Saturday, January 23, 2016

Neo by AlphaSmart


My dad just gave me something I've been wanting since I was in high school. It's a tool we used in third grade in Mrs. Comb's class when we made our class cookbook. To get us to practice our typing skills and creating a multi-step product, she had us each pick recipes. We then had to type them up, print it out, and illustrate it for a book we each got to take home.

I'm currently writing on a NEO by Alphasmart. It's like a giant glorified calculator in the sense that it has a liquid-crystal display. Black on green. No back-lights, no internet, no apps, no images. Just text. The internet dubs it a "simple digital typewriter" which is what I needed. I wanted to write but I didn't want to use my laptop.

It runs on three AA batteries which every source say keep it going for a a significantly long time. One source said that you can get a year out of those three batteries with heavy use (just verified this on the official website).

I likely used the AlphaSmart 2000 which came out in 1997. That was the third generation. The Neo model I write on now came out in 2004. They're no longer made as for 2013.

Generally, these go for $20. Not bad, eh. This one, we found for $4.99 at Value Village. Either way, it's a good deal. I've been wanting one for years. I poked around the internet and a lot of other writers dig 'em. There are other similar tools but they cost ridiculous amounts when this does the job for cheap. We're a satisfied crew. It's got 50 reviews on Amaazon and 5 gold stars.

This started back when I was in a huge swing of blogging, back around 2009 or 2010. I knew I wanted to type, but was fed up with having to be on a computer to do it. I wasn't down with the screens. I like to write before bed but I know that the lit screens can mess with my sleep habits.

So here I have it.
My own little computer to haul around.

This is File 1 and I've got 7 more files to fill until this thing is topped off (200 pages of text max).

Then, I just plug it into my computer, open a word processing program, click "send," and like magic, the text transfers onto the open word processing page. I can also have it insert the text directly into a blog post, no software needed. Basically all it does is emulate a keyboard. It memorizes my keystrokes and then inputs them into my computer.

I'm stoked.
Hopefully this is what it'll take to crack me again. I miss writing and know it will be a part of the healing process.

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