Technology #upgrade for when I #amwriting

Square Card Reader 1Two months ago, I got a new thingamajig for writing. I was actually upgrading the phone so that I could get a Square Card Reader to take credit card payments at book fairs. But when we walked in the door at the phone store our wireless provider made us a deal we couldn’t refuse: a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7-inch tablet for just .99 cents, to go with my fine new Galaxy s5 phone.

Technically my upgrade was “free,” and .99 cents seemed like a deal.

So of course I leaped on it. But then I had to get the heavy-duty Otterboxes to protect both the tablet($39.99)  and the phone ($29.99) The Otterboxes would have been cheaper at Amazon.

Square Card ReaderI also got the Square Card Reader while I was there, ($9.99)and well worth the price. I can now accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover–or cash.

And of course, we had to upgrade the wireless plan to accommodate the new technology, so what with a nickel here and a dime there, we were beyond broke when we walked out of there, but we were technologically up-to-date.

We couldn’t afford to pay attention at that point, but on  the plus side,  I had this wonderful tablet. It’s an awesome way  to get email and check Facebook for the onslaught of grumpy cat memes.  All my reading apps are on there now, Kindle and Nook–so I can read any book in beautiful, clear color.

Or I can play Majong in bed instead of reading.

Acer-Aspire-One-AOD257-4I’ve been complaining about my Acer laptop for a year now, but I don’t have the funds to replace it. The wretched thing is a small, red boat-anchor. It takes an hour to load anything. I just need five or six hundred dollars to replace it with a better brand, which isn’t going to happen soon.

My new tablet’s charge lasts about 8 hours, and the it only weighs a little more than the cell phone I went to upgrade in the first place. It travels well in my purse, and so does the little external keyboard.

The tablet comes with a touchscreen keyboard, of course, but it isn’t very useful for an ungraceful typist like me, and I couldn’t see myself writing a book using one. Some people do, or so I hear.

Tablet and keyboardBUT, with a few accessories, my little tablet has become a great, if limited, word-processor. First of all, the top of the Otterbox converts to an easel for it, so it sits up at the perfect angle.

With the addition of the Bluetooth keyboard I can easily key anything with as much accuracy and speed as ever. It will be excellent for write-ins.

There is a reason it took me two months to get this circus on the road.

When I first got the tablet it came with a free word-processing app that had glowing reviews, but which I quite honestly thought sucked, Hancom Office. This app might work well enough for someone else, but it was useless to me.

It looks just like WORD, and seems to have most of the tools, but it wouldn’t connect to Dropbox or Google Drive.

Oh, I could do all the writing I wanted, and when I saved it,  it seemed to have been saved just fine. But the next time I opened that document, it had NOT been saved. Hours of work down the tubes, because I couldn’t make the darn thing save a document that had been edited. Nothing I edited and saved was actually saved.

I went to the internet to find a solution. The internet was rife with all sorts of posts touting how awesome a product it is compared to WORD, but apparently no one has that issue, so there were no solutions.

So, I thought it was just me, and I kept trying to figure out what the problem was.

Maybe it was just me, but  after two months of trying unsuccessfully to make that app work, I nearly gave up, thinking perhaps the tablet just wasn’t a good fit for me. On a whim, I went looking for Microsoft apps. I am really pleased with what I found.

SO, yes, in order to make this amazing little beast useful for what I need it for, I did have to buy some apps and get an external keyboard.

Costs to get Tablet up and running

Despite accidentally purchasing one item from Google Play that shows up on my Paypal account but I can’t figure out and don’t know what it is so I can’t return it, the Office Suite 8 was amazingly cheap as compared to the large cash outlay for my desktop programs. It is the shell for the Word, PowerPoint, and Excel programs, which cost nothing. Maybe you can get these apps for less elsewhere, but I just wanted to get it done so I could use it.

Now I can access my dropbox files, and work in any environment–a huge plus when I am on the road so much.

MajongFor me, this will not come near replacing my HP desktop. The screen is too small for my elderly eyes. Even with the extra font pack, the WORD app is limited in what it can do as compared to the full desktop program, so I don’t see me trying to edit or format a book–the little app is not appropriate for that, although I hear that it can be done. It doesn’t really have a good spell-check, and cutting and pasting without a mouse is a bit dicey. I’ll have to remember my keyboard shortcuts for that.

But I do like the way I can write anywhere in the house or on the back porch, or at a Starbucks, with ease, and on a machine that doesn’t randomly freeze up on me.

Or I can play Majong.


Filed under Humor, Publishing, Uncategorized, writer, writing

4 responses to “Technology #upgrade for when I #amwriting

  1. Very proud of you embracing the tech, especially when I’ve been reduced to embracing only the most mainstream (albeit expensive) tech stuff just to reduce the learning curve. I am, unlike you, an old dog.


    • @Stephen – I am indeed an old dog — I couldn’t make Hancom work, and went back to the old tried-and-true MS Word. I can’t make my laptop load anything, so I was forced into learning this, and with the external keyboard and the right apps, it was amazingly easy to make the change.


  2. Sounds like you are getting some things on track. Now that I have gotten more familiar and taken a few of Gwen Hernandez’s classes on Scrivener, I’ve let go of drop box and evernote. Scrivener puts all my media and web references right there with my document. It was a long learning curve, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. They are making one for the iPad, but I’m not sure if they have the kinks out yet.


    • @SK–The trouble was not with dropbox–that works perfectly as it should. I have to have storage for a lot of graphics, so I will always need good storage. The problem was that the program didn’t recognize it or sething. And I know a lot of people who use Scrivener, but it seems awully complicated to me–I am a very linear thinker. I had it for a while, and it just confused me, so I stayed with my method of organizing my files. But I am WORD-centric, lol.

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