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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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Oh fuck
a look of abject horror, yikes
So overnight, my PDA decided to tank its battery. And when a PDA on Windows Mobile 2003 loses its bata, so goes all the data in RAM.

Fortunately, I synchronized everything and all my important files were in permanent store. So I'll get everything back up and running, I just can't take notes in class today...

Wait, yes I can. I have a laptop and that laptop has OneNote. It's a big pain in the ass to haul but it beats losing a day of notes...

Rrgh. At least I just lost all my data anyway so I might as well install the next operating system version, Windows Mobile 5, which keeps all its data in Flash rather than RAM for exactly this reason.

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I use the paper and pencil OS. XD nothing gets lost unless I lose it myself.

I have handwriting so far off the edge of "illegible" that taking notes by hand isn't an option for me...

my handwriting isn't very neat either, by far, but I can usually read them. Then again, 90% of the time, I don't look at my notes anyway. so it's all moot.

Oh, that stinks. I've lost data like that before -- and gone through an awful lot of backup batteries that got drained as well.

If your version of ActiveSync has the option, there's a check box that causes it to create a backup every time you sync it, so not only do you not lose your data, but you also don't have to reset all of the setting on your PDA because it just reloads the memory.

You have enough flash to do that. ... I'm jealous. I have 64 MB of RAM and very little flash. Then again, mine is about 4 years out of date.

My version of ASync doesn't have that option.

What really pisses me off is that this PPC is supposed to have emergency shutdown so it can't lose its data in less than three days of no power, just from the main battery, and it also has an emergency backup. The backup battery is completely untouched- full power, it never got used.

Double ouch. I'm surprised to see they got rid of the option. It's buried in the Tools > Backup/Restore menu. I don't remember exactly where from there, and it won't let me open it without having my device in its cradle.

I could almost wish mine had that little problem with not draining the backup battery, but I think it has actually saved me once or twice. Did the whole battery become dislodged? That's how mine usually loses power, which could explain why it didn't use the saved battery power.

Fujitsu decided not to release WM5 for the Loox 720, so I can't change to that. I dislike the idea of only having the option of the two-button smartphone-esque interface, though - you can't do that much on a WM PDA without tapping the screen, because it has no keyboard, and you're wasting screen estate and adding an additional tap to access any feature (or two, if it used to have a button). I would have preferred the option to choose your preferred menu style.

I originally had the intention of taking notes with my PDA, but this didn't turn out to be very practical: there's insufficient room to get set up properly (in both directions; there was real danger that the PDA/keyboard assembly would collapse and fall off the bench), and I preferred my own notes to be on the same paper as the lecture notes, to be in context.


Not at your battery misfortune, but at the idea that it isn't possible to go "medieval" and take notes with a quill and parchment the way he did when he was in college.

My handwriting is so far off the end of "abysmal" that it's not an option for me...

I think that's fixable with some applied effort, though.

I've put that applied effort in on my own, with my parents' help, with my teachers' help, and with professional help for the last twelve years and it hasn't done me a lot of good. Now my absolute best handwriting is passable, it just takes about two seconds a letter. (I'm actually faster and more legible if I use a fountain pen- no, seriously- but they're not convenient to carry around and "faster" just means "two seconds for three letters".) Handwriting quick enough for class notes is still totally illegible, and shows no signs of getting better. I can't read my notebooks from the first year before I started using other measures.

Have you ever tried using Pilot Precise V5 pens? They kind of remind me of a cross between fountain pens and ball-point pens, with more free-flowing ink than ball point pens.

Fountain pens do make for better handwriting. At one time, schools required them for handwriting practice even when they were no longer used for much else. I prefer fountain pens myself, and always used them for notetaking.

Are you left handed?

I'm right-handed but left-armed: I have much more manual dexterity in my right hand, but my left arm is a lot stronger.

My old Palm m505 did that. My Treo 650 doesn't because Palm realized how dumb it was to require the memory to always have power to retain its contents.

There's a lot of reasons I don't use that 505 anymore, and that's one of them!

Oh jesus not you too, "I can't take notes without a laptop". Sorry, my roommate is being whiny about the whole screen thing...

Okay, bad handwriting, I can kinda see that. Sooooo why not spend a little time improving it instead of carrying around a $500 liability to all your classes? Learn Japanese writing, perhaps- it has improved my handwriting a lot.

I don't know how people use PDA's, mine got obsoleted by a dry-erase board and some index cards.

From the time I was 7 to when I was 16, my parents and school physical therapists alike worked hard to bring my handwriting up to legible quality. The improvement was minimal at best: it's now legible if I spend more than two seconds per letter. Notes are worthless if they are illegible, but five words per minute is also not good enough.

Public school gave up and classified my handwriting as a learning disability. So has Washington University. So, for that matter, have I, because I have been trying on my own for the last twelve fucking years to get legible and reasonably fast handwriting and have utterly failed to do so.

Where a skill cannot be gained, finding alternatives can be the most reasonable thing to do. You don't understand how other people can be unable to learn a given skill because you did not have any trouble with that skill. My handwriting shows some improvement under a great deal of practice, but not enough to be usable.

I've forced myself to practice by trying to switch to a high-quality handwriting recognition engine for the PocketPC for a while instead of a very efficient keyboard layout. Having immediate feedback on when I've written something illegible in a context that forces me to go back to correct it without the advantage of having a human that can figure it out from context has given me minimal improvement, but my handwriting is still unusably slow for notetaking if I want it to be legible. I've doubled my speed: a whole ten fucking words per minute. I can type on a PDA at 40- that's with a stylus on an on-screen keyboard. A real keyboard gives me 110.

Handwriting does not work for me, so I use alternate tools.

Because unlike your dry-erase board, I can play Rogue on my PDA to keep myself from falling asleep at work? ;)

You'd be surprised. My whiteboard is so advanced it has Rogue *3*. Multiplayer online edition. With interplanetary dual satellite muffin transmission.

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