Mail Call: Microcassette Jazz, Chickarazzi and Conchords for Cheep!

Well, as I check the Dana’s battery this morning, I see that “hockeystick” effect on the battery meter. Now it’s dropping fast, nearly empty all of a sudden. I may get this post off, but I’ll be back to the typewriters for the two letters I got in the mail tonight. One from Constant Correspondent Kristy T, and a package with a microcassette and letters from New Correspondent Tom F. On the microcassette, some guitar jazz and classical in all the lofi crunchiness that mono microcassette affords, with interstitial introductions by Tom – it really gives me Blaise Lantana on KJZZ nights vibe, when the FM won’t lock to Stereo. I’m listening to it now on the tiny headphone speaker that I’m using to monitor the Zoom while I dub the mix to digital. Why dub to digital? Well, maybe I’ll sent the tape to someone else who appreciates fun microcassettes, and maybe I file all correspondence digitally anyway – paper and audio and even video – so there! (: Correspondent Kristy includes a thermal photo montage of her adventures in “Chickarazzi”, which is far less pornographic than the name might suggest. Instead, it’s the result of her joining in the child’s Thermal-Printing Camera craze that has infected some of us. She found hers at a thrift store, so hey – I bet they’ll start showing up there more soon, considering how prevalent they are on Amazon and Temu. Also included, a cracker that is not a cracker (the cracker is a lie?), and a fun letter where many new words are minted on the spot. Not often you get farm-fresh new words in Correspondence, so one always treasures them when found. So I think I’ll call the Dana Battery Life Experiment at 31 days of solid daily performance on its first charge. Very, very, very good for a Dana, and very, very usable – I can live with charging a writing slab a couple times a month if I’m using it daily. I can totally recommend the AlphaAverage aftermarket battery for the Alphasmart Dana and Neo. Significantly longer life than other in-machine batteries I’ve tried, and certainly one I would trust not to be dead when I needed it. Currently in the earholes:

Updated: June 11, 2024 — 2:28 am


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  1. Do you know the names of the songs on the Microcassette? I really wanna listen t them myself.

  2. Gunier – I’m the guy who recorded the microcassette. Sorry I didn’t write down the mix, rather did it on the fly. I recall using a lot of jazz guitar by Pat Martino and a few others. I can make you a mixtape if you want (low production values). Just send me a note. My address is on Type Pals and my email is on my blog ( And Ted, I’m not familiar with the Zoom device you’re using. I’ll have to Google it. — Tom Fasano

    1. It’s a Zoom H1n, apparently discontinued now, but still around most resellers for $75-$99. Very recommend. (:

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