The following is a Plus Edition article, written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
The device that I have been using looks like most any other ballpoint pen. It is perhaps a bit fatter than most although I have seen a few other pens that are even larger. I can write and write and write all day long in my notebooks, then go home and plug the pen into the USB port on a Windows or Macintosh computer. Within a few seconds, everything I have written all day long is transferred to the computer and will appear on my screen, showing perfect images of the notes I have written during the day.
In fact, the images on the screen look as if they were created by scanning the paper pages. However, they were not. All my notes, including handwritten text, drawings, "doodles" and whatever else I have written will appear on the screen. Once transferred to my computer, these pages can be saved to the hard drive, stored, printed, sent to anyone else by email, or even uploaded to a web site. The notes are stored as PDF files. I found it was easy to upload the PDF files to the manufacturer's web site and then send a link to the URL to anyone via email, or I could even post the link in this newsletter's web site. Pages you upload can be open and visible to everyone or else kept private and protected by a password. The choice is yours.
Now, here is the best part: the same pen also records audio. It will store up to 400 hours of audio, which is an amazing feat for something built into a pen. You can play the audio back through its built-in speaker or earphones. When you connect the pen to your computer's USB port, the audio is also copied to your computer and is stored on the computer's hard drive. You can later listen to the audio as you please. You can even view the notes that were written at the same time the audio was created.
My question was: can I use this for genealogy? Can I go to the court house or library and write notes, then take the pen home and have them automatically copied to my desktop computer or even inserted into my favorite genealogy program? I decided to find out.
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