I did go downtown yesterday, and I did take the Alphasmart. First, I went and dropped off my Grandfather clock weights, then I swung by the Blaisdell box office for tickets to the symphony. Tonight is Renee Fleming! Mike and I are going, though he's not a big opera buff. He'll sit through two hours of Renee belting out Beethoven, provided he can have wine during the intermission. 🙂 I am happy to accomodate.
I love going to the symphony in Hawaii. No suits, ties, or evening wear here! We wear aloha attire. Men will come in aloha shirts and shorts or slacks. Women wear mu'u mu'us or dresses or slacks or shorts. Some folks dress up, some don't. Many wear fragrant leis. If you come to Hawaii for a visit, and you like the symphony, I suggest you go. Our pops conducter, btw, arranged the music and played the saxophone in the fabulous George Clooney movie Good Night and Good Luck. The man is a talent.
But anyway. I got out of the house, went to observe humanity. 🙂 I ended up in Barnes and Noble with the Alphie. I had a chai and wrote 1 page. Whoa, was I smokin' or what? I observed an old man with a dangly earring, which I thought was funny. I observed how people hog the tables in the cafe by getting one drink, piling magazines on the table, and then stay there forever. They will even get up for 20 to 30 minutes on end while they go look for other stuff. They'll leave everything piled on “their” table so no one takes it. How annoying.
And, yeah, I sat at my table for a long time after I finished the chai. I was probably there for an hour and 15 minutes or so. Staring into space, typing and hitting the delete key, and perusing the latest RWR and The Writer. No one came through looking like they wanted a table, so I didn't feel too guilty. And I don't get up to go find other stuff. I'll go to the bathroom if I have to, but I come right back. I feel guilty taking a table and then going to browse the store.
Do you go to cafes to write? If so, do you think you get more or less done that way? I think I do less, but then sometimes getting away from the house and its distractions (laundry, cats, dishes, etc) is the only way to get anything done.
[Update: Here is the official Renee Fleming website. Apparently the one linked above is a fan site. It was a great concert. I'll report more in depth later…….]
So what do you think of the AlphaSmart? It looks like a toy to me and I like to see a lot of real estate on my screen, but if battery power is good, I may buy one for long flights…
I’m envious, by the way. Everytime I read your posts I get homesick.
Hi, Rob! Sorry to make you homesick. If it’s any consolation, we’re swimming in rain, mudslides, flash floods, dirty water, etc, right now. Round Top Drive has had two major slides in the past week. They’re beginning to worry that trees will come next. I’m not suggesting you will take pleasure in our misery, just that you won’t feel so bad about not being here at the moment. 🙂
Hey, if you think you might come do a signing in Hawaii when your book comes out, I know the best CRM at B&N here. She just set up a signing for an RWA member from Texas who’s vacationing on the North Shore.
Anyway, sorry to ramble. 🙂 Ahem, the Alphie. Okay, if you like lots of real estate on the screen, you won’t like this guy. It will only show up to 4 lines at a time. OTOH, it’s FABULOUS for battery time and travel. It takes 3 AA batteries and they last for 700 hours, or so the literature claims. I’ve not heard of anyone who complains about the battery time. I’ve had mine for nearly a year, and it’s still got 3/4 power.
It automatically saves whatever you are typing, so no fear of losing anything. It holds up to 100 pages of text. You can also download pages from your computer to the AS if you want to work on a chapter or something. You upload to the computer via USB cable or infrared.
The case is durable. It’s sort of Army green. I have the NEO, which runs $249 new (and comes with the cable and batteries). There’s one that does basic email too (the DANA) but it costs closer to cheap laptop range (around 450 I think), and I already have a nice laptop if I feel I need to be online while traveling.
I take the Alphie to the beach too. I’d never take the laptop there. Oh, and you can see the screen in broad daylight because it’s not backlit or anything. Just simple text on a dull background. When you upload a file to your computer, the text will take on whatever formatting you have going in your document (double space, single, TNR, Courier, Arial, etc) so no highlighting and reformatting.
I think that’s it. I really like it, even though I don’t use it as often as I thought I would. But, if I’m headed off somewhere like yesterday and don’t want to haul the laptop, I just toss the Alphie into a bag and go. No fussing with backpacks and cords and cooler pads. 🙂
Some folks go to eBay and get the older AlphaSmart 3000 and seem to be happy. I went for the NEO, just because I wanted the capability to download from the computer (AS 3000 will, but you have to get an extra program for it). Also, I think NEO holds more text. As soon as I showed up at one of my writer meetings with this thing, two more people went and ordered them. They are both happy.
I love Renee Fleming. How did the concert go?
My google alert picked up my own name. 😀 Thanks for the link! I’m sooo happy to see your success!
All the best,