Focus 7/5/22

Gadgets with Richard Bleil

Some time ago, I purchased a little device designed for focusing on meetings and classrooms.  It’s a form of a tablet that works with a stylus.  It can convert handwriting to text, email and import pdf files, but it cannot access the internet.  There are no apps, no games, no web browser or anything that can detract from your focus. 

It’s kind of an interesting concept.  It’s a computer device that, by design, has very limited capabilities.  With these limitations, the CPU power is used to ensure smooth operation.  It’s a superb device, and with limited capabilities, I really do like it more than I thought I might.

Today, a new toy arrived.  Yes, as I’ve written earlier, I’m a technogeek.  Like that other device, this one, too, has very limited capabilities.  In a similar way, no apps, no games, no browsing and so forth, but no stylus.  This one cannot be used to make sketches, drawings, figures and so forth.  What it does do, however, is allow you to write.  They claim that the battery will last for several weeks (we’ll see).  It doesn’t look terribly different from an old-fashioned typewriter.  It has a full-sized typewriter-like keyboard with a very similar feel.  The screen is very small and can only display, oh, maybe fifteen lines, and shorter than you would see on a computer screen.  Getting around on it isn’t easy, which they advertise as getting your draft done, and editing later (on a different device).  It’s certainly small enough to take into, say, a coffee-shop and make a great pretentious show of being a writer as your keyboard goes clickity-clack with just enough noise to get attention. 

Maybe that’s the cynical side of me speaking, but heck, I’m going to try it.  Even this blog would make for a good show. I do find it interesting, though, that the trend in new technology seems to be heading towards fewer features, rather than more, at least in devices such as this. 

As technology becomes increasingly pervasive in our lives, there is increasing research suggesting the problems with it.  The blue light in phone screens interferes with our sleep patterns especially if we look at them after going to bed because we cannot sleep.  Social media seems to be interfering with our socialization, even as people like me continue to insist that it helps us to keep in touch with friends who are unfortunately far from us. 

Hopefully this little device wil help me to pick up the pace of my writing.  I’ve promised a friend of mine that I would finish a statistical thermodynamics book, and decided to shift its forcus to casula readers so I’ll have to make it more applicable to a general audience.  I have the sequel to my wildly popular Vampire Genetics novel that my myriad of fans have been eagerly awaiting.  And I have a new horror book that I want to work on. 

The drawback is that, with limited capabilities to move the cursor around, it’s impractical to import what I had already written for editing and additions, but that’s okay.  This will serve its purpose just in getting drafts done, maybe not of entire books but a few pages, or maybe a chapter at a time.

The reality is that all of the gadgets in the world can’t motivate a person beyond their own motivation.  Having a fun new toy like this will encourage me to give it a try, and maybe I’ll get something done, but on the flip side, I just spent two hours on my phone sufing my social media and email.  This is a nice little device, and if I leave my other devices behind, maybe it will help me to focus, but it has to be my own ability to get anything done.  When I wrote Vampire Genetics, it began with a decision to write at least two pages a night.  These blog posts are a minimum of 750 words, which is a little more than a page.  I suppose that what I really need to do is to come up with a schedule for my many projects and come up with a similar goal.  Short of that, I doubt that even this device will really help beyond maybe a few days.  But, still, keep an eye out.  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get something else published before too much longer.  It would be nice to get a couple of more publications under my belt, don’t you think?

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