Bye Bye, Boots. Hello, Computer.

The gloomy weather outside is perfect for boots. Unfortunately, not for the La Canadienne Stella boots in charcoal suede ($251.70, on sale at which are going back. They're a half size too big and I'm a frame size too large as well as three to four inches too short to carry them off.


As I'm seeing the boots go out the door, I'm welcoming a new writing device into my life. In the spirit of full technological disclosure, I'll detail my relevant computer history.

I was pretty much a desktop gal, PCs, until moving back to Los Angeles in 2005 when I got my first laptop. A Dell...which I used pretty much as a desktop. The Dell was starting to show its age, and after a major crash, just wasn't same old gray mare that it used to be. On the rare occasions when I did want to tote it to another location, the screen looked less than crisp and I hated typing on the standard laptop keyboard. Bad for my weak wrists. But I knew I needed to get away from my desk and office to get some serious work done so I set about looking for an alternative.

I ordered an Alphasmart Dana earlier this year. It's basically a no-frills, easy to use, ultra-portable word processor. I used it, of course, but I've spent the majority of my time trying to figure out how to connect a monitor to it. Even though I got the model with the biggest screen, I realized I needed more when it came time to do real writing. The Dana is great for stream of conscious typing since it makes very little sense to try to tinker with what you've typed since you can't really see what you've typed. And now that I'm writing screenplays (how dicky does that sound?) I need to see, like, the whole page. So what to do?

I was at Target a month or so ago and passed by a display of tiny laptops. So cute, so almost what I wanted. I stood in front of them for a long time, pretending to type on the glued down floor model but I walked out empty handed. I did some research and realized though the 8.5" screen and ability to use Word and load Final Draft were what I was looking for, it still was a laptop. Albeit a cute one.

Then after much searching I came upon the HP/Compaq TC1100. It's a tablet computer with a 10.4" LCD screen I can use a pen stylus with just like the Dana and, hurray hurrah, it has the keyboard up front. Thing is, HP doesn't manufacture the TC1100 anymore. Like not for five years anymore. It's strictly a refurbished or someone digging one of their basement kind of deal. So I got one, refurbished off of because I couldn't deal with the stress of bidding on one on ebay.

It came yesterday with the boots so my shopping heart is somewhat assuaged of grief. But you know what would make just about everything perfect? If I magically grew three to four inches. Then I could pull on the Stella boots, take my TC1100 to some cafe to work on a book (or screenplay) while topping it all off with this tweed coat, Lille $420 on sale, from J. Crew.

Is that too much to ask for? Is it?


Skydoll said...

My dana died. Yesterday. And I'm glad.

Margo Candela said...

Too funny. I wish mine would die, too. Just so I wouldn't feel so guilty about not loving it the way I thought I would. I'd consider selling it, but I shorted either the adapter or, worse, the adapter hole. The only way to recharge it is to keep it connected to my computer via the USB cable. Otherwise, it works fine, but I won't even bother trying to pawn it off on you. You're free! Free!

The Patriot said...

I had thoughts about buying a tablet computer vs a laptop also because I dislike the idea of opening and closing with heavy use causing a hinge failure or something.

Margo, if you really want to give your Alphasmart Dana away, I would like it. How much? I have been wanting one for a long time, just too poor to buy one.

Margo Candela said...

My TC1100 is kind of cool, what I wanted, but since it's at least five-years-old and refurbished, it's showing its age. The power thingie is a little dodgy and I have to fiddle with it to charge the battery, which runs out quickly. Over all, I'm happy with it and wish I would have gone this route instead of with the Dana which cost about the same brand new from Alphasmart. What I should have done is braved an ebay ebay auction and saved some $$ on a used one. That being said, I'm holding on to the Dana for now. I have to do some under the gun writing in my future where quantity not quality will be called for. The Dana is good for that.