Dana’s here

The Dana wireless by Alphasmart showed up yesterday. It is way cool. It found my Powerbook G4 with no problem. I’ll be able to do my work on it and send the text to the Apple for editing. Now if it would only write a universally beloved novel for me, I’d be a happy guy.

Mary and I drove 600 miles from Vancouver, WA to home yesterday and the Dana was waiting for us. I had been tracking it for several days and hoped that it would arrive just about the same time we returned from Washington, which it did. What a warm day it was for travel—at one point the thermometer peaked at 116 (that’s fooking hot for my UK readers) near Shasta Lake. Hooray for air conditioning.

During our trip south, Mary read to me two stories assigned by YouWriteOn.com. One with fluid language but no discernible plot. The other (a putative thriller) with little discernible plot, overwrought language, maddening head hopping, and an unsympathetic protagonist.

Mary recorded our impressions on the (older) Alphasmart 2000 as we drove. I’ve already transferred the text to a Word file and will write up my full review sometime today.

This Dana is a sweet little gizmo. I’m going to use it mostly for writing but supposedly I could check email. I’m not sure I need to do much more than work up responses which I can do with the little word-processing program.

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Cool Running AlphaSmart


Well I’ve gone and drunk the Kool-Aid.

I’ve ordered an AlphaSmart Dana wireless. I can’t wait for it to get here. When it does, I’ll take a picture to show you.

I know I said the fact it only lasted 24+ hours on a charge vs the 120 hours of the Alphasmart 2000 or the 700 hours of the Neo bugged me. What turned the tide is that I learned that if the charge poops out I can load in three AA batteries and it’s up and running again. The Dana runs Palm OS 4.1.2, which is an operating system that I know. I’ve owned Palm PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant) for almost a decade now. If Windows could be as stable an operating system as Palm OS, I’d be positively giddy.

With all the nifty stuff that these AlphaSmarts do so well, I don’t know why they aren’t more popular. These are darn sweet little machines. They are handy, incredibly light (two pounds), and—quite literally—cool; it doesn’t try to set your lap on fire like a laptop will.

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