Writing Tools

Many many years back – before D4D even started – I used to have a couple of palmtop computers. I started off with the Atari Portfolio, then ended up with Psion devices, a 3a and then a Revo.  I used to love these things – they made things easy, and gave me a lot of time/ability for writing.  Of them all, the Revo was the best for also having a decent keyboard.

psion_revoThese things were tiny – far smaller than today’s tablet devices – but had enough power to do general organisational stuff, and plenty of writing along the way.

In 2015, I want to do more in the way of writing, and I’ve been looking for something similar to the Psions of old – the main requirements being small size, and a decent keyboard.  One thing I hate on tablets is the “on-screen keyboard”, which is nigh-on impossible to touch-type on. There’s no real feedback, and it’s hard to type clearly/cleanly/correctly on the poxy things. When one is wanting a device primarily for writing/typing, that’s hardly ideal.

There’s a couple of smaller tablets that also have decent keyboards – but then, if I’m looking at that I might as well get just a small/compact laptop. Mind you, a laptop (even a small one) is still larger than I was looking for.

Ideally I’d like something the size of the old Revo(ish) with a decent keyboard, and better connectivity. Doesn’t seem like much to ask for, does it? Particularly when you consider that such a device was in existence more than a decade ago. But it just doesn’t seem to available.  The best alternative seems to be something like the Typo2 keyboard for my phone – except that then negates the case/battery-pack I’ve already got, and also buggers up some of the other phone functionality. Which makes it a bit more pointless.

I feel the same about “smartwatches” like Apple’s iWatch and so on. Sure, there’s a lot of things that are cool on them, but when I think of what Casio used to do with digital watches back in the 90s – watches with calculators, databanks, thermometers, barometers, heart-rate monitors and so on – then the smartwatches are actually pretty dumb.

It’s just annoying – it seems that for all our technological advances, in some ways the devices we have now are less useful than those from a decade ago.

3 Comments on “Writing Tools”

  1. Blue Witch says:

    I said the *exact* same thing to Mr BW the other day. We came to the conclusion that the problem is that most people don’t touch type so don’t actually want a keyboard.

    Most people use only a tiny fraction of what most gadgets can do – there is a huge gap in the market for simple things that work like things used to, without unnecessary functionality (that said, Doro are doing quite well at filling it).

    My Palm + folding keyboard used to last for days, even in regular use, whereas most so-called smartphones last for hours, and then need a recharge (and there are still no standard charging leads, so 4 gadgets = 4 leads/transformers to take everywhere).

  2. lyle says:

    Cheers for the link to Doro, BW (I’ve added a URL to it, by the way) and will keep an eye on their stuff – looks interesting.

    I hadn’t thought about the whole touch-typing thing being a reason, but practicality-wise I used to be able to touch-type a text message on a numeric keypad, which is also impossible on a ‘smart’ phone.

    Maybe it’s just that the devices are now smarter than the majority of the users…

  3. Blue Witch says:

    I’ve just bought a Doro SIM-free phone (as my 7 or 8 year old last phone isn’t recharging properly now). Not a smartphone. Excellent build quality. It’s meant for people older than me but the keys and screen are big enough for me to use, even when my limbs/eyes aren’t working well. Haven’t got around to transferring my SIM card yet, but. I like the fact that it has a button that you push for ‘assistance’ which connects directly to your ‘assistant’. Mr BW won’t get any peace…

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