Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mobile Command Center: The Verdict

The first act, second draft is finished. Much of the rewriting was done on the Mobile Command Center (aka my New Toy) . So now that I've had two weeks to break it in, how does it stack up to my expectations?

On balance, I have to say it's working better than I'd expected.

The negatives first: even though the T/X has a bigger screen than most other Palm devices, the screen is still small and hard to read sometimes. Although the resolution can be adjusted, it sometimes changes unexpectedly, and I'm not sure why. I get a lot mistyped characters on the keyboard, more it seems than on a regular keyboard, because the sensitivity of the keys seems to vary or something (it communicates with the Palm via infrared rather than plugging in). Also, using the stylus as a selection tool, rather than a mouse, is frustratingly imprecise. And I have occasionally gotten a lot of typos introduced as artifacts during the synchronization process; I think it has to do with the translation between regular Word files and Word To Go files. And the battery life is not as great as I might like between charges.

Now the positives: I'm finding a lot more time to write than I'd expected. When I bought the MCC, I was planning to use it mainly as a tool for typing in bars on the one night a week or so I go out. Instead, I find I'm working during my lunch hour almost every day, which means I'm being a lot more productive than I'd planned. The ebook function is getting a lot more use than I'd expected, also. Depending on my mood, I might spend my lunch time reading a couple of chapters (currently Stars/Over/Stars, the sequel to Black/on/Black), or writing a couple of pages, or doing a little of each if I have time. I'm loving the flexibility. The keyboard is not perfect, but the keys are almost full-sized, so it's not as difficult to type as I'd thought. And I like the fact that I can either edit the full MS or start a new document to write a self-contained scene to drop in later.

So on balance, although it's not perfect, I think I'm going to get good value out of the Command Center. Now I've got to get back to work.

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