Challenge! Today 446

Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
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M.
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
And now, my late night safety shot.

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Okay, Andrew...I have to ask: have you owned your Freewrite for a long time? And do you use it often? And what (in 10,000 words or less!) are your overall impressions and feelings about it? (I've heard and read bits and pieces about Freewrites before, but never actually interacted with anyone who had or was using one...and curiosity is my middle name!)
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
Okay, Andrew...I have to ask: have you owned your Freewrite for a long time? And do you use it often? And what (in 10,000 words or less!) are your overall impressions and feelings about it? (I've heard and read bits and pieces about Freewrites before, but never actually interacted with anyone who had or was using one...and curiosity is my middle name!)
It was a Christmas present a good six (?) years ago, and I have definitely used it enough to justify its cost over the years. It takes a little while to learn the ins and outs, as well as some essential keyboard shortcuts which make the backspace-only interface a bit less daunting, but once you get the functions down it becomes like second nature. Being able to hit the send button at the end of a draft and, moments later, have a PDF in my email is fantastic. There's simply nothing like it.

Build quality is very good, and the only problem I ever had was a key that stopped responding and had to have a repair done. I think that cost $75, so really a decent price at the time (four years ago or more). The size of both the device and the keyboard is nearly perfect. I like the analogue nature of the levers on the sides, and the screen is quite good, I keep the backlight on all the time since it's less noticeable in lighting where it's not needed (though I suppose battery life might slightly increase with it turned off) and in dimmer light it's a real eye saver. You can change between three font sizes - small is just a tad too small and medium is a tad too large, but it's not a big deal.

Battery life might be the only real negative, I usually find it has drained over periods of non-use and usually leave it on the charger. Of course, it's had a lot of discharge cycles since I got it so the fact that it retains a charge fairly well still is a point in its favor, but it would be nice if it held onto a charge a bit better. Mine is an older generation so it had poor battery management initially and had patches to improve it; I think the newest incarnation of insides is a bit better.

All in all, it has definitely become my go-to drafting device, and I like it much more than tapping on a laptop. My library room is generally screen-free (except for a phone screen to control music or look up something) and I appreciate the lack of distraction. I haven't managed to make a draft that's any longer than maybe 12K words, so no real idea of how a novel would be as a single draft - my preference would definitely be to break up documents by chapter into new documents.
 
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