PHS editor, Piper Huguley, talks about the tech she couldn't live without: her AlphaSmart...
Hello! I’m here today to give an ode to my old-school, but still wonderful writing friend, Alphasmart.
What’s an Alphasmart, you ask? It’s basically a keyboard.
Keyboard feels has everything to do with me wanting to write. I need to feel the keys snap to attention when I type, and the Alphasmart does that. However, it may not be the tech took for you “edit as you go” peeps. The Alphasmart Neo (the preferred brand) has only four lines of screen showing, so you cannot edit, you can only WRITE. Alphie, as I call mine, is used only for getting down major word count in that first draft. Alphie doesn’t let you look at the Internet, or see your Facebook notifications or Twitter shout outs. Alphie is all about getting words down so your word count numbers will go up! It’s marvelous! Eleven great things about the Alphasmart:
1) Alphie is battery operated and runs practically forever on 2 AA batteries.
2) Alphie can fit in your purse (well a purse of my size anyway.) There are Alphasmart cases out there for cheap as well, if you have to have one.
3) Alphie comes along with you to get word counts while you wait for your kids to finish sport practice or rehearsal. You don’t need an outlet. (see #1)
4) Your kids will not want to play with it.
5) Using Alphie helps with eye strain issues!
6) You don’t have to worry about anyone stealing Alphie. No one knows what it is!
7) Even if someone steals it (highly unlikely), they only cost about $25.00 on eBay!
8) Alphie will let you store up to 200 pages (about 50k) on it before he gets full. Amazing!
9) You don’t have to worry about viruses with Alphie!
10) Still, Alphie needs a little help to get all of those words out of him. You will also need a cord that will allow you to transmit your wonderful first draft words into Word or Scrivener. The cords come on ebay, but they sometimes cost more than they should. I got a replacement cord on Amazon recently for $5.00.
11) Alphie transmits just by hitting send after you plug in the cord; you have to let him transmit into the document while you watch all of your brilliance type onto the screen.
WARNING ABOUT A COPYCAT ALPHIE: I have seen something floating around on FB that costs $500.00 called the Freewrite. The sad thing is that these fakes are selling like hotcakes! They are saying on their website that they are having a hard time keeping up with productivity. They are happy to offer people help to finance their Freewrite machines. Why is this happening? These people are crooks because Freewrites are nothing but a kicked up Alphasmart! DO NOT BUY A FREEWRITE! There are plenty of folks unloading their Alphasmarts on e-Bay. *stepping off of soapbox*
Alphie love isn’t for everyone. Some techy folks, like my road dog Vanessa, prefer to type their novels on their phones. But I have thumb issues. Alphie won’t aggravate my thumbs and I need that keyboard spring under my fingertips to motivate me as I’m writing. If you get an Alphie and you don’t feel the love, put it up on ebay or give it away to someone else. Circulate the Alphie love!
Here are some links to read up on Alphie, if you want to know more about getting one:
Articles and Videos about Alphasmarts:
What about you? Is there a piece of technology you just can’t live without? Share your #TechTalk with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Piper's latest release, A Champion's Heart, is out now. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.