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Old 10-24-2007, 11:31 PM   #1
brecklundin
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PDA/Reader Stylus for those with hand probs

I have Rheumatoid Disease that affects my hands significantly. So much my years as a serious contract software developer are done.

I just bought my first ever PDA last week...Clie NX73v. I love it and it does let me work around the fact I can no longer hold a book to read. I also love the device...who knew?

Biggest complaint through is the stylus is very painful to hold because it;s so darned thin. Us folks with RA or osteoarthritis or any condition affecting hands all have difficulty in holding skinny things, ever standard pens/pencils.

Luckily mfg's have developed nice fat writing implements. My fav has long been the Avery Double-Click. Nice and easy to write with and hardly any pain gripping it at all.

My better-half saw my difficulties with the regular stylus and mentioned she saw that Avery also made the 2x with a stylus...wooooohooo! I bought one of the Avery Triple Click and it's great. I could see it as helpful even on the touch screen readers too.

Some online searching showed several companies made similar pens. One though has a triangular grip. I find the triangular grips defeat the purpose of the fat pen grip since the mfg's do not compensate for the slightly decreased size of the grip when it's flat vs. round...but that is me and everyone is different.

Just thought I would pass that tidbit along in case someone might be in a similar situation.

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Old 10-25-2007, 03:35 AM   #2
HarryT
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You might want to consider a dedicated bookreader such as the Sony Reader. They don't use a stylus at all - they have a menu-driven interface controlled solely with a few buttons. I'd imagine it would be a lot easier to manage for those with hand problems.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:34 AM   #3
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I was thinking the same thing, HarryT, but I'd suggest testing out the buttons to make sure that they aren't a big deal to press. The 500 is a bit tight on its buttons, but the 505 is a good deal better there. Of course, the iLiad has that lovely flip bar which I consider to be the easiest of all to use. Of course the trade-off on it is that it's relatively expensive.

While the iLiad's battery life isn't as long as the Sony Reader it's such a huge step up from a Cliē that I would not expect it to be even a slight issue.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:57 PM   #4
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hi guys,

I agree and would love a newer dedicated reader but two things are in the way for now. First is cost...with med costs (RA meds cost about $12-18k/yr) there is just no way in the short term but I have a fund in a jar under the mattress...hehehehe....seriously I cannot justify a $300+ price for something just to read books with...I LOVE the idea of a dedicated reader but there is not enough maturity in the market for both devices or content. It's improving but has not reached the point where I feel the ROI has even reached the level usage value equal to investment.

Second is I am still waiting for the market to stabilize a bit before deciding on an eink device. Too much flux over formats, DRM (Baen is the only one who seems to "get it"...) , and content portability. But if the new reader-only devices were around $100-$150 I might consider it as a worthwhile $35-$50/yr investment.

And w/o a doubt the battery life is a HUGE issue. The Clie battery life is abysmal at best. I took the battery out for a look and it's the original. I found an excellent source for LG brand replacement batteries. Other Clie folks reported comparable run times compared to the OEM Sony but for about 60% less. The current original 3-4ish year old battery is still giving me about 3-4hrs reading time and about the same for crossword puzzles. But that is with the backlight all the way down. But since I cannot sit in the same position for even half of that length of time it's enough unless I wanna visit the park and stop for coffee somewhere too...

Either way the idea of my post was for those with a need there is an option that can relieve the discomfort using their PDA or other devices...

BTW, my current fav for an eink device for now is the new Cybook Gen 3...but I find I like the ability to run a crossword puzzle program...darn it anyway!!

Last week I was able to fiddle with a Sony 505 at Borders. That is one sexy device w/o a doubt. Reading is easy and I find the navigation simple. But to be honest when using Mobipocket for Palm OS on the Clie navigating within a book is not significantly different comfort wise. I can just use a finger to tap one side or the other of the display for page-up/down. Not ideal but functional enough.

The importance of the fatter stylus is really of significance with more input intensive apps. Like playing chess or the crossword puzzles...even keeping notes/to-do/schedule stuff.

I do bet if I tried to read outside with the backlight turned up there will be like 90mins max. reading time...swapping out the battery is a PITA but could be done...but I, for one, am not gonna go to that extent. I'd sell the the Clie on eBay to help fund the purchase (heck they are bringing about $120-$150 used) of something newer and what not before getting extra batteries...

A last unexpected benefit is since the Clie has an flip (folding) to close design with the display twisting 180-deg, I can set it up like an a-frame and not even hold the thing, just tap the screen to change pages...a feature kinda like a "picture frame" style support in an eBook reader would be just the "good stuff!!!"

opps...I rambled...sorry about that...
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:16 PM   #5
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What you can do is try to go for the 1 year no payments up front credit with Sony Style. yes, you may pay slightly more then some of these online shops, but you'd have 12 months to make payments. if you can afford like $25-$27 a month, then you could do it.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brecklundin View Post
I have Rheumatoid Disease that affects my hands significantly. So much my years as a serious contract software developer are done.
Sorry to hear!

Regarding the stylus, I've noticed that over the years, PDA manufacturers have made it so thin that it's almost unusable for people with big or handicapped fingers. Try to find the stylus of an old Palm V, which may work a lot better for you!
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