Monday, February 4, 2013

Electric ITAM

This is largely just a test entry, hooking up my AlphaSmart to the new tablet via the infamous slow-boat "USB to go" adapter. Now I feel like I've gotten the best of both worlds -- a proper keyboard, a portable screen -- and more importantly, that I'm able to get some real use out of this device. After a couple of days of use, I can say definitively that the software keyboard is barely enough for pecking out a short reply, much less attempting a blog post or (eventually) a story edit. I'm well-pleased.
I keep holding out for an ITAM miracle, perhaps once the dust settles from my role as the track team organizer, but truth is, I'm still in a happy holding pattern with the machines I've got. I wouldn't be sad if the local Goodwill discounted the SM9 that's lurking behind the registers, but I won't go out of my way to scoop it up, either. Last time I let my heart rule my head at that store, I bought a (highly regrettable) Royal travel typer that's high on looks and low on usability. Never again.
I'm trying to keep up my regular library trips, too. I've settled into making it a weekly walk during Friday lunch. Per my recent "Hello World" post, I picked up a book on Android programming, and started in on the examples. I still felt a bit at sea, though, so I was well-pleased to find another title geared more at the novice this past Friday. Learning a computer language and system is, I suspect, like learning a foreign language, though I've never been able to master the latter, as years of dubious French tests will attest. It helps to gt immersed, and to have a goal -- like spoke and written language, computer code has its own grammar and idioms, and you tend to fumble around a bit before being passably competent. Now I think I'm in a better position to learn. My goal is to work up some kind of edit-facilitating tool, to let me write and track revisions of my Nano story, though at this point I may just find a decent text editor to allow me to get the thing done. I'll try not to bather on too much about it in the future.
Finally, I'm making an effort to read War and Peace because, I don't know, this is a thing that people do? My wife read it back in school ages ago (her advice: "Skip through the 'Peace' parts") but it's all new to me. Except for my general lack of competence with following character names and places -- and oh, the Russian names -- I'm doing pretty well. Over 300 pages down! Only 900-odd pages to go. I'm reading that on my eBook reader, which is far more reasonable (I think) than wrestling with a bound print edition. It may look lovely on the shelf, but I don't know if I have the upper body strength to hold the thing up comfortably in bed. Like this keyboard hookup, I'm not scared to let technology in the door, as long as it pulls its weight.

Typed and revised on a Neo2 - Nexus 7 combo Neo + Nexus


maschinengeschrieben said...

Ah, War and Peace. I started it last summer, and I often abandoned it for other books. Currently, I'm 27% through, and you're right - all those names are a pain to remember.

Bill M said...

I recently decided to read War and Peace since I got my Kindle. I have it down loaded. I have not started it yet. said...

Welcome to the dark side, friend.