It had the 6502-chip. Could do a lot, al lot more then the other computers from that time. Yes, you have to be in your seventies to remember. But load of people are in their seventies and may remember the Comoodore.
If you remember the Commodore, you may also remember the Z 80 from Sinclair. Its design was smart. I loved to use it and I dreamed about taking it along in my travels to Indonesia at that time. But then at nighttime, how could I work on it, the screen readable, but the backlit keayboard not yet invented?
So I thought about a little LED-light to illuminate the keyboard. From there is was a short track to imagine a little LED to light up the paper I loved to read or the letter I should urgenly write. I realized how very, very little light was needed to read, given one one condition only.
That condition made the crucial difference: shield the LIGHT SOURCE, even that little LED-light from directly shining into your eyes. Easy to understand, same as night animals: a big open aperture, to catch all available light, even if it is about dark!
That condition made the NightReader: take a Led, mount it on a stick, link it to almost empty batteries plus shield THAT LITTLE LED's From SHINING INTO YOUR EAYS!
And then, who should read? People with a computer? Or also the billion off-the grid kids in the tropics that have 4 hours darkness each day after sunset that they would not sleep, therefore would to read or write something?
The NightReader is for those kids! Imagine: evening is cool after a hot day. Most kids are eager to leant stuff that is of interst to them: so read, READ! A very tiny light source would make a big difference. Like a LED plus a collection of near-empty betteries linked up to give that tiny bot of electrical current that will light up the LED.
Next level of planning: a schoolteacher will like the idea of their pupils doing homework and read what is available to be read.
So let Demotech link up to schools, Let Demotech teach schoolteachers to teach their pupils te make a NightReader. And that is very well possible, builind a NightReader is facinating for kids, as they learn so many niew tricks of how to make something, the learn new things about electricity, And in the end, these kids take home something that makes nighttime facinating from that time on.
Remember the time you were a kid and like to read almost secretly when supposed to be sleeping? Yes? Then you will understand the NightReader!
- Though the NightReader is made to help studying, a lot can be learned by its future user from building the NightReader her or him self. The NightReader gives the hands-on and direct experience how electrical contacts work, the principals of electrical wiring, how the plus and minus of voltage is organised. This learning is without danger for fire, short circuiting or shock.
- Learning can be embedded in a school curriculum or workshop.
- Tourists and students from countries can teach their friends in poor countries and arouse interest. In this way stimulate construction and use of the reading aid.
- Many innovative work methods are used: how to weld plastic, how to use best the special properties of each used material, like the small channels of corrugated cardboard for mounting wire parts, how to make an alternative for printed circuits.
- Cramped interior space used by many and insufficient interior lighting are negative factors to be overcome in poor households. This reduces the chance of young people to study at home. This is dramatically illustrated by students in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. Even when it is raining, students gather under street lights to study, protecting their books with plastic.
- Outdoor space is only useful if books and notebooks can be illuminated in a way not attracting insects. It is not possible to write and read while insets crawl over the lamp, the book and the paper to write on. Even the small illiminating LED-lighs are shielded off for the readers eyes, that are accommodated to the dark with wide pupils. Then very little light is enough that shins directly on the part of the page one is reading or is writing on.
- Many tricks are developed to extract electric current from batteries, too exhausted for use in a torch or radio to make LED's light up. Cooking batteries on one way, also the Joule Thief exists, that works very well, but cost too much.
- The NightReader has solved this problem in different ways. Most effective is just adding one unit, a voltage regulate, cheaper that the Joule Thief, that limits voltage when more then two battery cels are connected in a cloth sleeve. The LED's will emit light, whether these batteries are almost exhausted or brand new, thanks to this tension limiter. Clear disadvantage is the non-availability for most users.
- LED's are the ideal light source for this purpose. LED's are-high tech electronic components, constructed to emit light. The NightReader uses yellow 3 mm LEDs that consume only 10 milli Amperes, 50 times less than a bulb for an electric torch. Its construction is robust, its functional life is practical unlimited, if only the electric tension over its contacts does not exceed a certain maximum depending on the type of LED's (2 Volts with the NightReader). Last but not least, the LED's cost only Euro cents per piece when bought in larger quantities.
- Demotech designed 20 years ago the ‘NightReader’ that use two smallest size (3 mm) yellow LED-lights. These very small light sources are attached to a simple lampshade, that includes the batteries. This unit is placed over very part of the page or paper to be read or text being written. The small LED's only illuminates these few lines of text, therefore do not attracting insects.
- The NightReader, should preferably be build with the help of a teacher or a construction manual by its own user. Only local scrap material were used. In older versions tin or roof sheet for its housing, electric wire from wrecked cars, foam plastic from cushions. At present even easier to find and work at materials are used. Only the LED's have to be bought. For the construction of the NightReader no special tools, only a few simple templates are needed. First time construction may take only two hours