Re: NTLK New newton user questions

From: Laurent Daudelin (
Date: Fri Aug 04 2000 - 10:54:40 CDT

NewtonMP wrote:
> Hello fellow Newtontalkers,
> I've been reading the list for a few weeks now, thinking about getting a
> Newton, and I just bought an MP21OO last week. I had an MP100 several years
> ago. and it is impressive how far the operating system and hardware have
> come. I already use a Japanese PDA for most of my "Personal Information
> Management" needs. I bought the Newton primarily because my main PDA cannot
> do English handwriting recognition --I wanted to be able to write e-mails
> and take notes in English.
> Thus, the most important thing to me is to have the HWR as accurate as
> possible. I've been doing a lot of writing in order to get used to it and to
> train the Newton to my handwriting. I still have some problems, though, and
> I wonder if you could give me some tips (I've already seen Hardy Macia's tip
> page -- are there any other good pages out there?). In particular I have
> trouble with apostrophes. Words like: I've I'm don't doesn't and the like
> very rarely come out properly. Especially if I'm writing in cursive. I've
> also been frustrated since the recognizer will fairly often choose words
> that don't exist in preference to those in the dictionary. I am tempted to
> have it only use words in the dictionary. Do many people do this? Or is it
> too limiting?
> As I said before, I need to be able to use the Newton for notes (both
> in-class notes and notes about books I read) so I need to use a fairly large
> vocabulary, and need to write a large amount in a short amount of time. Is
> there a limit to the number of words you can add to the dictionary? I
> don't mind taking a long time to train it as long as I am sure it will
> improve. I've heard that if you correct the Newton by tapping a
> mis-recognized word it will gradually improve, but what about when you use
> the typewriter or letter by letter options? As I said, I don't mind putting
> in the time for training, but I want to be sure what I am doing will make a
> difference.
> Also, speaking of note taking, what are the best notepad enhancements out
> there? Are there any made with college note taking in mind?
> On a different note, I have been having a problem when resetting the Newton.
> If I push the reset button with my modem card (a TDK 2814) in the slot, the
> Newton will sort of "die"-- it will power down and not come back on again.
> Pushing the power button or reset button has no effect. It won't come back
> on for minutes, and I'm still not sure what exactly makes it come back to
> life since I try a variety of button combinations. Any ideas about what
> could cause this? It seems to reset with no problems if there are other
> cards in the slots. I guess I can just try to avoid resetting with the modem
> inserted, but it is a bit worrying. Sorry for all the questions, but thanks
> in advance.

Check how you draw your apostrophes. There must be something the Newton
doesn't like. In the handwriting preferences, make sure you have
selected "cursive" (I'm sure you did, but just in case). Then, check the
Handwriting Settings from the Options popup, still in Handwriting
preferences. Make sure that you have letter-by-letter checked there for
fields and notes, and make sure that "Learn my handwriting" is checked.

Then, go over the letter shapes. Deactivate any shape for any letter
that you're not using. That will give the handwriting system a jump
start in learning your handwriting.

Additionally, give more time to the recognizer to decipher your
handwriting. Move the "Recognize my handwriting" slider bar in "Fine
Tuning" a couple notch to the left, to "slowly, more accurately".

Finally, correct any mistake that the Newton does immediately.
Double-tap the word and pick what you wrote there, if it's in the
suggestion. If not, pick the letter editor at the bottom right of the
popup menu that appears when you double-tap a word. Correct any mistake
there. I think it's better to do that than scrubbing the wrong word and
starting over, because then, the recognizer doesn't know what was
wrongly recognized.

As for your modem-reboot problem, I think I've read a few times that
modems that are drawing a lot of power will cause the Newton to go into
a deep sleep when booting, since the power draw is perceived by the
Newton as being depleted batteries. I think the only way to go is to
remove your modem before rebooting. Not very nice, but that's the only
solutino I can think of. Oh, there is another one: try to get a lower
consumption modem...


Laurent Daudelin Developer, Adaptive Infrastructure, CIS
Fannie Mae Washington, DC, USA
Phone: 703-833-4266
           ********** Usual disclaimers apply **********

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