2007 - Volume #31, Issue #2, Page #31[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Word Processor Keeps Things Simple
Designer Allen Hoover runs Hoover Repair LLC, a Pennsylvania business that retrofits woodworking tools for people who use alternative power sources - particularly the Amish. He got the idea for a simple word processor when other companies quit making them about 10 years ago.
Many Plain People accept word processors, Hoover says. Computers aren't acceptable because of their connectivity to the world through the internet, and their ability to add programs and store photographs.
"When I designed the Classic Word Processor I met with individuals from church groups to see what is acceptable," Hoover says. He also found out what they wanted - the capability to make spreadsheets, do word processing and simple drawings.
"Spreadsheets is the part of it that drove the whole project," Hoover says, explaining Amish business people use it for everything from inventory to tracking to creating receipts.
Hoover installed open source programs. Working with computer programmers he adapted them by removing features such as an address book, which links to e-mail. Programs can't be added, so drivers for more than 600 printers are installed in the word processor at the factory.
"This is 10 times as fast and has 100 times the memory of old word processors," Hoover says, adding they function similar to 5-year-old computers. The Classic Word Processor accepts old floppy discs and flash cards to transfer files, but it also has a USB port.
An ad for the Classic Word Processor sums it up well: "Made specifically for the Plain People. Unequalled safety: no modem, no sound, no photographs, no games or gimmicks. Service provided by real persons."
Response has been great since the word got out about it last fall, and sales have been good at the introductory price of $798.
Hooper subcontracts parts and assembly to local businesses. The Classic Word Processor has an old-fashioned style and is 12 by 19-in. and 6 in. tall when the 8-in. screen is folded back.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Allen Hoover, Classic Word Processor, 263 Kurtz Rd., Ephrata, Penn. 17522 (ph 717 354-2583).
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