Saturday, 30 April 2011

Eee... but the new Asus Transformer isn't half grand!

Amazing to think that all those years ago when I began what I still persist - in open defiance of the woeful lack of professional remuneration it accrues - on calling my writing 'career', I started on something like this:

Yes. And I wrote so many silly stories, pathetic poems and awful articles that - one day - the little bit of metal that jumps up and down when you hit the keys and that holds the ribbon snapped, broke, sheared off and that was it. But fired with enthusiasm for the new home PC's I got one. It's probably in a museum now. And anyway, I didn't actually 'write' much on it. I actually wrote on one of these:

Yes! A Psion organiser, with a cool 256k of memory - more (so the man who sold it to me told me) than was needed on the Apollo moon landings. Well, it worked for me. I wrote. Lots. But it broke. And that seemed to be the way of things as I tried out all manner of devices. I scaled down from the tower desktop PC to the neatest, smallest lap-top I could find, but it wasn't the same. You see, you couldn't fit it in your jacket pocket. And writing fiction - which requires a little bit of inspiration, as well as lots of perspiration - demands something reasonable portable. I know, I could've used a pen and paper, but... that typewriter, all those years ago, had spoiled me. I could only keep up with my own thoughts on a keyboard.

Then came smart-phones. Oh yes! They were small. You could fit them in your pocket, that's for sure. But they were, perhaps, a bit too small. Getting used to the teeny-tiny on-screen keyboard on an iPhone, for example, takes time. And no matter how adept you might become, the writing's never going to be as accurate.

But now, ladies and gentlemen, I think I might have found the answer. Because those awfully nice Asus people have sent me this little beauty to have a play around with:

Now, I've played with the iPad and liked it. I like the touch-screen technology of a tablet. But I can't get used to the on-screen keyboard. And this amazing piece of kit comes with it's own, making it a cross between a tablet and a note-book, I suppose.

Ok, it won't quite fit in my inside jacket pocket. But it's light and thin and portable in every other way. Ladies, you could certainly fit one in your handbag. In fact, I might be getting one (a hand bag, that is) for just such a purpose.

But I digress. I'm going to enjoy putting the new Eee Pad Transformer through its paces, and reporting back both here and on the website.

If only the quality of writing improved in proportion to the tools you've got, eh? With this piece of kit, even Shakespeare had better watch out!


  1. I started out on an old typewriter (I learned to touch-type on it, one of the best things I did to "improve my handwriting") then graduated to an Amstrad computer with 3" disk drive. Blank disks for that were hard to come by.

    Now I've settled on a nice Moleskine notebook, a selection of pens and whatever computer I can lay my hands on. I find the on-screen keyboard on my phone too small to be comfortable for long-term writing, so I'm looking for a bluetooth keyboard to give me that flexibility.

    If you rate the Transformer, I'll look at getting a couple in at work, see what the great and the good think about them.

  2. Oo it looks nice! Bet it can do all sorts of new fangled stuff.

    I learnt on a typewriter too - I'm old enough to remember the old carbon papers and changing the ribbon and winding it on. I used to love the satisfying 'ping' at the end of a line. I had a trusty blue one when I was on my journalism training course.

    I scribble in notebooks but actually write on a PC. Can't get on with the iPad for writing.

    Let us know what you think - does it have screenwriting programmes?

  3. I'll keep you posted John... although initial impressions are certainly favourable and I'm sure they'd be useful pieces of kit for work.

    Not sure about the screenwriting programmes DB... watch this space! And I'd forgotten about the 'ping' at the end of a line - wonder if there's a PC programme that replicates that?

  4. I am just about to make this technological leap, (a major one, for me - though the first device you mention is only familiar to me as a child at my grandparents house(!)) so a timely post that I will need to investigate further...

  5. Keep checking back in that case, HM - there'll be more about the Eee Pad in a day or two.

  6. I do miss the old clack clack of the typewriter. It was and is such a satisfying sound.

  7. Me too Polly. Did you listen to my interview about typewriter nostalgia? It's top of the side-bar on the blog at prese


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