Author Topic: Alphasmart  (Read 69212 times)  

Offline MyraScott

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Re: Alphasmart
« Reply #575 on: September 18, 2017, 10:15:46 am »
I really am most productive when using the NEO.  And the batteries last forever.   I actually found 4 files on it I forgot I had written... it's been a while!
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    Offline CASD57

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #576 on: September 18, 2017, 02:26:30 pm »
    Can't wait to get home to finish this scene on the NEO lol

    Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk


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    Offline BillSmithBooksDotCom

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #577 on: September 18, 2017, 04:43:00 pm »
    I do enjoy my AlphaSmart 3000, but find writing slow as it has a very stiff keyboard. Do the Dana or other AlphaSmarts have a... less plastic-y, tough keyboard?

    Night and day. Neo and Dana keyboards are much quieter and smooth as silk.
    Bill Smith is the author of the Outlaw Galaxy series and several Star Wars books. Visit him at www.BillSmithBooks.com or www.OutlawGalaxy.com. Blogging at www.BillSmithBooks.blogspot.com. The Outlaw Galaxy series features free-wheeling space fantasy action-adventure...fun for readers of all ages. Outlaw Galaxy: Little Wind and Other Tales (short story collection) is now FREE at most retailers.
    Bill Smith | Outlaw Galaxy: Hunter\'s Truth and Other Tales | BillSmithBooks.com | BillSmithBlog.com

    Offline CASD57

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #578 on: September 19, 2017, 12:12:42 pm »
    Anyone have a A/C Power supply for a Dana ?  I need the spec's off it so I can find one...
    Volts
    Amps
    Output

    Thanks

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    Offline Gertie Kindle

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #579 on: September 19, 2017, 12:18:46 pm »


    Offline Jacob Stanley

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #581 on: October 03, 2017, 10:02:49 am »
    I used an alphasmart neo as my main first draft machine for my last project, and it's been a HUGE help to my writing process. It took me a while to get used to it and develop a workflow that felt comfortable, but it was worth the trouble. My speed has basically doubled.

    Part of it comes from the fact that the alphasmart is so portable. I can take it anywhere, indoors or outdoors, so I can easily get away from all distractions without having to worry about battery life or cords or anything else. I also tend to focus strictly on writing when using the alphasmart, and I get more absorbed in my work. When I'm using a computer, I tend to get distracted by various websites, or checking my sales, or I start researching something and lose several hours going down Internet rabbit holes.

    I'm still editing as I go with the alphasmart, despite the small screen. And that's a good thing, because going back and cycling over my work is a huge part of my drafting process. But I'm not as obsessive about it as I am when using a normal word processor, and I tend to make a lot more forward progress.

    Overall this thing has been a huge help, and I'm thinking of buying two or three more as backups, just in case they become rare at some point in the future and the price skyrockets.
    « Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 12:24:09 pm by Jacob Stanley »

    Offline CASD57

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #582 on: October 03, 2017, 12:15:14 pm »
    Did the battery hack on one of my Dana's ...bought some rechargeable AA's at Harbor Freight for $6.99
    With the 8-LED USB Light I'm using it was eating up std. AA's fast...So I did the hack..
    Pretty easy actually and it can still use  std. AA's in a pinch  just don't try to charge them :)

    Because of the low light screen of the Dana I'm not sure it will totally take the place of my NEO ... time will tell

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    Offline Gertie Kindle

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #583 on: October 03, 2017, 01:41:11 pm »
    Did the battery hack on one of my Dana's ...bought some rechargeable AA's at Harbor Freight for $6.99
    With the 8-LED USB Light I'm using it was eating up std. AA's fast...So I did the hack..
    Pretty easy actually and it can still use  std. AA's in a pinch  just don't try to charge them :)

    Because of the low light screen of the Dana I'm not sure it will totally take the place of my NEO ... time will tell

    The battery problem was the big reason I abandoned my Dana and got a Neo. Much happier.

    Offline BillSmithBooksDotCom

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #584 on: October 03, 2017, 07:05:43 pm »
    I know the conventional wisdom is that the Alphasmarts are not good for editing because the screens are so small, but I just wrote an 8,000 word RPG adventure on my Dana -- I did the editing process the old-fashioned way -- just printed the document, hand-marked the edits, then entered them in the Dana.

    Simple, smooth and easy. A beautifully simple workflow.

    Just "Send" the text file into Caret on my Chromebook (used Markdown coding for heads, italics and bold), used  Minimalist Markdown Editor to convert into HTML, then imported the HTML file into Google Docs, where I saved as ODT and Docx for the editor. Conversion took less than five minutes ... all of the hard work was done on the Alphasmart.
    Bill Smith is the author of the Outlaw Galaxy series and several Star Wars books. Visit him at www.BillSmithBooks.com or www.OutlawGalaxy.com. Blogging at www.BillSmithBooks.blogspot.com. The Outlaw Galaxy series features free-wheeling space fantasy action-adventure...fun for readers of all ages. Outlaw Galaxy: Little Wind and Other Tales (short story collection) is now FREE at most retailers.
    Bill Smith | Outlaw Galaxy: Hunter\'s Truth and Other Tales | BillSmithBooks.com | BillSmithBlog.com

    Offline aejotz

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #585 on: October 14, 2017, 06:22:05 pm »
    Circa 2003 I bought my first AlphaSmart 3000. In a year or two I wore out the keyboard. I ordered another 3000 and wore out its keyboard. I replaced that one with a NEO.

    More than ten years later I still have that NEO and it still works flawlessly. I just bought a like-new NEO from Ebay and will keep the old one as a backup. 

    Schools have dumped hundreds, possibly thousands of NEOs on the market. I got my "new" one for $17.95 with free shipping. These gadgets are beloved by writers, and for good reason. Buy one or two now. As they become less common the prices will go up.

    And get one of the excellent AlphaSmart carrying cases if you can find one. I'm still using the one I got with my original 3000 and it's still in perfect condition despite never having been babied.

    In the mid 1980s I had a CP/M computer with a great word processor. I spent so much time editing every phrase to perfection that I couldn't complete a short story. I acquired a manual typewriter with a fabric ribbon to break the habit of editing things I hadn't finished drafting. It worked, but was very inconvenient. The NEO encourages me to keep moving ahead and is super convenient. The NEO is one of my most prized possessions.

    When I use my NEO in restaurants, proprietors become especially accommodating, apparently thinking I'm writing about the restaurant.

    Offline RomanceAuthor

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #586 on: October 15, 2017, 11:22:51 pm »
    I bought 3 Alphasmart Neos from ebay and they all arrived well. But in the span of a few weeks (for one it was a day), the battery was depleted (on one the battery was full but it completely depleted in 2 weeks). Is this normal? I can use them if i plug them to a power source (and they power up when I connect them to the computer to transfer files). Should I just change their AA batteries or is something more required?
    I'd read the batteries are supposed to last much longer, which is why I'm shocked (especially regarding the one which arrived with a full battery).

    Thanks

    Offline CASD57

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #587 on: October 16, 2017, 05:30:06 am »
    These are old enough that the rechargeable battery packs are worn out and nowhere near their original power....
    Try 3-AA's  you will be surprised how long they last..

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    Offline RomanceAuthor

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #588 on: October 16, 2017, 10:09:54 am »
    These are old enough that the rechargeable battery packs are worn out and nowhere near their original power....
    Try 3-AA's  you will be surprised how long they last..
    Thank you! Will do! I had no idea they had a rechargeable battery pack. I thought they came with 3 AAs (that's what the ebay description said)

    Offline Anonymouse

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #589 on: October 24, 2017, 05:10:24 pm »
    I've been using a Neo for a few years now.  I love it so much that I just bought a Neo2 to have as a backup.  Here are the differences I've noticed:

    • The Neo is made in America.  The Neo2 is made in China.
    • The Neo is dark green plastic.  The Neo2 is black.
    • The Neo keyboard is a slightly lighter touch.  You have to press the keys just a little harder on the Neo2

    The third point is the killer for me.  It's not a big difference, but I prefer the Neo keyboard so much that I might buy another Neo for a backup and then give the Neo2 to my brother, or maybe try to sell it.

    I bought this Neo2 on ebay from "electronicsales3" <https://www.ebay.com/itm/Neo-2-Alphasmart-Word-Processer-Keyboard-By-Renaissance-Learning-AlphaWord-Plus/282377204250?epid=516185215&hash=item41befe321a:g:T4AAAOSwNnRYhmnR>.    They're currently selling them for $15 plus $10 for shipping (to the lower 48 States).  They wrapped it up really nice, and the unit looks pretty new, but there is a number handwritten on the front and back (probably from this unit's previous life as school inventory), and it's missing the little screw that holds the battery cover in place.  They don't include batteries or the cable to transfer, either.

    I've also got an old Alphasmart 3000.  The keys on that one are beastly--you've got to press so hard to type that after a few hours my fingertips start to hurt.  I'm emotionally attached to it, though, because it's the first Alphasmart I ever owned, and I used it to write my second novel.  Plus it looks way, mega-retro cool.

    Offline Jim Johnson

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #590 on: October 24, 2017, 05:22:02 pm »
    Thank you! Will do! I had no idea they had a rechargeable battery pack. I thought they came with 3 AAs (that's what the ebay description said)

    I got one with a rechargeable battery pack and it's still kicking along after almost 15 years.  :o

    Offline Valerie A.

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #591 on: October 25, 2017, 01:30:34 pm »
    Love my little machine! Although I swear it's haunted because every time I turn it on, the battery still shows as full although it's been 7 months since it was charged up.

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    Offline Vlad the Lad

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #592 on: September 26, 2020, 09:12:29 pm »
    Hi,

    I was wondering if any Neo 2 owners can comment on the reliability of this typing machine. I am most concerned about data loss. I have heard some horror stories about people losing data on the machine due to poor battery connections or data corruption.

    I can't sacrifice my work at the altar of superior workflow, so data integrity is of the utmost importance to me.

    Could you share your experiences?

    Thank you!

    Offline tdecastro31

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #593 on: September 28, 2020, 12:18:31 pm »
    I've never had an issue in the 2+ years I've been using them.  But I also regularly import into my word processor. 

    Anthony DeCastro | Tony D. Writes Pulp

    Offline Connor S Caple

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #594 on: September 29, 2020, 01:53:20 am »
    I got rid of my Alphasmart in about 1997 after using it for about 4 years on a University course.

    Brilliant bit of gear and have wished many times since then that I'd kept it.
    Writer and ex-unicyclist.

    Offline tdecastro31

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #595 on: September 29, 2020, 08:37:35 am »
    I got rid of my Alphasmart in about 1997 after using it for about 4 years on a University course.

    Brilliant bit of gear and have wished many times since then that I'd kept it.

    You can pick them up for about 20 bucks on Ebay.  I've got a second one for back up  :D

    Anthony DeCastro | Tony D. Writes Pulp

    Offline BillSmithBooksDotCom

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #596 on: September 29, 2020, 08:38:27 am »
    I've been using Alphasmarts for about 15 years now -- the 3000, Neo and Dana -- and never had an issue with this. I've noticed that the Alphasmart Neos are now up to about $40-50 on ebay -- but the keyboard is far superior to the Alphasmart 3000 keyboard, it is worth the extra money.

    One viable and cheap alternative is a cheap Android phone/tablet, a plain text editor (I use Old School Editor -- it's free and very reliable and since I use Markdown when writing, plain text is all I need, requires a lot less resources than Google docs) and a cheap Bluetooth keyboard (I have the Arteck HB098 -- only about $13-20 ... small but very comfortable and reliable, my hands adjusted to the slightly smaller keys with no issues at all).
    Bill Smith is the author of the Outlaw Galaxy series and several Star Wars books. Visit him at www.BillSmithBooks.com or www.OutlawGalaxy.com. Blogging at www.BillSmithBooks.blogspot.com. The Outlaw Galaxy series features free-wheeling space fantasy action-adventure...fun for readers of all ages. Outlaw Galaxy: Little Wind and Other Tales (short story collection) is now FREE at most retailers.
    Bill Smith | Outlaw Galaxy: Hunter\'s Truth and Other Tales | BillSmithBooks.com | BillSmithBlog.com

    Offline Brevoort

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    Re: Alphasmart
    « Reply #597 on: September 29, 2020, 08:39:48 am »

    I was wondering if any Neo 2 owners can comment on the reliability of this typing machine. I am most concerned about data loss. I have heard some horror stories about people losing data on the machine due to poor battery connections or data corruption.


    I had a Neo and a Neo 2 for more than three years. They are used daily.

    I've not had one problem with data loss. Nothing.

    As long as the machine has batteries in it everything will be kept. If the batteries go dead, there is an internal standby battery.

    If you buy an alphasmart neo you need to check that the internal back-up battery is still good. These machines are old and not a lot of people realize that there is an internal battery that will eventually need replacing.

    It is a simple matter of removing the bottom cover and changing out the button CR2032, one of the most common button batteries out there.

    Your hardest job will be tracking down the special Torx screwdriver(s) to get the case off. Some machines have one size of screw, others have two sizes.

    Instructions are a google away, "How to replace the backup battery of an alphasmart neo" or some such.

    By the way, I've just checked the battery level of my AA batteries and see that they still have tonnes of charge and were last replaced about a year ago. Again, as long as the main batteries have any charge at all the data will be safe even if the backup battery is dead.






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