Live from QuickPAD

I’m typing this on a QuickPAD Pro that I’m borrowing from a friend at work. I have one on order, but I’m just trying his out. Mine’s currently doing a little dance with a UPS guy, futilely showing up at my door every day when it knows full well that I’m not home. It’s a little game we play. It likes to tease me.

A QuickPAD, incidentally, is a little hardware word processor. Just an LCD screen full of text and a keyboard. That’s it. I may or may not provide a link later. It’s both good and bad that all I have here is a screen full of text. No web browser. It means that I’m not distracted, but it also deprives you folks of my usual hypertextual style. I like linking things. It means I don’t have to write paragraphs explaining things.

It’s kind of neat how I get the text onto the computer. It stores all the files on a compact flash card, and I could pull that out and plug it into a card reader (if I had how here). It also has a proprietary IR dongle I’m not using. What I am doing is plugging the USB cable into the computer and hitting the “send text” button. It sends my text to the computer as keystrokes. So I can drop all this straight into the text box WordPress “Write” page.

Really, I’m just writing this to see how it is for typing. And it’s pretty good. That’s a good thing, since typing is the whole point of the thing. It’s not perfect. The keyboard feels a bit like an old-school laptop keyboard. And while it has spell check, it’s the old WordPerfect kind with the dialog that pops up in the middle of the screen telling me words are wrong. I used to hate the little red underlines, and I’d always turn them off in Word, but after having them on the Mac and now on Thunderbird for the last little while, I’m finding I rely on them a little too much now.

This is a fun little toy. I just wonder how much I’ll use it. It does reinforce my love of Markdown. And I’m hoping I can leverage it for future blogging greatness. Time will tell. Look forward to it!

5 thoughts on “Live from QuickPAD”

  1. A dongle?

    A proprietary dongle?

    Oh, dear…

    Do you have ANY idea how that sounds to those of us not-quite-brilliant-at-computer folk?

    Perhaps I’ll tell you…as soon as I pick myself up off the floor from laughing…

    :D

    (ok, ok. I’ll go google that now, so that I won’t be so stupid…) (a DONGLE? What the heck?)

  2. Yes. A Dongle.

    Unfortunately the narrow jargon file definition seems to have won out on Wikipedia (Eric Raymond has a lot of fans). I, however, take it to mean something a bit broader than that.

    I consider a dongle to be any distressingly inelegant piece of hardware that either juts out or dangles limply from your computer.

    So your initial impression wasn’t actually that far off. ^_^

  3. Mine has a compact flash slot and USB, making it marginally more useful. Plus, they’re both programmable in BASIC.

    I paid $100 for mine, via the magic of eBay. I wouldn’t have paid MSRP. I think it’s worth what I paid. I’d get an old machine for distraction-free writing for the kitsch value, but this thing is quite a bit more convenient.

  4. Can you please email me! My friend has one of the Quickpad IR models and cannot upload text! She’s has restricted mobility so messing around with serial ports isn’t too helpful.

    I’d really appreciate any advice you could offer.

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