Monday, November 26, 2007

New Toy, thwarted.

For the last four or five years at work we've been using an old Acer Travelmate laptop. It's spent most of the last two years at the tech console, and I've really gotten to like it. It's got maybe the most comfortable laptop keyboard I've ever used, the screen's a nice size, and it's old enough that it's standard format instead of widescreen, which is nicer for writing (you can see more of a horizontal page). I've taken it home a few times, and I've really enjoyed using it for writing and light-duty surfing. It's not new or fast; I don't own any games that'll play well on it; it's starting to crash in lots of little ways (the directional pointer doesn't work anymore, f'rinstance). But the keyboard fits my hands like it was custom-designed for me, the display is nice, it's relatively small and light, and it's got some cool tablet PC features. We're replacing it with a new Mac laptop for digital audio recording, and I was hoping that I might get to take the Acer home when we're done with it. It's old enough that there's no official use for it at work, and we're going Mac, so we're not far from not being able to support it anyway. But I'm suspecting that it's going to someone else; I don't really get a vote about these things. I was really looking forward to having my own writing laptop, even if it's old and slow. I'm familiar with it, and it fits my needs perfectly.

I've got an old Toshiba laptop here at home, but it's so old that it's got a sticker on the front that says, "Windows 95 Ready!" to go with its 32mb of RAM. It's got almost no battery life left, and it's amazingly slow and crash-prone, and the B-key mouse doesn't work right. I'm becoming aware that I'm not doing my writing any favors by doing anything to make writing harder for myself, and this includes using crappy tools. Writing doesn't require spectacular toys, but it's hard enough without stacking the deck against myself in little ways. At the same time, I can't really justify putting a new laptop, even a cheap one, on credit. The old work laptop was an ideal solution: free and functional and nice to use. And having the little extravagance of owning my own dedicated writing tool would make me feel good. But at least it's going to be put to good use: it'll be a kids' computer. That makes me feel a bit better....

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

I'm commenting this post to say that I just saw your blog tonight and enjoyed reading it. I will probably stop back by from time to time. I also wanted to say in reply to
"I eventually want to make the transition from 'writer' to 'novelist'", that if you ever do figure that one out, and/or if you just want to reply/chat, please email me at midnightsurf at gmail dot com. You can check out my blog at, but it's not really indicative of me or how I write (I haven't really put that much into it, except that it was encouraging me to write daily (before the lapse and transition).). But, especially write if you figure out how to make the transition. ;)