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29 August 2006 @ 05:57 pm
Nngh.  
First editing pass is done. I feel like I've fixed pathetically little in it, although I think I did manage to fix the problem where I'd written approximately 6 work days and 3 weekend days into the 8 days the novel covers. o.O Tomorrow I'll transfer back to the other computer and fix the scenes I've left notes for myself in, and with any luck I'll collect all the questions I need to put to the Great Minds Of LiveJournal and get them posted tomorrow night so Thursday I can finish the last pass and submit it. That would be very nice.

My Clever Plan for after that is to relax and read until the 3rd, at which point I start re-reading and thinking about TQB, which I will start writing on Monday. COYOTE revisions have, by necessity, been put off for a while.

rob_donoghue pointed me at the Dana, an Alphasmart product which is probably a much, much more practical and sensible purchase for me than an actual laptop, since what I require from a laptop is word processing capability and a trivial weight that allows me to carry it easily for travel. The Dana has massive battery power, weighs less than any of the ultralight laptops I've looked at, and is a fifth or less the price than any of them. Its only flaw is the smallish screen, but y'know, I could adapt. I'm seriously thinking I should get one of these. (My retro pen and paper works, obviously, but man, typing is faster, and man, twice, is it easier to read than handwriting done on a moving, rattling train...!)

miles to Isengard: 240
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedgetting there
 
 
 
jennifer_dunne: Flame Girljennifer_dunne on August 29th, 2006 01:20 pm (UTC)
The smallish screen is actually a benefit. It keeps you focused on the "writing" part instead of the "endlessly tweaking and editing" part. :-)

I've got an Alphasmart (with an even SMALLER screen) and love it for traveling.
jennifer_dunne: Flame Girljennifer_dunne on August 29th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
PLUS, you can drop it down a flight of concrete stairs (not on purpose -- the strap on my tote bag broke), pick it up, and it runs just fine. I'd like to see someone do that with a laptop!
-peartreealley on August 29th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, when I'm demonstrating how cool my Neo is to people, I drop it. It's fun to watch them cringe ;)
kitmizkit on August 29th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
How is it for actually typing in your lap? Does it fit? Does the curvature work all right with overhead lights or is there glare on the screen? Do you have to hunch to see the screen when it's in your lap? (Must ask questions, 'cause I don't have one to test run!)
jennifer_dunnejennifer_dunne on August 29th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
It's fabulous for typing, because unlike a palm top, it's a full-size, rigid keyboard. You don't need to have a table or anything, and can set it on your legs and type while you're sprawled on a couch, no problem. (You can also type in airport lounges, commuter buses, and other places that require some level of contortion.)

I never noticed any hunching to read, but then again, I don't really READ what I'm typing... I'm a touch typist, and just sort of assume that the words I'm thinking are correctly flowing out my fingers. Usually, if I make a typo, my fingers know it, without my having seen it appear on screen. (Although I have to look at the screen in order to actually fix it.)
jennifer_dunnejennifer_dunne on August 29th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, and the Alphie's screen is different from the Dana's, so that probably won't help you. But the Alphie's back-lit greenscreen is perfectly legible in all but the brightest direct sunlight.
desperancedesperance on August 29th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
[info]rob_donoghue pointed me at the Dana, an Alphasmart product which is probably a much, much more practical and sensible purchase for me than an actual laptop, since what I require from a laptop is word processing capability and a trivial weight that allows me to carry it easily for travel.

I've been using a Packard Bell EasyMate 770 for the last, oh, eight or nine years. They don't of course make these wonderful things any more, but I daresay you could find one out there on the interweb. Keyboard & screen both measure 9" by 4", which is plenty big enough to type on seriously and read the result; they clamshell together, so that is also the size of the object you carry. It weighs nothing, battery lasts ten hours, it hath connectivity if wanted, it runs Windows CE and comes with cutdown versions of Word and various other MS software (and is the only MS-based thing I have ever used that has never crashed on me, never lost data, never cost me a moment's worry), and while you can plug it direct into any Windows-running PC, it's much easier just to dump files onto the built-in flashcard drive and transfer 'em that way. Honestly, if you can find one, they are fabulous. Oh, and it cost me £400. Eight or nine years ago, when laptops were four or five times as much.
-peartreealley on August 29th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
I have an AlphaSmart Neo. You get used to the small screen. I like it better than the Dana (having never owned one, anyway) because all it does is write. No Internet, organizers, whatever.

It also runs 700 hours on three AA batteries. I've written two and a half novels on it plus random notes and still have 50% of my battery life. It's durable...

Uh. Yeah, I love mine. I can go on and on about it. Can't you tell?

(Edited to correct battery information)
kitmizkit on August 29th, 2006 04:09 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind the net access aspect for use travelling. That's my other major use for a laptop, is being able to check email easily when I'm away from home, but any other geegaws are pretty much just that, and strictly unnecessary for me. Hm, hm hm.
kitmizkit on August 29th, 2006 04:59 pm (UTC)
How is it for actually typing in your lap? Does it fit? Does the curvature work all right with overhead lights or is there glare on the screen? Do you have to hunch to see the screen when it's in your lap? (Must ask questions, 'cause I don't have one to test run!)
-peartreealley on August 29th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
Well, remember I'm 5 foot tall and short in the limbs which makes everything slightly harder in the reach and lap category (because my feet don't touch the ground on a tall chair :D)... but with that in mind...

When I type on my lap, it's pretty comfortable. Just as much, if not moreso than my laptop. (Did I mention I have a 4 pound ultraportable, and still use my AlphaSmart for most travel? LoL It's lighter and more durable, and the battery is 100x better. Literally). I found having to look downward at the screen unusual when I first got it, but now it's fine (like anything... moving my monitor takes adjustment, too).

I've not personally had problems with overhead lights, but for those I've read who do, they added some antiglare stuff and it solved the problem.

I'm a portable electronics geek (ultaportable laptop, PDA, iPod, etc.) and my AlphaSmart is probably my lowest tech, yet most beloved for writing. I write all my first drafts on it now.

*shuts self up*
Harold Zablehzatz on August 29th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
It looks like the Dana is a PalmOS critter. I've used the non-professional version of DocumentsToGo, the PalmOS Office-compatible suite of programs. It's enough for basic editing and such, but don't expect fancy word processing tricks to work. And don't expect it to format the pages the same way Word will...

I'd guess that a wince computer would be more likely to be equivalent to using Office. But that's just a guess.
kitmizkit on August 29th, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC)
As long as it inserts tabs and returns the formatting really doesn't matter, fortunately.
jennifer_dunnejennifer_dunne on August 29th, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC)
When you get home from your travels, you just plug it in, and upload all your text into your word processor. It takes returns, and also tabs if you don't do paragraph-indent formatting in your style.

The only things I usually need to fix are things that are *italicized*, or center-justified.
Autopopeautopope on August 29th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
I have a Dana Wireless (the Alphasmart Dana version with added WiFi goodness) and it's not in use. Works fine, just needs a new battery pack (costs £10 including postage).

If you're interested, email me and I'll fill you in on it. I can be pursuaded to sell it cheap, on condition you can pursuade me first that it's what you want.
rfrancis on August 29th, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
I've contemplated many times trying to pick up a used Neo and putting it in my bag (really, wifi? I don't WANT to be able to get to other stuff!) as a tool to make me DO CREATIVE THINGS NOT CONSUMPTIVE THINGS. If I took my laptop everywhere in my messenger bag, I'd fear for it constantly. Plus I'd do stupid things on it. But $249 is hard for me to justify because I am not being paid to write novels. :)

On a side note, HELLO INTERVIEW HELLO HELLO
kitmizkit on August 29th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC)
HELLO INTERVIEW crap i'm going to dublin this weekend how about the 9th come heaven or high water?
rfrancis on August 29th, 2006 07:04 pm (UTC)
Bummer, I have the house to myself Thursday through Monday, too. Oh well. 9th, hmm. When? Feel free to move this to email. :)