1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Portable typing devices?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Lea`Brooks, Apr 6, 2014.

    Hola!

    I write a LOT easier when I'm outside. It clears my head and helps me to come up with new creative ideas. The problem is I'm a slow hand writer. So I'm unable to write much in an hour because it takes me so long. And if I use my laptop, I get soooo distracted! I have to check my email or my Facebook, or look up what that word means, or find another word for this word, or look for pictures that look like my main characters.. I know I shouldn't be checking email or Facebook, and that I should be changing words during editing, but I can't help it. :(

    So, I'm interested in purchasing a portable writing device that I can take out on the porch with me or to the park or on vacation. Is there any that you use and recommend? Is a small keyboard better than a full size keyboard? Internet or no (in my case it should be no, but maybe there's a pro I'm missing)? Small screen or large?


    Anything you can suggest would be greatly appreciated. :)
    Thanks!
    Lea


    PS: So sorry if I put this in the wrong spot or if there's another thread for this. I tried to search for it but what I found wasn't quite what I was looking for.
     
  2. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for here. A laptop without a network connection would probably be your best bet. They do have keyboards that can connect to touch pads but even with those you are going to run into the same problem of the internet distraction. You're just going to have to build some ability to defeat the internet monster! :D
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ever try one of those little voice recorders? Just dictate your stuff and transcribe it later. Those things have no screen or keyboards, so you can't get tempted by the internet.

    Still, it's nice to write by hand, I think. That's what I do when I'm in that mood.
     
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  4. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I agree I laptop without a network connection is your best bet. Hopefully, there will be enough shade to see the screen. I don't know if they have a laptop type device with a Kindle like screen.
     
  5. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I'm pretty sure you're asking for a typewriter. You can still buy some pretty advanced ones, with deleting and things
    http://www.adorama.com/BRGX6750.html?gclid=CN3E1djayr0CFclDMgodOw8Agg
    Then if you have a scanner you can scan the pages and Adobe Acrobat can use word recognizer on them and give you back a chunk of text.
     
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  6. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    To be sure to get a bright enough screen, you will be looking at fairly high end stuff. BUT! You can arrange your own shade, if you have a deck.

    I, too, enjoy being outside. I also prefer to edit in a different spot than where my PC lives. I got a laptop with a super bright screen but for writing/editing, it is massive overkill. If you enjoy writing in the library, Starbucks, Barnes&Noble's, a laptop is the way to go and any reliable one will do. Lenovo is highly rated for reliability if a bit sluggish.

    Things to AVOID!!!
    1. Don't switch operating programs. If you use a Mac for writing, get a Mac laptop.
    2. Keep your keyboard as similar as possible. If you switch machines frequently, you won't even notice. But if you write for hours a day on one keyboard, it is a great idea to have them all be the same. You *can* remap your keyboard for free and change the locations of keys you use a lot.

    I would not discount internet. You probably won't be sorry you have something. Only that you don't. You can obviously turn off an internet connection but you can never turn it on if it isn't there. I keep my browser open to YouTube and Google for searching about things I don't know how to do. I also get distracted but don't really care :)

    Oh look! Facebook!
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  7. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    This will be the weirdest reply you get here, but as a guy who doesn't like to throw anything away, when I'm out on the deck or on a park bench somewhere, I usually take my Tandy 102: http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=233. It will hold about twelve pages of double-spaced text, and since I mostly write short stories, that's enough. Great keyboard, runs on AA batteries, and it's easy to transfer files to and from a PC.

    When I go fishing, I take my Handspring Visor PDA and Stowaway keyboard, which folds up to just a touch larger than the PDA. I use the Memo program and with 8MB of RAM, the size of the manuscript isn't an issue. Transfer files to and from the PC from the cradle with a push of a button.
     
  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    That's great, but what format does it write to?
     
  9. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    It's easy to buy a used laptop on eBay for very little money these days—they're usually being sold because the operating systems can't be upgraded to keep up with the internet. Get one that's compatible with your PC/Mac.

    You can usually write in a SimpleText kind of format, with a very simple and easy to obtain basic wordprocessing programme—but even better if your wordprocessing programme can be installed on the older laptop.

    Just write on the old laptop and transfer your work to your new computer via flash drive at the end of the day.
     
  10. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Plain text on both, which is what I usually use on the PC anyway.
     
  11. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    Rather than invest in a new machine, why not just shut your wifi off on your laptop?

    As for myself, I have both a laptop and a tablet with bluetooth keyboard. Each serves its purpose and I can save via cloud or micro SD.
     
  12. LunarEclipse
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    LunarEclipse New Member

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    I had a neo by Alphasmart and I used it all the time before I was allowed a laptop (17).
     
  13. LunarEclipse
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    LunarEclipse New Member

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    and it plugged right into my computer which was awesome
     
  14. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    You might want to consider a small notebook computer (if they still make them without the internet), as they are pretty inexpensive, and decently small. Not bad for typing and word processing. Otherwise, you might find a 10 or 11.6 inch netbook to be worth investing in. they are cheap, small and only do minimal internet browsing. They can, likely do all the typing you need.

    If that doesn't work, there is always recording, but I find the words never come to me the same way in oral speech. Thus, I prefer to write by hand when I can't take my computer out with me. Besides, I think penmanship is becoming lost on current generations ha ha.
     
  15. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    I've used or am using every portable writing device known to man (there or thereabouts!), and when writing outside you'll always have a problem with screen-glare. The only device (other than typewriter and pen!) that I've used that didn't have that problem was my old Psion Palmtop which was like the kindle screen and more or less resistant to glare.
    Unless Psion is resurrected or Kindle makes e-ink laptop your stuck with a notebook or if you are writing indoors in a cafe, I'd even go for a tablet with blue-tooth keyboard (what I'm using right now).
    The advantages with a tablet is that you can whip it out anywhere to get those ideas down even without an external keyboard.

    And don't worry about mixing your apples with your pears either - as long as you are using writing software that is compatible with each other and have email to send from one device to the next, you can mix your Windows with you Mac, or your Android with your IOS. I've done it for a few years now, getting the best out of all systems available to me, in performance and price (Apple stuff is better, but extortionate!)
     
  16. Magnatolia
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    Magnatolia Active Member

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    There's a tool called Cold Turkey that you can actualy dictate when and what it will lock. So you can lock your browser and any other programs that might distract you. Apparently you literally have to reboot to get everything back.
     
  17. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    Yeah, I've heard of this too. It's for writers who spend too much time on social media, writing forums and surfing the net, and have no self control.

    Meh ;)
     

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