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The pony typewriter functions through the use of single and combination keys. Each key alone prints the primary symbol, pairs of keys produce the symbols to the cardinal directions relative to the keys involved. Lower symbols are produced in combination with the star-shift key in the upper left. There is a space and a carriage return (the pony lever on the left). There are also pedals below, much as on a piano, for use by the hind legs. In combination, the entire set of Unicorn Glyphs - one of the three forms of writing in Equestria - can be produced.
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© 2014 - 2021 Aealacreatrananda
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KSchnee's avatar
Looks like base 14, then, without accounting for foot-pedals. Workable if you assume highly dextrous hooves, especially with a language that doesn't mark different vowels explicitly, like ancient Hebrew. But now I'm wondering about punctuation, and what base the number system would be (4?), and what written language would have evolved before machines... Definitely overthinking this. :) (Smile)

Hmm, a hieroglyphic-like system first developed by unicorns who didn't need simplicity, followed by a Sumerian cuneiform/Phoenician/Egyptian hieratic/Korean han'gul system designed to be used by other races using a simple stylus on clay? I think this is the answer just because it gives writers the chance to call it "cutieform writing".
I like the UI you've made here!  The best I could come up with for the two-key typewriters in the show was, IIRC, a single-bit binary serial channel with one of the keys acting as the bit and the other the clock.  While that would work, it doesn't exactly scream "fast and efficient typing".
Aealacreatrananda's avatar
I think wayyyy to much about everything. I value self-consistency and believability in my fiction: I need things to be capable of really working - within the unique rules and physical laws of a story universe - to suspend my disbelief. I need things to make sense.

Also... I used to design game interfaces in the 80's as part of designing games so... I have working experience helping too.
That sounds familiar.  Getting my brain to just ignore a plot or world hole, once noticed, and move on tends to be rather an uphill battle.  I by now have a fair bit of experience in coming up with headcanon patches explaining how no, X really [i]does[/i] work even though the author (and most of the readers) probably viewed it as inconsequential and spent about ten seconds on it.  And I usually feel the need to fix holes as soon as I notice them.  Now that I think about it, perhaps it's inaccurate to speak of suspending our disbelief; we seem to prefer cases in which the disbelief can simply be removed instead.
(I'm Reese from over on FIMFiction, by the way.)
zardozman's avatar
Ooh, you picked up one of the fancy, six-key models. Nice! (What do the two-key models do, a morse-like, mouthwriting-based system?)

I don't suppose you've got a translation for what's on the page? =P (Razz) 
I've been thinking that the two-key models might use variable levels of pressure on either key to hit specific locks representing letters or letter-groups or the like, with either key going through a certain subset of the language and both together representing another. Though I think that I prefer the multikey version here though. Maybe the two-key models are used to write in the common script? Anyways, nice as usual!
vergess's avatar
I'd always assumed that the most simplified version of written Equestrian was basically morse code, yeah. (It takes such gargantuan effort not to call it horse code, doesn't it?)
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