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Old 09-29-2020, 01:43 PM   #16
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The app completely full screens whatever device you are on, so you cannot see anything else. As long as your volume is off, you won't get any alerts, etc. While I really like the notion of a dedicated device like the Freewrite or Alphasmart, I think that a smidgen of discipline and the right freeware can prevent the need for additional purchases.
Some advantages of the Alphasmart over the DarkScreen app is that it can be carried anywhere, is instantly on and runs for up to a year on three AA batteries.

I understand the concept of DarkScreen. When I'm writing on the computer I'm often using Jstar text editor (JOE) because I don't have to worry about the format until I'm done.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:10 PM   #17
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Some advantages of the Alphasmart over the DarkScreen app is that it can be carried anywhere, is instantly on and runs for up to a year on three AA batteries.

I understand the concept of DarkScreen. When I'm writing on the computer I'm often using Jstar text editor (JOE) because I don't have to worry about the format until I'm done.
I guess it's about what you have and what you need. For example, I carry my old beat-up Chromebook everywhere. It has Evernote, DarkRoom, a Pomodoro timer app, and some ambient sound apps. But if you don't have an everyday carry machine, I can see the value of one of the others.
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:45 PM   #18
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The keyboard is good — solid and responsive. The screen is not that small. In this picture they're using relatively big fonts (they can go bigger). It's not for WYSIWYG work, but you can install a font pack that will give you eight lines per screen. I normally use it with five or six lines per screen. But the whole idea basically is to ignore the screen and type.
I read that the screen is the size of the 6-inch Kindle.
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:29 PM   #19
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The screen is not big. And it's not computer as we "know" it. But the keyboard is excellent, it's light, runs on 3AA batteries and is just so handy. And there are absolutely no distractions LOL.

But as rcentros says, it's mainly for just getting typing. I love mine.
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:34 PM   #20
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I read that the screen is the size of the 6-inch Kindle.
The screen is 5¾ inches wide and 2 inches high. (A standard 6" eReader is about 3½ inches wide and 4¾ inches high, so the Neo is noticeably wider.) When using the standard fonts, the 6 lines per screen font comes out to 51 characters per line. I'm not sure how many characters you get in a line with the 8 lines per screen (custom) font, but I'm guessing around 70. (I don't have the customized Neo with me in Texas.) So there is enough text on screen to get the gist of what you're writing. Moving from screen to screen is fast and easy. CMD+(arrow key) to move up or down by screen, CTRL+(arrow key) to move up down by paragraph.

But, again, the object is really to facilitate the entering of text. Not worrying about formatting helps some of us to write more freely. This is also the point of the FreeWrite (though they're more restrictive about enforcing this than is the Neo).
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Old 09-29-2020, 09:51 PM   #21
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I guess it's about what you have and what you need. For example, I carry my old beat-up Chromebook everywhere. It has Evernote, DarkRoom, a Pomodoro timer app, and some ambient sound apps. But if you don't have an everyday carry machine, I can see the value of one of the others.
I've considered a Chromebook (especially now that they will run Linux applications), but I really don't really like Google and I don't want them "following" me.
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:01 AM   #22
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A real laptop at about €400 to €600 is far better long term purchase than a Chromebook, which is a sort of crippled netbook. Many Dell and Lenovo models are fine for Linux (Dell supporting it on some since 1999).
It's the opposite extreme to buying a top of the range Macbook for Linux. Only buy a Chromebook to run Google's almost spywear crippled OS beta and only buy a Mac to run MacOs.

I actually also have an old XP Netbook running Mint 19.x, though it's an Atom which are physically limited to 2G RAM. However current 32 or 64 Linux will work reasonably on a 512 M RAM machine using Mate Desktop and a sensible theme.
I gave away an old model – an original netbook – with the really slow 4G flash that had been upgraded to faster Flash and XP. I'd upgraded it with the ribbon cable to CF adapter card and a 32G byte CF card, much faster.
I didn't see much performance difference with the lighter weight desktop managers.
The problem with old netbooks is the small screen resolution, often 600 pixels high. So setting screen DPI to 65, selecting font sizes and a suitable theme makes the windows smaller to fit on screen. Alt Space or some desktops Alt LeftMouse lets you move a window with title bar above the screen.

my main laptop is a Lenovo E460 1920 x 1080 screen running Linux only.
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:42 PM   #23
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I've considered a Chromebook (especially now that they will run Linux applications), but I really don't really like Google and I don't want them "following" me.
I have Linux Mint running on an OLD Asus netbook (circa 2012) and it works like a dream.
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:44 PM   #24
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I have Linux Mint running on an OLD Asus netbook (circa 2012) and it works like a dream.
I've been using Linux Mint for over ten years now (Linux, itself, for about 13 years). I like reviving old Dell laptops with it (I sometimes end up giving them away to family members). (An Asus netbook probably has better battery life than one of these, though.) The laptop I'm using now is an XPS M1330, originally shipped on September 8th, 2007, which (for me) was significant because I received it on September 8th (this year). You put a cheap SSD in these things and they boot up in about 30 seconds — from pushing the power button to being on the Internet. So they're still very useful.
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Old 10-06-2020, 04:01 PM   #25
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i know that a tablet is not optimal for outdoor use, but a cheap android tablet would serve for word processing purposes if you just want to write. even the 10" kindle fire with an external bluetooth keyboard would be a lot less expensive than this $600 word processor. if you don't want any distractions, don't load it up with any app other than your word processor of choice. and based on the screen size, even the 7" kindle fire would be sufficient.
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Old 10-06-2020, 04:55 PM   #26
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The screen is 5¾ inches wide and 2 inches high. (A standard 6" eReader is about 3½ inches wide and 4¾ inches high, so the Neo is noticeably wider.) When using the standard fonts, the 6 lines per screen font comes out to 51 characters per line. I'm not sure how many characters you get in a line with the 8 lines per screen (custom) font, but I'm guessing around 70. (I don't have the customized Neo with me in Texas.) So there is enough text on screen to get the gist of what you're writing. Moving from screen to screen is fast and easy. CMD+(arrow key) to move up or down by screen, CTRL+(arrow key) to move up down by paragraph.

But, again, the object is really to facilitate the entering of text. Not worrying about formatting helps some of us to write more freely. This is also the point of the FreeWrite (though they're more restrictive about enforcing this than is the Neo).
Then my information is totally wrong. The screen sounds way too small.

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:26 PM   #27
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Then my information is totally wrong. The screen sounds way too small.
Pictures should make what I'm trying to say clearer. Comparing a Nook Glowlight Plus with an AlphaSmart Neo. You'll note the Neo's screen is wider than the Nook's screen is high or wide.
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:08 PM   #28
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If you want to try out a "virtual" Freewrite, you can go to their Sprinter website and you'll pretty much be typing on a "Freewrite." (Fewer features, but the same general concept.) They even offer a free Postbox account, which allows you to save your documents to the Cloud (or, through Postbox, send them to Google Drive, Dropbox or EverNote — or download them to .txt files or PDF). I set up an account. I kind of like the environment (which surprises me a bit).

The Sprinter page...
https://astrohaus.com/sprinter/

Which gives you a link to the writing page...
https://sprinter.getfreewrite.com/

If I was going to buy one of these, however, it would be their Traveler. Half the weight (2 pounds, what the Alphasmart weighs) and it still uses a full-sized keyboard and has an adjustable angle screen. And it looks like they're going to put arrow keys in this one for editing. (It looks like the original WordStar concept for these.)

EDIT: Unlike the Freewrite, the Freewrite Traveler doesn't have a front-lit screen and it appears it might have a lesser keyboard. (If "scissor" keyboard means it doesn't have a mechanical switch keyboard like the regular Freewrite.)

Anyhow, you might want to try out Sprinter to get the Freewrite experience.

Last edited by rcentros; 10-08-2020 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:22 PM   #29
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Here's a good YouTube review of the Freewrite by Michael Jecks. I liked the review enough to buy one of the author's books. I also like the Sprinter web page, but I still think the devices (themselves) are too expensive.

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Old 10-10-2020, 05:11 PM   #30
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^

Thank you for those videos. Very informative.

It looks like the 2nd generation of the Freewrite is available now, with a $50 discount. The price is $549 with that discount.
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