| On Holiday with my AS2K |
No, the Writing Assistant is not any of the following:
- Fancy software that provides a selection of plots, characters, settings, etc., for you to choose and use in your story
- Major standalone spell or grammar checker, or even translator
- Tracking software to list who and where you've submitted your writings to
Instead, the Writing Assistant is an intelligent keyboard of the 90s. Its real name is the AlphaSmart 2000, and this is a testimony of what the AlphaSmart 2000 has done for my writing.
Simply put, the AlphaSmart 2000 has helped to increase my writing output.
Note that I did not say "improve", but "increase".
See, I have a problem with writing by hand for long periods of time. My fingers get cramped after a while.
The alternative, of course, is to use a computer. Which is what I've used for a long time. (Before the computer, I used an electronic typewriter, and before that, it was the good old manual typewriter.) Except I only have a desktop PC, and no money for a laptop or notebook computer. And these days, there are so many distractions on the computer - games and the Internet - that I get very little writing done when I use my computer. To me, my desktop PC = Internet connection.
Now, the AlphaSmart 2000 does not have any games or a modem to access the Web. All it does is let you write. Well, it does a little more, such as:
- it auto-saves your writing as you type
- it provides eight files of different space configurations, so that you can be working on up to eight pieces of writing on your AlphaSmart 2000
- it has memory for up to 64 A4 pages of writing
- It provides a simple one-button upload to either a PC or Mac
- it practically lets you write anywhere you want - anywhere, except the shower or anywhere wet - since it doesn't depend on the mains, but runs on three AA batteries for up to 300 hours of writing
Cool. huh? Mind you, the AlphaSmart 2000 was initially developed to help solve the problem of not enough computers in classrooms. And that's why it's so light (less than two pounds) and its keyboard has such large keys - it's meant mainly for children of age 6 or 7 and above!
Is the AlphaSmart 2000 the one and only intelligent keyboard in the world? Well no, there are other brands in the market, too. But it's the only one with a distributor in Malaysia, which was why I was able to purchase one so easily.
Is it the best? I don't know. All I know is that I was able to get one very easily in my country, it's serving my writing needs very well, and the people at IPD, which make the AlphaSmart 2000, are some of the friendliest and most eager-to-help people in the world. Case in point - two months after getting my AlphaSmart, one of its non-slip rubber pads went missing. One e-mail to the AlphaSmart people, and just one week later, I received a set of four replacement pads in the mail. Wow, that's what I call support. And halfway around the world, too.
Oh, the price? About a tenth of how much it would cost to get a notebook computer.
Curious to know more? Go on to the AlphaSmart home page from here! Be sure to visit the Alphasmart Community Centre, too!
Note: I am not an Alphasmart employee, and this page is not endorsed in any way by AlphaSmart
© 1996 - 2002, Chin Chet Mooi Site created and maintained using Arachnophilia