Friday, October 14, 2005


The AlphaSmart Pro that I bought on eBay arrived today!

Overall, it's exactly what I'm looking for. The size and weight are perfect; the screen size is acceptable. The only thing I don't like about it is that the keys are very hard to press. If you don't hit the key in the middle, the key doesn't depress and the character doesn't type. It's the friction in the pole of the key itself, I think. Even in the middle, you have to press pretty hard. Now, for someone who is used to a manual typewriter (I'm not), this is nothing. And it is completely usable the way it is right now. I may take it apart, though, and see if I can figure out some way to clean the keys. The stiffness may just be the way it was designed though (it does remind me of the old Apple keyboards, to a certain extent).

I've typed about a thousand words on it so far. When I turned it on, there was a document left in it by a student (a younger student, I think) with a story he wrote in 2002! I guess the backup battery is still good! I made a PS/2 cable from two PS/2 to USB mouse adapters and a male-to-male USB cable. I don't have a PS/2 port on my laptop, but I just had it type the document into Word on my wife's computer just a second ago -- no problems at all, and it's emulating the regular keyboard. I did order a real AlphaSmart PS/2 cable that I believe has a "Y" in it, so I can leave her regular keyboard connected and just upload to her machine if I have to. I'd like to figure out some way to get USB to work, though, so that I can upload directly into my machine. We'll see how that goes.

So far, I'm totally satisfied, though!

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