Author Topic: Using A Zaurus For Lecture Notes  (Read 3116 times)

pitr

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Using A Zaurus For Lecture Notes
« on: March 24, 2005, 03:27:32 am »
coi rodo.

I'm considering getting a Zaurus C3000 to take with me to university.  The nice touchscreen and usable keyboard are quite attractive.

One thing that would be really quite important though is the ability to make notes and draw diagrams onto the Zaurus screen that get converted to vector graphics, e.g. PostScript, rather than being stored as bitmaps.

Does anyone have any idea if this is possible? Does it work well? Does anyone use this kind of functionality on a regular basis?

Any help would be very much appreciated.
Proud owner of a C-3000

tg

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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2005, 06:07:10 am »
Take a look at FreeNoteQT or StageOne. Both er great apps and may be all you need (StageOne is commercial but inexpensive for what it offers).
I dont know if they work on 3000 but they probably do (work properly on my 860).

iamasmith

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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2005, 06:50:09 am »
I would say that FreeNoteQT is the way to go, however, the only portable format that it supports is export to PDF so if you wanted to do some Desktop editing then you would need to have a full version of Acrobat (Not Acrobat Reader).
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davidmcnaught16

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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2005, 06:58:28 am »
I've used PDA's for taking lecture notes and at uni for 3 years.  First, I had a clie Nr70v, then an NX80v, then UX50 (Briefly) before getting a Zaurus C860.

The keyboard on the Z is incredible compared to those of the clie's.  The only problem is the fairly loud clicking noise the keys make, in quieter lectures, you may feel like you are disrupting things a bit!  But typing is so much faster than writing on paper, and you can easily upload the notes to your main computer.  Well worthi it!

Also, if your uni lets you, you can download the lecture slides and have them on your PDA too.

With the NX80v, I'd just take photos of the slides with graphics (The camera was good enough, unlike on the NR70 or UX50).

I did do some diagrams on the Nr70, but I would recomend taking a note pad + pen for diagrams.  I know it's nice just to carry in a PDA in your pocket and nothing else, but for diagrams, I don't think a PDA is near as good as a pen & paper (Unless it's got a decent camera).  If you can do the diagrams quickly & accurate enough on the Z, then great, but you may find it more hastle than using pen & paper!

Overall, i'd say the Z is a great investment for uni;

- You can take journal articles etc in PDF format to read when you've got spare time
- You can take lecture notes and easily upload them to your main computer
- The keyboard and screen are good enough that you can go to the library and comfortably write up an essay
- You can listen to music while doing your essay & traveling between home & Uni (If you want!)
- If you get a little condenser mic, you can record your lectures as Audio (I did this sometimes, but never actually listened to them again!)
- You can play games in boring lectures
- Great organiser

All in all, a great help to uni life!  I recon the Z is the best out there for Uni, due to the great keyboard and screen combo, & OK software.

pitr

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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2005, 08:11:46 am »
Thanks for the comments!

Quote
I would say that FreeNoteQT is the way to go, however, the only portable format that it supports is export to PDF so if you wanted to do some Desktop editing then you would need to have a full version of Acrobat (Not Acrobat Reader).
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Well, it's GPL, so if it can output PDF it can be modified to output PS.  

Quote
Also, if your uni lets you, you can download the lecture slides and have them on your PDA too.
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Hmm... how good is the PowerPoint support on the Zaurus default firmware?   Do you need to convert the presentations to a different format before they can be viewed?

And (more importantly) how good is the browser?
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Mahoro

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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2005, 02:34:24 am »
I had did that before........
But what make me stop doint that:
- Too much hassles and the screen is too small (mine is 5500, 320X240 res)
- Not much good games...:/
- OZ Pim sux... I might stick to my cellphone..
I bought a Targus keyboard, used it a few times, but seems handwritting notes are better esp for Economic (Graphs and numbers)
I bought a WiFi card, but seldom used it...my Browers (Opera and Konqueror crashed TOO MUCH)
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xarope

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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2005, 03:40:30 am »
I use my c760 at airports to reply to emails etc, the keyboard is fine.  I hold it mainly with my left hand, with thumb free, and mainly the righthand to type with 4 fingers (thumb for space bar).

for lecture note taking though, I think a pen+paper is still more versatile, you can draw arrows and other pictograms/pictures, and you are not constrained by the vga screen of the sharp...

for business though, it's no problem (less of understanding concept, and more of note taking to remember what to do)
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dreadlocks

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Using A Zaurus For Lecture Notes
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2005, 04:40:38 am »
I take notes on the built in keyboard, have been for many years now.. I generally leave my backpack in my car and take only my Zaurus to class.. I record one lecture a day because I find I just dont take many notes for that class.. the rest I hack away and take a ton of notes on... using basic text editor I write several pages a day, they are timestamped and I can copy/paste and re-organize em on the fly or later.. I perfer this to drawing arrows to connect unorganized notes.. Ive been wanting a pocketop keyboard for a while now, but I can work w/the built in keybd faster than I can write with a pen due to the fact that ive got very bad carpel tunnel, go figure.. typing=good, writing=bad

I cant type notes and record a lecture at the same time, the mic picks up the keypresses.. the 5600 has a built in mic but that is the only port that is blocked by my case (because its on the back) so I took a cheap computer lapel mic and cut out all the cable and spliced it almost directly onto the plug.. then with some electral tape I ended up with this:
http://www.nayr.net/images/ubermic.jpg Sure it looks ugly but I think the quality is much better than the built in mic anywase.

As for drawings, if they are left on the board after class I go up with the camera and take a series of closeups and then I can paste them all together in a collage later if I need them. or if I cant get a decent picture (admit it the sharp cam is crap) then I use a simple drawing program (forget which one I have installed) and try to re-create it.

Another nice thing is accualy using the PIM tools to keep organized, I dump all the due dates and test days on the calender so they dont sneak up on me so easy..

Having the wikipedia dictionary with zbedic always comes in handy, also I find it handy to scan the class sylibus into an image file or just email the professor and ask for a pdf version of it.

I tried OZ for a very long time but it is just far to unstable to be reliable for my daily (ab)use..
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davidmcnaught16

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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2005, 06:23:53 am »
I agree with Mahoro that for Economics, the PDA alone is not great, due to graphs and equations, but I small note pad along with the PDA is ideal, as it is quicker to type than to write, and notes can easily be put onto your PC and organised.

Powerpoint support is pretty much non-existent as far as I know, but I just export the PPT as a PDF (Using staroffice).

pitr

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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2005, 07:35:41 am »
Cheers for the response folks.  I've now decided to purchase a C3000, and take it with me when I start my MEng at Cambridge (UK) in October.

I'm going to play around and see if I can get a stock (kernel.org) kernel to run on my Z when I get it.  Should be fun.  Especially if it means changing the kernel.org kernel to suit the Z.
Proud owner of a C-3000

ferdinauta

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Using A Zaurus For Lecture Notes
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2005, 04:55:28 am »
I've allready installed FreeNoteQT and I'm not able to make an understandable note using the Draw option! The result if i try to write "hello":



And vertical and horitzontal lines appear like this:

 [ Invalid Attachment ]

I have to switch to AutoFormat and AutoCurve to make a clean note.

With iqnotes the picture is correct, but I would like to use FreeNote.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2005, 04:58:36 am by ferdinauta »

omega

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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2005, 05:50:50 am »
That's pretty terrible! I have used this in the past and didn't see such problems - except when i was underclocking I think.
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tovarish

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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2005, 09:42:08 am »
yes it is caused by underclocking. It had taken me sometime to figure that out.
Set your Z to the default clock speed and try again

tovarish

ferdinauta

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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2005, 11:39:44 am »
I've looked the frequency options of my zaurus. When I am coneccted to AC the frequency is Default (PXA 255) and when i am disconnected it switches to Default (PXA250).

So, connected to AC, FreeNotes works OK. Now i've modified the frequency to be PXA255 when I'm not connected to AC.

What frequencys are you using in a 860?? PXA255 all the time?

Stubear

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« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2005, 09:09:47 pm »
Have a look at inkwp (http://www.geocities.co.jp/SiliconValley-Oakland/4550/inkwp.html)

You will need to rename the downloaded package to inkwp_0.1.1_arm.ipk

It's still in early development but is great for taking notes with the stylus and even has a feature for typing them into text files later if you wish.

Stu
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