Saturday, November 05, 2005


No, this isn't a post about The Matrix... :)

I've been playing around with the AlphaSmart Neo, and I'm totally pleased with it. The keyboard is great, requiring much less "finger action" than the AlphaSmart Pro did (though I have to admit, I tend to have a soft touch on the keyboard -- I would never have survived with a manual typewriter). I've got 12,000 words or so of my novel transferred into the machine and got it to transfer it to my notebook (which never worked with the AlphaSmart Pro) on the first try. Much rejoicing! While lots of people have complained about the greenish-black color, I actually don't mind it. I had plans to use vinyl dye to paint the top half blue and the bottom half black, but I like the green enough that I don't think it's worth the effort. I may still do it at some point, though.

I love the six-line screen and the proportional font. The contrast is much better than on the Pro -- my poor eyes are already thanking me. The thing I like most about it though is the word count feature. It not only tells you the number of words, it tells you the number of characters, paragraphs, and pages in the document. You can also "link" files (such as outline) and flash between the linked and main files just by hitting ctrl-L. It's exactly what I was hoping for: a customized and optimized writing machine. It's even lighter than the Pro and much more comfortable to type on. Ergonometrics have become a big thing for me, so the ability to write comfortably anywhere is a major factor.

In other news, I commissioned a silver ring with the original seal of the Knights Templar from a craftsman in Spain. It finally arrived today! The seal is a bit bigger than I would have liked, mostly because I have such a skinny finger (US size 7), but it still looks good. It's got quite a bit of "heft" to it, too, which is something I like in a ring. The seal looks like this:

I'm pleased overall!

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