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What gadget is best if your writing a book on your trip

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What gadget is best if your writing a book on your trip

Old 01-26-08, 05:59 PM
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What gadget is best if your writing a book on your trip

Ive started writing on a book. For some months later this year i be long distant touring for 3 or more months.
I dont want to drag with me a PC because i am a travel light fan. I know it exist small Pc`s today, but they also cost more the smaller they get..or..

Any tips?
 
Old 01-26-08, 07:05 PM
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In re-reading Thoreau's Walden I learned he went through at least 5 drafts before sending it for publication. With a pencil. (probably his father's pencils, then the best you could buy)

Every thread about electronics, esp PDA, smartphone, mini-pc all seem to boil down to power availability. Just seems to me that finding a plug, watching power meters, paying attention to small keyboard spacing, backing up worries, etc would be detrimental to the writing process.

Now, if one were going to be in a motel every night, or could guarantee being able to spend evenings plugged in at a cafe or such..... then a plastic bag with a Moleskine and a couple of pencils might not look so good.
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Old 01-26-08, 09:07 PM
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To the OP.

I'm not biting your head off but just wanted to point out the topic spelling HERE.
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Old 01-26-08, 09:20 PM
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Are you writing about the tour or some other subject? If you just want notes on your tour paper/pencil or a mini recorder would both work.

Do you use a dynamo hub? With some custom electrical work you could design a recharging circuit for a laptop and run your dynamo for recharging during the day.
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Old 01-26-08, 09:24 PM
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Ballpoint pen and paper's worked for me!
Write down key happenings in a few words so it can jolt your memory when you read the notes. Then you can do your first draft at your leisure after your tour.
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Old 01-26-08, 09:30 PM
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www.eeeuser.com

I suggest the Asus EEE PC.

It is just 2 lb, and comes pre-loaded with OpenOffice.org !

Boots up in less than 30 seconds, built-in wifi (wireless) and non-Microsoft OS !!!!!
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Old 01-26-08, 11:03 PM
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Paper and pen (or a bound journal book) is cheapest and the most reliable, and you can mail pages of notes to your home address as needed. A Nokia 800 tablet plus bluetooth keyboard (I have them) is extremely portable and you can email your notes and pictures to yourself or save to memory card. Current US prices are $230-ish for the N800 and under $50 for a keyboard. But you may dislike extensive typing on it. I'd bring mine with me, but I already have it and I'd still be worried about damage or theft.

The Asus EEE PC is a little less portable but probably easier to type with. A laptop with a larger keyboard is going to be easier to type on still, but even less portable and a lot more money. Weight of equipment, reliability when it gets bounced around all day in a pannier, and charging batteries are going to be issues. Solar or dynamo charging may work, do you want the hassle?

I'd go with paper and a small digital camera for photos. If you must go electronic, are there internet cafes or libraries or hotel "business centers" you can use from time to time to type you notes and journal entries? Less weight and cost, and you may get some interesting stories when you tell people what you are doing.
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Old 01-27-08, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
To the OP.

I'm not biting your head off but just wanted to point out the topic spelling HERE.
That one is MUCH easier on the eyes than this old standby:

https://www.angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif



Bob's taken things further, I see:
https://www.angryflower.com/destro.html

Last edited by BarracksSi; 01-27-08 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 01-27-08, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
That one is MUCH easier on the eyes than this old standby:

https://www.angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif



Bob's taken things further, I see:
https://www.angryflower.com/destro.html
Hmm.. I like Bob. I raise you with this. Warning work safe but 'risque'. No nudity but hey the coworkers might take away your artificial day light by huddling too close.
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Old 01-27-08, 02:27 PM
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How about a Blackberry?
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Old 01-27-08, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bfromcolo View Post
How about a Blackberry?
Oh, god no (no offense intended for you, that's just my reaction to the Blackberry as a writing instrument). The keys are way too tiny and it's a pain to edit stuff.

If typing is the goal, you want something designed to fit your hands, not your pocket. If you're not going to carry a laptop such as one of the micro-thin Sonys or MacBook Air, or a PDA/phone/whatever with a good-sized foldout keyboard, you might as well carry a notebook & pen or pencil instead.
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Old 01-27-08, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
Oh, god no (no offense intended for you, that's just my reaction to the Blackberry as a writing instrument). The keys are way too tiny and it's a pain to edit stuff.
You get used to typing on then after a while. Work makes me carry one. You can email it to your self to backup your work. Editing can be a pain compared to a PC, but easier then with pencil and paper. And your likely to be carrying a cell phone anyway. It can be charged with a USB cable, and if you have a generator hub there are circuits to do that.
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Old 01-27-08, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bfromcolo View Post
You get used to typing on then after a while.
Right, but you're not typing on it for hour-long stretches either, right? At least I hope you don't have to...

My 8100 Pearl isn't a fair comparison anyway since it's much too tiny for any substantial writing.
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Old 01-27-08, 05:38 PM
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I use a Palm TX PDA that works great. It has Wi-Fi so you can do all your Internet chores with it. It has an SD card slot and works fine with my HP camera SD card. I can take the card out of the camera and put it in the Palm and send copy's of photos and videos from the camera as e-mail attachments. Bluetooth keyboards work fine with the Palm as well. Typing with a real keyboard is much better than stylus pecking! DX has a folding 2XAAA battery powered folding Bluetooth keyboard.
https://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.6443



Here is the circuit I use to power and recharge my Palm and a GPS unit from a standard bicycle dynamo.



The 4 diodes convert AC from the dynamo to DC.
The 4 Ni-MH batteries regulate voltage and current supplying nice clean current and voltage for the USB connector.
S2 electrically isolates the batteries from the dynamo.
S1 controls the 1-watt headlight LED and the LED taillight.
Unplugging devices from the USB connector with S1 open allows rapid recharging of the batteries.
The dynamo cant supply enough current to power USB devices and the Lights so you must disconnect USB devices when using the lights. The lights will not go out at stops but will be draining current from the batteries. The lights are setup with resistors to limit total current drain to 380mA allowing 120mA of recharging current to compensate for stops in traffic and hill climbing.
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Old 01-27-08, 10:16 PM
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N4zou,

My dad owns a Palm TX Xmas used and just wondering how the keyboard works with it? I also own a Palm Tungsten T2. Do you know if this works with the T2 or can help me find some confirmation that the keyboard works with the T2?

Seeing as it says any bluetooth device and Palm OS 5.0 and higher I would think my T2 will work. I'm looking for something that both of us can use. Staples.ca has a $99 bluetooth keyoard but it only works with Tungsten E, E2, Tx, and something else I forgot. My T2 is Palm OS v.5.2.1 .
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Old 01-27-08, 10:24 PM
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If you don't mind typing out your words of wisdom later on, consider a voice recorder. You can get them pretty inexpensively, but I take one of these on tour:



Awesome machine. It takes SD cards, picks up voices very clearly, and records in stereo or (oddly enough) quadraphonic stereo. It also doubles as an SD card reader, and does a decent job when I actually use it to cut demos.
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Old 01-27-08, 10:35 PM
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I've heard wonderful things about the AlphaSmart. We would take one with us on our tour, except we will need to manipulate photos and stuff too. If we were only a short 3-month tour, we would definitely do the AlphaSmart!
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Old 01-27-08, 11:35 PM
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The voice recorder isn't a bad idea. I'm not sure how the Dragon Naturally Speaking programs are now a days and thier percentage of accuracy. I think I played with that back in 1997. Many moons ago. If you speak clearly into the recorder I'm sure later you can put the recorder into a quiet room, kick up the computer voice to text program, walk out and close the door and do something else while the computer takes over. When you hear the tape is not playing anymore then enter the room again and read what has been converted to text on the computer and do your editing then. I'm sureyou'll remember many details when you read what has been texted out even if there are word errors.

Just an idea.
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Old 01-28-08, 08:34 AM
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Pencil, legal pad, envelops and stamps. Write every night, put it in an envelop and send it home. Type it when you get home. Writing is usually better when it's had some time to age anyway.

Advantages:

-no batteries to worry about
-no expensive equipment to worry about
-it's not as easy to use your keyboard when you run out of toilet paper

Disadvantages

-you have to type it up when you get home.
-you might run out of pencils
-paper burns
-you have to depend on the post office*

*They really aren't that bad
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Old 01-28-08, 09:51 AM
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Here you go, the best of both worlds:

https://www.engadget.com/2007/02/08/g...0-digital-pad/
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Old 01-28-08, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
N4zou,

My dad owns a Palm TX Xmas used and just wondering how the keyboard works with it? I also own a Palm Tungsten T2. Do you know if this works with the T2 or can help me find some confirmation that the keyboard works with the T2?

Seeing as it says any bluetooth device and Palm OS 5.0 and higher I would think my T2 will work. I'm looking for something that both of us can use. Staples.ca has a $99 bluetooth keyoard but it only works with Tungsten E, E2, Tx, and something else I forgot. My T2 is Palm OS v.5.2.1 .
Here is the link to a Palm Bluetooth keyboard guaranteed to be compatible as it's listed to work with the Tungsten E2.

https://store.palm.com/product/index....entPage=family

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Old 01-28-08, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by LitePacking View Post
Ive started writing on a book. For some months later this year i be long distant touring for 3 or more months.
I dont want to drag with me a PC because i am a travel light fan. I know it exist small Pc`s today, but they also cost more the smaller they get..or..

Any tips?
What about using a pda palm treo type phone where you can send email? You could upload to a blog by just sending an email to a certain address. You could also do work in word mobile, etc if you go the windows mobile route.
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Old 01-28-08, 02:34 PM
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+1 to the PDA + keyboard idea. I took my old Clie SJ22 and keyboard to Costa Rica. It lasted a whole week of blogging on a single charge (though I could have charged it at the hotel), and i could backup to the memory stick. Entire package is maybe a pound and the size of 2 clif bars.

-david
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Old 01-28-08, 02:41 PM
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I'd look at the Eee, but personally I think anybody serious about writing while traveling needs to pony up and carry the proper tools for the job and for most, that's a 6-lb or so laptop with a big enough keyboard and screen so that you can comfortably.... write. Hanging keyboards onto PDA's and the like is fine for an occasional email or updating a blog, but that's not writing a book which is a very difficult and serious activity that requires some serious committment to be successful and carrying a laptop seems like one of the lesser difficulties.

- Mark

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Old 01-28-08, 05:31 PM
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I have an HTC Kaiser and a folding bluetooth keyboard. With both, I can [easily] type using Pocket Word and have internet access whether I am around a WiFi access point or not. Since the phone has it's own keyboard, I don't need the folding keyboard, but it makes typing more than a single line much more enjoyable.
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