Re: Soliciting writing appliance

Subject: Re: Soliciting writing appliance
From: "Robert J. Opitz" <opitz -at- scientist -dot- com>
To: Technical Writer Newsgroup Posts <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 14:51:32 -0500

> Is there such a thing as a "palm-top" with a large enough keyboard to
> type on comfortably? It wouldn't even have to have a hard drive--just
> enough flash memory to hold a couple of hundred pages, and a USB or
> other connection to download it to my desktop. It'd also be nice if it
> had a 25-line by 80-column screen, and ran on AA batteries.

It is possible to use a PalmPilot for this. I have a GoType keyboard
(I'm writing this message on it) which the Palm plugs into. It's a
little smaller than a standard keyboard, but makes for easy portability
and costs about $80. There is also a new keyboard coming out soon that
is supposed to have full-size keys and folds up into a pocket-sized
bundle, for about $100.

You also need a document editor at about $20 (the Palm's built-in
software has a 4K character limit). There are also utilities (some free,
some shareware) to convert doc files to desktop-friendly files.

The screen is small, and it runs on AAA batteries, but this is near the
bottom in price in portable word-processing: starting at about $170 for
a Palm III, plus the keyboard and document editor. It's not perfect, but
it can work.

For more information, there is a website for wordprocessing on the


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