March 23, 2006
 

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Posted: 12.16.04

A Killer App of My Own

My fellow editors and I often have access to some of the latest tech gearóslim phones, tiny notebooks, indestructible hard drives, fast wireless all sorts of bells and whistles and shiny eye catching whositswhatsits. But what Iíve been pining for, a gadget I could really geek out over, is a handheld with a handwriting recognition program that actually recognizes my scrawl and easily converts it into a Word doc for legible, savable notes.
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By Teresa von Fuchs




But when the iPaq h6315 first crossed my desk, I admit I was too distracted trying to beat a colleague’s score on Jawbreaker, than I was remembering my ultimate journalistic needs. When I finally tore myself away from the game, I appreciated that the h6315 was stacked with the expected perks of a top-of-the-line handheld business tool—voice capabilities, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, digital camera, SD slot, a vibrant screen, even a snap-on qwerty keyboard.

And the h6315 also comes with “pocket” versions of basic Microsoft tools, such as Excel, Outlook, Internet Explorer and Word. It was while tooling around the Word program, that I discovered what I'd dreamed possible was finally true.

I tapped on the writing option of Word and started scribbling. After a sentence I hit ‘recognize’ and poof, my chicken scratch transformed into Tahoma eight point font. It was like a miracle. I connected to my office’s wireless network, e-mailed myself the attachment, opened it up on my desktop and was so pleased. I geeked out and excitedly told my office neighbor that our dreams were coming true!

But like all dream-come-true tales, reality is never as good as the fantasy. The spacing of the transformed text is off, and even this miracle program can’t recognize all my deformed letters, I also scratch must faster than the digital ink can register. But still, to have this in meetings means much time saved recopying and wondering, what does that say? I’m afraid I’m getting geekier and geekier over it, too. I might not be able to send it back. I hope the nice people at HP understand.
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