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Topic: Any other alphasmart users?

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Subject: Any other alphasmart users?
Date Posted: 8/4/2008 11:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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As I am sure most of us have found out, it is very easy to be distracted while writing. So around a year ago I was looking for a cheap laptop to carry around for writing.  Since I did NaNO I was told about Alphasmarts, so I looked at the lovely website and thought one would be nice.  So I went on ebay and had a look around I noticed a few of the older alphasmarts had less features and for some reason they just seemed better..LOL So I got an alphasmart 3000 for around $70 including shipping plus all the cables.

For those that do not know what an alphasmart is, basically its a keyboard with an LCD screen at the top that holds around 5 lines of characters the width of  about 12 inches.  You hook it up via a USB cable or the inferred transfer pod.  In one year of using it most days I changed the batteries twice (it uses AA size).

I just love it mainly because I cannot be distracted by surfing the internet and it has  8 file saves on it so I can work on either 8 different chapters or store various data/research on it.  I dropped it twice in a carpark once and it still works like a dream. It is sturdy and designed for school children so is able to take some knocks.

So if you are looking for a cheap portable keyboard that easily transfers work work onto a PC or MAC then give it a try.

Would love to hear from anyone else that has the newer versions of the alphasmart as I might upgrade one of these days..LOL

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2007
Posts: 367
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There are some good word processors for the PC that emulate a kind of "old school" monochrome monitor feel. The best of these I've found is Q10--it even makes typing noises! :)

 

Date Posted: 8/5/2008 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Yes but the problem with being on the computer is the fact I can switch out of that program and play a game..I used Q10 and did like it but ended playing solitare. I only have so many hours I can write each day so wasting time is not something I should be doing :)  But thanks for the advice.

Date Posted: 8/12/2008 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 9/17/2007
Posts: 367
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Granted, the temptation to alt-tab out of the word processor is too great for some of us (myself included). If I'm out and about, I use the BuffetMaster 5000: an old Palm m125 with a Logitech KeyCase. You have a flexible, spillproof keyboard that wraps around the Palm to serve as a protective case when not in use. For walking, a Sharp Wizard (I used the OZ-770) is great for two-thumb typing. Edit: Oh, and for staying at home, I can use my 1950s manual typewriter and send the sheets through the OCR software on the scanner. How's that for post-technological? :)

That Alphasmart sounds pretty cool, too; I like that they're pretty small! Is the keyboard size pretty decent?



Last Edited on: 8/12/08 11:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/16/2008 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/9/2006
Posts: 239
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I don't have a newer one; I also have the Alphasmart 3000, but I really like it. It's nice to be able to take it with me when I go out and not have to lug the laptop. It's also nice, like you said, to eliminate distractions. And DH is definitely a laptop hog, and I used to hate not being able to write while he was using the laptop, so it's been a big help. I definitely recommend them. The keyboard is standard size; I've never had any problems with that. It's definitely not something that can be used for editing, though. There's no find feature or anything like that, so it's pretty difficult to scroll back through everything and find something you're looking for, but just for typing and getting stuff down, it's great.

Date Posted: 8/16/2008 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Dave- yes the keyboard is regular size and easy to use. And using an old Palm is a clever idea too.  Maybe we need to start the Non-laptop writers club :)

Funny thing but I had a friend who took one on an airplane and worked out it would make a great weapon if someone tried to take over the plane. They are quite tough so hitting someone on the head with one would work. .LOL

Heather I agree with the editing part, and I tend to print out my work to edit anyways so it works for me since I number the edits and then put the under and updated lines in the alphasmart.  I would also have laptop sharing issues with my hubby.

I have been looking at the acer aspire one, small little thing that does have internet acess but rather pricey compared to the Neo or Dana.