Friday, June 22, 2012

Would you buy a LiveScribe Pulse Pen or Dragon Naturally Speaking?

There is so much software and gadgets out there nowadays, it is hard to figure out which would be suitable for us.  Would they come in handy or just be something that sits and collects some dust?

I have some gadgets that do just that.  But a few of them come in handy sometimes.  Early last year, I bought a Nook with Barnes & Noble.  I've got about 25 books in it that I bought.  I liked it, but right now haven't been reading a whole lot.  I also bought some games for it.  My favorite is Majohong tiles.  That is fun.  But, I would probably rather play the one online that makes noise every time you click it.

And since buying the nook, I have been hearing so much about Amazon's Kindle and I'm thinking it is the more popular of the two.  Oh well.  I'm not going to go out an buy that too.  It would be silly to have two.

Then in the early fall time I got one of those HTC tablets.  I liked the picture stuff you could do with it and draw on them with the pen.  The only thing I didn't like was that you only get a basic amount of colors and not a full range to really create a masterpiece over a photograph.  But it definitely came in handy in the fall when my laptop broke an I was without it for a while.  And it was a neat thing to have by the bedside late at night.  And a good alarm clock.

There were some nights when I would be at my boyfriend's and I wouldn't be sleepy, so I would use it later at night.

But right now it is collecting dust.  I should charge it up as my daughter likes to take pictures with it and I might want to use that sometime.  It does have some nice photo features.

And now we hear of so many people who have an iPhone, ipad or another type of device.  Android.  That's the other one.  And recently I tried to search Instagram online and you need an iPhone, ipad or Android to do it.  And right now, they won't let anyone else join.  I kind of wanted to know more about instagram.  It must be the new kind of thing.  Or actually I am wondering if it is the type of set of photos that you get when you go into a photo booth.

My Down Syndrome son, Jake has an ipad.  He got a free one this year, as he has the disability and he got awarded one.  That kind of thing doesn't happen all the time.  He's always been able to have personal care and other services over the summer or when he was really little.  We did make use out of that sometimes.  But I also liked our privacy too and didn't want to make full use of it.

He loves his ipad and can watch his movies on it, listen to music and other stuff.  My daughter showed me something else they use it for.  There's this kid program on it that has either a cat or a dog or a bird and Mollyanne started recording my voice over and over and the animal speaks for us.  And of course we sound different.  Really cute.

I'm just a regular cell phone girl.  I don't really know what the difference is between that and the iPhone.  And I don't use my phone for the Internet.  I have a basic no frills package.  I don't talk a lot on it.  I did have friends and family, but this last month Verizon told me I wasn't using all my minutes and I could go down to a cheaper package.  I'm all for it.

And Com cast called me for a survey yesterday, and all I could say is that I don't have Com cast anymore and I don't want to do the survey.  I get home later in the evening and all I want to do is watch one of my movies.    I like TV but I don't really need it for the amount of time that I am there.  And if there is a special series I want to watch sometime, I'll just rent it on Netflix.  I do like that and would have that service until I move in with my boyfriend in a few years.

And then there is the other types of software and gadgets that we sometimes get and wonder if we really need them.

One I bought last year was, Dragon Naturally Speaking.  I still have it installed an just have never gotten around to getting it set up.  I think I had to do some more talking to get it set up.  And then, I wasn't sure when I would use it.  I'm self conscious of speaking into something when my kids are around.  I really should get it going sometime.  It sounded neat how you could speak into it to write your articles and it would type it out for you as you go.  I really liked the idea of that.

I guess I should get it going sometime and see how it works.  But after purchasing it used from Amazon, about a month later, I got thinking it was probably a stupid purchase.  I type fast anyway, so I am constantly typing up my articles without the use of the software.

Then, today my thoughts would be if I got it going, my girls might have fun speaking into it.  I should try to see if I can get the software set up on their computers too.  But then, I am thinking I might not be able to do that where it's already installed on mine.  And I couldn't sell it on eBay either because it had been activated.

And then there was the drawing tablets that were a waste.  I kept buying the more expensive Wacom tablets and then later on, after they had been sitting in shelf life for a little bit, they wouldn't even work anymore.  So I sold those for parts and finally I have a real small one that was under $30.  I was liking that but now every time I would try to open up one of my photos to draw on, the photo would be black.  So now, I am wondering if it is partly broken.  I can still just do a basic drawing on it though.

But, now I am just interested in figuring out my Adobe Elements 7 software and learning to draw on that and my other drawing software that I installed.

And I finally figured out how to save my Adobe pictures that I create into a folder so I can find them to upload.  I had done this cool one of a vintage Barbie that I drew on, added hearts and other stuff and then her conversation to Ken.  And for months, I couldn't find the darn image to upload.  So the Geek Squad at Best Buy told me to start saving them to a folder after I do them.  Smart.

And I am suddenly liking Photobucket and am going to create some more cool photographs there sometime.

And now, the other gadget I am contemplating getting for Christmas, but I don't know if I will or not.  The new gadget Live scribe Pulse Smart pen.  I was kind of liking the idea of having that to write Chapters to my novels later at night if I don't want to bring home my laptop and write on that.  I hear that you write with it and all you have to do is later on upload it to the laptop and it is already typed up.  Kind of interesting.

I guess it kind of illuminates the paper.  But then again, not really.  First of all they are ranging from $80 to over $100 dollars.  One I was looking at on Amazon used was right around $80 or even a little less.  Not too bad.

But then as I read the descriptions a little more, I got thinking again.  It needs special notebooks which cost more than regular notebooks.  Then it takes special ink.  And maybe after a while it needs a new memory card or whatever type it takes.  I think a 4GB comes with it.

And I am wondering if it is really necessary.  Why buy something like that, if I know I type fast and can produce anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 words a day anyway with just my fingers and my laptop?  And at night, all I have to do is write in my notebook and then later type it up.  Which probably wouldn't take much longer to do anyway.

I suppose there are benefits to having it though.  You can take the pen and notebook anywhere you want when you can't bring your laptop with you.  It could come in handy if I was to take it down to the pool this summer with the kids.  I could bring my laptop.  I've done it before.  But sometimes I have gotten down there, fired up the laptop and then it runs out of juice without being plugged in and I can't use it.  They have an outlet down there, but I would need to bring an extension cord in order to use it.

Or if you're at the doctor's office or camping during part of the summer or at the beach, you can bring the Smart Pen but you can't easily bring your laptop.

So, I guess I could be tempted to get a used one when I think I can afford it.

But just buying a stack of legal notebooks for $5 to $10 dollars is just as easy and having the old fashioned pens.  That is the cheapest there is practically.

   I love a good stack of legal pads.  There's something said for seeing your handwriting appear on the written page.  My first published novel was actually started in a thick pink journal.  I wrote the whole thing from Nov. 2010 to Dec 2010.  Then had fun editing and got the ball rolling in February of 2011.

And the majority of us still use an old standard pen or pencil.  I still love my pencils for my drawings.  I'm not completely used to drawing on the computer.  I'm an old fashioned artist.

That's a sign if the times vanishing before our eyes.  Who knows, maybe someday there will be no paper and everyone will have to have access to these modern gadgets.

And then there is my Dad, who came long before the age of the Internet.  For him, there was no answering machines, no cell phones, no computers, no laptops, net books, pagers, no nothing.  There were no scooters, no motorized ones, no long boards.  There was skateboards.

My Dad just doesn't care to have a computer or all these modern gadgets.  He did love getting our old DVD player though, and he became addicted to DVD movies after my mom passed away.  Anyone remember the days when we all used to rent the VCR machines for the weekend and the thicker tapes were our amusement.

Now at yard sales nobody wants a VCR tape anymore.  And I have about eight or nine of them hanging out in my cedar chest, only because they have home movies on them and it would be worth the money to someday get them into DVDs.

Could you imagine no paper to write in?  I couldn't.  It always used to be the way.  I remember one of the old word processor typewriters I had after college.  And the first typewriter I used was my mom's old electronic typewriter.  She used to use it for some work she did typing for a company while staying at home to watch us.

But it might someday be the wave of the future.  Kissing goodbye all the old fashioned stuff and going on to all these techno gadgets.

But there are many of us who just love a pretty notebook to use as our journals.  Or one of those Mead notebooks or the little bound wide ruled notebooks.  It was how we used to do it and it still is for many of us.

But there is also nothing like a nice typed up piece of writing.  It looks really nice.

And when we have a finished novel, a nice manuscript is great to have as a starter.  And of course nothing beats the printed copy of our published or self published books in print.  And with our own cover art, all the more better.

To say that we designed it from the inside out, is the ultimate.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted June 22, 2012

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