail. I love writing, and I can edit. Maybe it can be a little ebook when all is said and done.

If you want to text, I'm at 253-344-7509, and my email address is lee@leehauser.com.

Lee, I cannot thank you enough for your message on Reddit earlier today. (It’s David Blue, here.) I can’t tell you how wonderful and deeply-validating it was to actually hear from someone my senior in experience with this… If I’d been a bit older in the 90s, I think the sight of you using an IR-blaster-powered keyboard with a Palm Pilot on the bus to work would have absolutely necessitated I say (or scream) something hehe. It sounds like you were definitely pioneering Markdown in 2012… I could lament on how much I wish I’d discovered it earlier for far too long, but…

I just wanted you to know that I am thrilled that you’re enthusiastic and to know that there are others who might find value in this project. I should probably note off the bat that I have some physical/mental stuff (narcolepsy, depression - low-energy, not low mood) that can really mess with my ability to be regularly functional, in case I konk out for 20 hours through a workday or something. Luckily, I’d say any sort of timetable for this project is virtually indefinite as far as external factors go. I’m going to do my best to not repeat my bad habit of going hermit-mode, getting in over my head, and then failing to properly ask for help, so I’d like to spend a good while seeking out contacts.

For now, just know you’re at the top of my contacts list, I suppose. And thank you again! You’ve made my month, I’d say.