If you are a person that writes the old fashioned way with pen and paper for work or school.  Wait a just a minute.  Have you considered getting a Smart Pen?  Do you know what a Smart Pen is?  The LiveScribe 2GB Echo Smart Pen may just be the answer for you! How so?

Please read on….


Meet Lernstift: the Linux-powered ink pen that can spell-check 

German inventors combine spell-checking from modern word processors with old fountain-ink pens. In today’s world, most people do their writing with a keyboard, but for those of you who are forced to use pen & paper, or just prefer the feel of it, the Lernstift should come across as a very attractive gadget.

Created by a team of two Germans Falk Wolsky and Daniel Kaesmacher, the Lernstift – German for “learning pen” – uses motion sensors and intelligent software running on an embedded version of Linux to detect when you make a spelling mistake, and then vibrates to let you know about it.

They didn’t stop there, however, and ended up packing the Lernstift with some other amazing features to include:

  • Two writing modes. Orthography for recognizing spelling errors, and Calligraphy for “pointing out flaws of form and legibility”.
  • Uses machine learning algorithms to cater to your unique handwriting
  • Works with English and German. Support for more languages will be included later on.
  • Can wirelessly sync with third-party apps (that will work with their in-development open API) for digitization of hand-written documents, and collaborative work.

They have launched a campaign for Kickstarter, asking for a public funding of £120,000 in order to mass-produce and distribute the pen, after finishing work on the prototype shown above. For more details, see their original page.

Trying this out today to make sure I know how to use it when I give it a shot during class tomorrow. I think I’ll do a review eventually. If I like it for the rest of this class (i.e., the rest of this week) then I’ll use it into the next semester and do a review once I have a good amount of experience with it.

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5 Things You Can Give To Your Boss On “Hug Your Boss Day”

Many of you might not have heard of “Hug Your Boss Day” because it is not an official holiday and the idea sprung up only a few years ago.

If you are an employee with a horrible boss, you might choose to ignore this day, but you should keep in mind that a happy boss can result in a better work environment for you and can also improve productivity.

If you love your boss, you can use this day to tell your boss how much you appreciate his mentorship and guidance. 
If you are a boss, you won’t be able to sit on your seat today, as you might be getting multitudes of hugs and words of appreciation today.

As an employee, you can give your boss a hug, and that is bound to make him/her a very happy person. But what if you or your boss has Haphephobia, a rare phobia that involves the fear of touching or being touched? And what if you love your boss so much that you think a hug would not be enough to tell him how great he is?

We have made a list of five gadgets that will add comfort and happiness to your boss’s office life and can show him how much you appreciate his efforts.

For The Boss’s Caffeine Needs

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Brugo’s Coffee Mug

If your boss is a coffee addict, he is probably used to drinking coffee that is either too hot or too cold because his coffee drinking session was interrupted by an important phone call or a client meeting. Brugo solves this dilemma by making a thermodynamic mug with a cooling chamber that keeps coffee hot and cools it down at the same time. Are you thinking how? The Brugo mug has two sections, one which keeps coffee hot and one which cools it down. The coffee is stored in the chamber which keeps it hot by default. When you want to take a sip, just tilt it away and coffee amounting to a large sip will enter the cooling chamber. When it cools down to a drinkable temperature in 2-3 seconds, you can take a sip.

How it will increase productivity

If you think clearly, this mug can improve productivity in multiple ways. Firstly, your boss can roam around in the office more quickly as he won’t have to balance a mug filled with coffee to prevent the contents from falling. Secondly, he would find a lot more time to work, as he wouldn’t be nursing a burnt tongue or making trips to the kitchen to get a hot refill.

The Brugo Mug can be bought here for $19.95.

For Your Boss’s Work Needs

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Livescribe Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen

What if, on this day, you give him something that will help him write smoothly and act as a digital assistant that records everything he says? Well, the LiveScribe Echo Smart can enable him to do that. The pen can come in handy when your boss is taking down notes, and can also help when he is checking the report that you submitted and makes a mental note to tell you to confirm a fact.

The pen combines the beauty of traditional note-taking and writing with the power of digital. But it does have a downside: it only works with Live Scribe Special Notebooks that look and feel like normal notebooks with a play/pause button. All your boss has to do is to tap the record button with his pen when he starts writing, and the pen will start recording. The 2GB memory enables the pen to store 200 hours of audio recording and with the addition of wi-fi, the notes get stored in an Evernote account automatically. This ensures that all your boss’s great ideas and notes are never lost. The pen can also be connected to earphones to ensure that even the faintest voices are audible to your boss.

How it will improve productivity

The Live Scribe Pen ensures that all your boss’s ideas get executed. It would also save his time as he wouldn’t have to try to remember what happened two hours ago. If your boss has a habit of taking notes while speaking to someone, his notes would not have anything missing as he can just use his pen to check if he hasn’t missed out on anything. At the end of the day, your boss will be a lot more organized with a really cool pen in his pocket.

You can buy it here for prices starting at $119.95.

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Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K760

Much of the time your boss spends in the office is devoted to typing on the keyboard. With the introduction of wireless keyboards, your boss can relax as he leans back on his chair, keeps the keyboard in his lap, and types away. But wireless keyboards run on batteries that run out pretty quickly. What if you give your boss a keyboard that runs for months without the need for a recharge? If you are willing to do that, then you should go for the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard. With solar panels that can recharge from natural as well as artificial light, Logitech claims that the battery can last for three months, even with no light. Even if the claim seems too ambitious, two months without charging is huge. Add to it the sleek design and the ergonomic keyboard, this device is bound to improve your boss’s work experience.

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gortyses  asked:

I saw your list of resources for school and I just wanted to add that there is a thing called a smart pen that some universities have. Its a pen that can simultaneously record lectures and take notes. You can easily upload the notes to your computer (through a usb drive on the pen) to have them digitally along with the audio file (and if your professor gives you the powerpoint you can sync it all up). My on campus ODS is giving me one in the spring so I haven't tried it yet, but it seems useful

Yes, smart pens are cool! I know several students who find them useful!  Personally, I find them limitedly useful because I can’t write very much at all without lots of pain.  (I tried one for a semester; It was just okay. I prefer Sonocent Audio Notetaker.)  Which is probably why I’ve never written about them on the blog.

(The list is just a compilation of posts that I’ve written over the years.  I don’t by any means claim to have a comprehensive list of topics!)

Thanks for the reminder that these tools exist!  To spoonie students looking for tools, definitely consider whether a smart pen would help you!  Many disability services offices can loan you one for free!

Given what I already know about the company that makes the Smart Pen, I would hastily recommend buying one based off of that (I’m borrowing mine from my college Disability Support Center). It seems, according to Google searching, you can’t let the battery drain completely or some parts of it will stop working. Like if you stop using the pen for a few months and go back to it the screen might stop working. Stupid things like that. Mine seemed out of the box new but the screen doesn’t work at all. I have to go by the different bleeps to know I’m doing something.


I think it’s a good idea if it works. But the pen is, first of all, very wide. So it’s annoying to hold. It’s definitely heavier than normal pens. And you’re stuck with whatever pen nib goes with the pen. At least for me and my cubital tunnel, even when I didn’t write down everything I would have if audio weren’t recording, my hand is cramping and hurting after taking notes for ~2 hours with a few short breaks. My summer class by comparison, is 2.5 hours with one 10 minute break in the middle. And after that class my hand does not hurt like this.

For a $200 pen, I would expect a pen nib that is smoother. Sure, it has a fancy computer and camera built into it. But considering the price of my Pentel RSVPs (my default writing pen) per pen… I don’t think it should be hard for them to include a better pen nib in the design.

To me, it seems like this company cuts a lot of corners, both in design and in customer service. So I’m wary.