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Radhika
06-26-2011, 06:19 AM
I've been looking into getting a portable writing tool because of the developing Carpal Tunnel and how much handwriting hurts. I am not allowed on the computer all day, but something like a NEO or a Dana would really be great (used, of course; the price is kind of high for such an object...).

I was wondering what everyone thought of them, and if these old things would still work well. What about the small screen? How does the uploading work onto the computer?

Thank you!

MichelleH
06-26-2011, 07:39 AM
I have a dana alphasmart. Bought it on ebay for pretty cheap. The small screen doesn't bother me at all and I've had no problems transferring files. It comes with a backlight but I've found it to be useless for the most part.

It's also held up very well to a huge amount of abuse due to me living with a child with aggression issues. It's been slammed to the floor or against the wall at least ten times and it still works perfectly.

The Neos are cheaper new but more expensive used. I played with one briefly and I would say if you are only going to use it for solely word processing then go with the Neo. I kinda wish I had. I've chatted with a few people who have owned both and they vastly prefer the Neo. It also has a much longer battery life.

blacbird
06-26-2011, 07:43 AM
Have you looked into voice-recognition software? I don't know much about it, but I'm sure others here do. I understand that it has improved much in recent years.

caw

Bubastes
06-26-2011, 07:46 AM
I adore my Alphasmart Neo. My productivity shot way up after I got it because the Neo makes it easy to squeeze writing into a busy day. The small screen is actually an advantage because it prevents me from overzealous editing while I write (I have a dysfunctional relationship with the Delete key). I've had no problem transferring files onto my laptop into .doc or .rtf format.

Linda Adams
06-26-2011, 02:26 PM
On portable: I've been using a netbook to "snatch" time here and there. It's great to carry to work and write during lunch. I've been surprised at how much I'm able to get done is such a short time. Of course, I don't have the wireless activated either, so WordPad is it.

On C.T.: Mentioning this only because I saw it in the last couple of days -- did you know there's a vertical mouse? Instead of requiring you to rotate your wrist to work the mouse, you grasp it from the side. I tried it out when I saw it -- very different feel. A bit expensive, but here's a link: http://www.evoluent.com/vm4r.htm

Carrie in PA
06-26-2011, 06:45 PM
On C.T.: Mentioning this only because I saw it in the last couple of days -- did you know there's a vertical mouse? Instead of requiring you to rotate your wrist to work the mouse, you grasp it from the side. I tried it out when I saw it -- very different feel. A bit expensive, but here's a link: http://www.evoluent.com/vm4r.htm

That is one of the coolest things I've seen in a *long* time!!!

Chris1981
06-27-2011, 02:25 AM
I haven't had the opportunity to try the Dana, but I love my Neo. It's rugged; the AA batteries last a ridiculously long time (mine's a year old and is still on the set that shipped with the device); and transferring the text from the device to my computer is easy. I connect the USB cable, open a new text document--the Neo's compatible with all of 'em--and hit "Send." The text, not the file containing it, is what transfers, so it looks like somebody a LOT faster than any typist in existence is typing my stuff for me. :)

You can camp out on eBay to see if you can find one for a good price. I just searched (http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=alphasmart+neo&_sacat=See-All-Categories) and came up with one "buy it now" option. For comparison's sake, I paid $200 for mine, new, about this time last year. That price included shipping.

Jamesaritchie
06-27-2011, 02:29 AM
I've been looking into getting a portable writing tool because of the developing Carpal Tunnel and how much handwriting hurts. I am not allowed on the computer all day, but something like a NEO or a Dana would really be great (used, of course; the price is kind of high for such an object...).

I was wondering what everyone thought of them, and if these old things would still work well. What about the small screen? How does the uploading work onto the computer?

Thank you!

They work, but they're no better for Carpal Tunnel than a laptop, and you can pick up a laptop dirt cheap, if you go used. Even new ones are pretty cheap, if you don't want a lot of bells and whistles.

BjornAbust
06-27-2011, 05:31 AM
I'd highly recommend an AlphaSmart Neo for writing on the go. Although, James makes a good point; I'm not sure that it'd be any better for your Carpal Tunnel than a laptop.

Libbie
06-27-2011, 07:30 AM
I know this sounds really weird, but have you tried sleeping with wrist braces on at night? I used to get extremely horrible radial neuritis in both hands/arms (which is just like carpal tunnel, but involves a different nerve) but I really didn't want to change the way I wrote. My doctor suggested trying the sleeping-with-braces thing to see if that gave my angry nerves enough down-time to recover. She said a lot of people bend their wrists in weird ways while they're asleep and it can keep inflamed nerves all worked up or can make them less capable of dealing with whatever daytime activities trigger the inflammation.

It worked great for me. I haven't had any neuritis problems in years. It took maybe three or four months of sleeping with wrist braces on until it went away.

Radhika
06-27-2011, 08:19 AM
I know this sounds really weird, but have you tried sleeping with wrist braces on at night? I used to get extremely horrible radial neuritis in both hands/arms (which is just like carpal tunnel, but involves a different nerve) but I really didn't want to change the way I wrote. My doctor suggested trying the sleeping-with-braces thing to see if that gave my angry nerves enough down-time to recover. She said a lot of people bend their wrists in weird ways while they're asleep and it can keep inflamed nerves all worked up or can make them less capable of dealing with whatever daytime activities trigger the inflammation.

It worked great for me. I haven't had any neuritis problems in years. It took maybe three or four months of sleeping with wrist braces on until it went away.

I do have a brace (a really flimsy one, but I think I need to go buy a new one). I do for a night sometimes when it gets really bad. I haven't tried anything that would go long-time, but sure, I could try.

The laptop isn't that bad for my nerves, not as bad as handwriting, but I haven't looked into carpal tunnel solutions anyhow.

KTC
06-27-2011, 03:54 PM
The alphasmarts used to really appeal to me...but I never did get one.

I find myself writing on my android phone a lot lately. If I am somewhere waiting...or commuting when I'm not the driver...or just lazing around at the park with my dog. I just open a file on my android and start writing. So easy. Of course, I'm not sure if using another instrument is going to help you with carpal tunnel.