Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mobile Unit One

It's going to be springtime for real one of these days. Yesterday it was summer, today back to winter... but eventually we will have spring. Right?

In preparation for nice outdoor writing weather, I've rolled out Mobile Unit One--my Dana. I've had her for several years. She and I wrote a novel together one November during National Novel Writing Month, and have worked on various other WIPs.

Dana is great for writers for several reasons--and mine is especially great because I opted not to get the wireless connectivity. Funny, huh? Even then I realized the internet might be a distraction.

Not sure when "then" was. I've had the laptop since late 2006, so it's been a while. And when I bought the laptop, Dana fell into disuse. I've packed her back into her box a couple of times and stuck her into storage, poor thing.

For something that does not do everything a laptop does, the price for a new Dana is steep. I bought my laptop (used, of course) for slightly more than this costs. But Dana's battery life is awesome, she's small and lightweight, and has a comfortable full-sized keyboard. I do love Dana, though I haven't told her many times lately.

My plan is for Dana to be Mobile Unit One. I can transfer the work in progress to her with a card reader, write my little heart out, then transfer back to the laptop to work at home if I want. Not sure exactly how much sunshine Dana and I will be enjoying together, but we're probably going to have an outing this week or next, and see how it goes.

If you're interested in Dana or her brother Neo, check out the official website here.



  1. Magdalena, best of luck with Dana! I hope you get to use her soon--which means I'm hoping for real spring and not just these occasional teaser days we've been having.

    Also, you've given me an idea for a blog post. My personal progression from the stone age to today's modern technology and how it's affected my productivity. Hmm... Must find pictures.

  2. Devon,

    It's okay if you're wishing me luck as a way to hurry spring along. I understand.

    I look forward to your blog about your progression from the stone age to modern tech. Makes me feel a little backward, as I just "created fire" in the basement a few minutes ago. From almost too warm yesterday, to wood-burning furnace season. Arrgh!

  3. Interesting. I can't say that I've ever seen one of those. I had a word processor, but it was crazy huge!
    Hope it works for you. I stretch a power cord when I'm on the deck with my laptop.

  4. Jennifer, that's what I do, too--when I'm on the porch with the laptop, I have to get an extension cord, and plug the laptop in. My poor battery only lasts about twenty minutes.

    I've wondered about a car charger for the laptop. I think that might be nice to have.

  5. Magdalena, my second sentence was a wish for hurrying spring along. LOL! The first sentence was a good luck wish for your writing. I guess I should pay more attention to wording instead of dashing stuff off and posting. Sorry.

  6. I have an Alphasmart Neo, and it is a valuable tool for writers! I hope you and Dana spend some quality time together this spring/summer.


  7. are they easy to use? heavy?

  8. Thanks, Amy! I hope the same for you and Neo. ;)

    Shelli, Welcome to Magdalenaville!

    Dana is lightweight, and the keyboard is perfect for touch typing. If you're going to have to do a lot of cut and paste, that's a bit awkward with the small screen. It's a touch screen, which is kind of cool. The word processor is pretty simple to use. It saves constantly, which is important to remember since it shuts down if you leave it unattended for a while--don't freak out, because the document is saved! You can transfer docs back and forth to your desktop or laptop by IR if your laptop is equipped that way, or you can use the USB cable. But I like to use a card reader because I feel like that gives me better control. More than you wanted to hear?

  9. You sent me on a trip down memory lane! I bought an Alphasmart in around 2000, and used it faithfully to journal...until 2005 when while passing through a TSA scanner at the airport some dope slipped his Coke into the bin and it spilled all over her! She continued to work, but her keys stuck, and every effort to fix them was fruitless. Anything to make you productive, I think, so I can lose myself in your newest work that much sooner.

  10. Hey there, Theresa! Memory Lane is a good place to go sometimes. Sorry to hear about the Coke and your Alphasmart! I learned the no-Coke-around-the-machinery lesson the hard way too, years ago--from an IBM repairman who wished I was a coffee drinker instead, so he wouldn't have had such a sticky yucky time fixing my spill into the printer of the office computer. *sigh*

    Were you able to salvage your journal?

    You already told me once before to write faster, didn't you? Hm. Betsy's story comes out in June electronically. That's not exactly fast, though...