Raspberry Pi of Death Blog

By N. Leveck


AlphaSmart Dana fun

Entered on AlphaSmart Dana

20181223

I located some Dana software today1. SiEd, CardTxt, and UniCMD2. I will cover each in turn.

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SiEd Dana is excellent. It is a gpl licensed full blown text editor. It has six font choices, autosaves if you exit the app, and can open two files at once in split view. This last item -- split view -- is very cool. It is allowing me to have a 60 column ruler displaying under my file that does not scroll. (NOTE: if you're reading this on the web, it does not sound like a big deal, but when formatting for gopher this is pretty rad)

CardTxt Dana is also excellent. You need to change the preferences in the app to save files without a .txt extention. You can choose DOS or UNIX EOL. There are three choices of fonts. Over all it is a very capable editor.

Out of the two, I am rather a bit more impressed with SiEd Dana. The font choices and the split view are killer features. The deal breaker is beaming. CardTxt does this correctly and SiEd does not. This makes CardTxt the winner.

UniCMD is a file manager. A very capable file manager. It does encryption. It does compression, it does secure deletion, it does file association, it does backup of the device, there is a ton of stuff it does. The only thing I can't seem to figure out is how to make it the default launcher. I suppose that's okay. It beats FileZ, but not Resco Explorer (the ftp functionality on the PEG- UX50 is super useful). On the Dana it is looking to be indispensible.

The other thing I want to add is the Dana battery hack3. This is pretty simple to perform, but a game changer. The Dana came originally with a NiMH battery pack, or you could unplug that and use 3 AA batteries. The battery pack, if you have it is now 16 plus years old. Dead for sure. The hack is to follow the wire from the positive battery terminal to the motherboard, desolder it, then cut the positive wire going to the plug for the battery pack that goes to the NiMH terminal on the motherboard and solder the positive you removed for the AA positive to that NiMH wire. This connects the recharging circuit directly to the AA battery terminals (ground is common and doesn't need to be touched). The result is you can then pop in 3 NiMH AA rechargable batteries and charge them via the USB A port on the back. I have batteries on order for this hack and will mention it once completed.

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