I’ve started my degree in computer studies about 3 weeks ago and I’m using my laptop to write down everything. As you already know, computer studies equals (more or less) mathematical studies, at least during the first year so I have to write down more than just plain text.
I use OpenOffice Math to write down complex equations easily. It integrates pretty well into OpenOffice Writer, so after a couple of days of learning the OpenOffice Math language, I can type equations pretty smoothly.
The only problem I have is when I need to add some graphic notes (graphs, parabolas, geometry etc.) to my documents. I’ve tried using a stylus, but found them to be more suitable for graphic designers and not for math.
Recently I bought the DigiMemo A502 which is a digital surface which you can place normal paper on and draw with a digital pen (using real ink). The DigiMemo comes with built-in 32MB memory so it remembers what you write for quite a while. You can jot down loads of pages and then dump it all using a USB connection. You can also expand its memory with a CF card.
I use this to write down everything I can’t type. Instead I just type the page number (which is visible on a small display on the pad) into the document and after class I just hook up my pad and copy&paste everything I jotted down.
This is a pretty cool gadget. Its great for situations where you have some neat design ideas and have to write them down. Its also great for meetings and such. The bundle comes with a trial version of some OCR application, but since I write mostly in Hebrew, I haven’t even installed it.
I think this pad does a fairly good job in terms of accuracy. Not perfect, but really good enough for its price.
- A tad expensive (around $140, here in Israel)
- A tad heavy (560g) but not unbearable.
- Comes with a CF slot and darn it, why not SD?
- How about some wireless support? argh.
- Saves my ass in class.
- Nice & sturdy design.
- Easy to operate, just turn it on and focus on what’s really important. (Math in my case, I guess…)
- Lets me draw cool stuff like:
Actually, I didn’t draw it, its a well known picture, but I swear I felt the exact same emotion today in class.
Overall, I’ll recommend this pad to just about anyone who will settle for 99% accuracy.