Archive for 'tech'
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
This is something I’ve struggled with for years–how to stock my writerly toolbox. From research books to notebooks to pens and finally to the Ooh, Shiny of the computer world.
Folks who know me in person for more than a month already know I’m one of those people called “early adopter”. I LOVE technology. I LOVE the shiny. In fact, in FIRST GRADE, one of my report cards mentions how much I enjoyed working with the tape recorder.
This was in 1964 in a Catholic school. The nuns were working with me on my English. So we’d work one-on-one with a reel-to-reel tape machine. I listened to words and sentences and repeated them. To this day, I remember being absolutely fascinated by the equipment.
My fascinating hasn’t waned. Instead, it’s grown exponentially stronger. I bought my first computer in 199-something and never looked back. Today, I’m a MacGeek, all Apple all the time. I wrote my first 4 books on laptops, while sitting in my recliner in my wee studio apartment. Now that I’ve moved, I’ve got a couch (no recliner), a real desk/work area and a dilemma.
I LOVE LOVE my iMac. It’s a 27″ screen, so crisp, clear and gorgeous. I splurged on an Aeron chair and loads of elfa drawer units and folding shelves so I can organize all my research books. I can haz office! I’ve never really tried to write a book in this office area, after all, I’ve only lived here 7 weeks. I’ve written a short story and several essays, plus loads of tweets, Facebook and blog posts.
I figured I’d go back to writing on an Air. I sold my sister the first gen Air that I had (she needed a new ‘puter) and purchased a brand new one, all spiffy and shiny. Guess what? The couch is NOT conducive to writing. Instead, after I opened the laptop, turned out all I did was use it twice to look something up–something I could have easily done on the iPad.
As my buddy Dana Cameron said on my Facebook post–it’s about the environment. Now that my office is getting really close to being “done” (bulletin board is hung, white board paper on the wall for notes, printer set up) – it’s more like a writing place. The atmosphere is right. The chair is right. The computer is right. So, really, it’s not just about the tools. The Air is a fabulous laptop for writing, but doesn’t work in my new digs. I’m sure I’d love any of the newer Apple laptops, but the same would apply.
So now, it’s time to divest myself of the extraneous and sell the brand new laptop on eBay, in hopes of recouping as much as I can. (I bought it 3 weeks ago, and the return policy only allows for 14 days).
Perhaps next time, I’ll let the situation settle in for a bit before I make such an expensive purchase. Live and learn!!
I’m curious to know what other writers have experienced regarding tools and their writing environment. Was there a lesson learned for you?
Thursday, October 29th, 2009
Okay, just because I used the phrase "super groovy"…don’t be put off. ::g::
The makers of the software program I use to write, Scrivener, is having a great promotion for NaNoWriMo.
If you’re a Mac-using writer, DO. NOT. DELAY. I’ve written all my books on Scrivener and it’s hands down, the best software for writers that I’ve ever found. Plus, WAY cheap! What’s not to love?
I struggled with other bloated [ahem, Word] programs for YEARS, fighting the autoformats, the "I know better than you" coding, until via reading Jenny Crusie’s blog, I discovered Scrivener. I downloaded a trial and tried it out for about two days. Immediately went to buy it and have never since regretted it. [plus, who can resist their domain name: Literature and Latte!!]
The biggest advantage? I can set it up just as *I* like – separate chapter, sections, whatever. Plus, I can have my partial scenes, my notes, my reference images, etc. in the Research folder, right there for ease of access.
I have absolutely NO connection to the makers, just a deep abiding respect for a fabulous piece of software. (My only other wish is that there would be an equivalent Windows offering, so I could use it at my job. ::g::)
Thanks, Keith, for a great product!
Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
It’s no secret to those of you who know me that I am a technophile. If it’s a gadget, electronic and falls into whatever I value as “cool”, it’s likely that I’ll want one. It’s also no secret that I am a pop culture-holic and love TV, movies, books, etc.
One of the brilliant things about current technology is the fact that I can get TV shows via iTunes and other legitimate sources online and watch on my nifty iMac.
The caveat to that is that these files are BIG, as in 1 file is umpteen times larger than the first hard drive I ever had (20 MB…and yes, that makes me old ::g::).
Instead of RAM, (of which I have plenty), storage became an issue. When 250 GB drives weren’t nearly enough, what next?
A couple of years ago, I bought my first Terabyte drive (!!)–and it didn’t break the bank. Today, since my last remaining LaCie drive bit the dust, I bought a replacement: 1 TB Iomega external hard drive: $143.00. Yep, that’ PEANUTS. With Amazon Prime, shipping was free and the drive actually arrived a day ahead of time.
Tera1, as it’s now named, is happily sucking up my iTunes library (all 500GB of it) and will become my primary iTunes drive. Mondo, the other terabyte drive, will become my primary backup drive. LimaMedia, the weenie 500 GB drive holds a conglomeration of files that I share between my iMac Priscilla and Mab, my Macbook air. (Yes, I name my computers and my drives…sue me).
I also have Mozy backup, which, sadly, since Comcast cracks down on 250GB/month transfers and higher, means I can’t do a full backup of all my files. Plus, I’m sure they’re throttling, but that’s a whole other story. On Mozy, I back up all crucial files – copies of all my Kindle ebooks, copies of all my writing files and backups of address books, photos and things that I couldn’t replace.
I also keep a copy of all writing files (current and past) on Priscilla, on Mab and regularly backup to a flash drive which I carry with me.
Am I anal? Yep. Is it overkill to back up so much stuff? I don’t think so. First, it’s totally cheap to buy more drives and second, if something were to happen, I know I can recover my writing, my photos and crucial data.
If I lose iTunes library, I’d be sad, but frankly, eventually I could re-buy everything and manually re-load all the CDs, since I still have those. If I lose my writing files, I know I have several places I can recover from.
I may be insane, but I sleep better at night, knowing my stuff is safe.
On an entirely other note, Mme Editrix posted a copy of the full Blood Bargain cover. Book is due in stores in a couple of weeks.
Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
There are many wonderful things in the world.
- NaomiNovik‘s books were optioned by Peter Jackson (read Naomi’s post) There is not enough squee in the world to describe how happy I am about this. Yes, I know that “option” does not equal “movie”, however, if anyone has the desire, the tech, the cred to get this done, it’s Peter Jackson.
- David Hewlett is incredibly awesome – as a person, as a forum mod, and as a fellow geek. Thanks, David, for being so freaking cool.
- I’m moderating a panel, entitled “We Write Dead People” at first ever MWA Mid-Atlantic writing workshop. (scroll down on the page – it’s the 2nd event listed). I’m debating how to approach the topic – my copanelists are: another writer, a forensic taphonomist, and the funeral home director. I’m really psyched, though – I’m begining to re-discover the joy of being a writer. Maybe even getting back the mojo.
- Fandom really is a cool place, because: Ponies!
- SihayaB and I got some lovely feedback on a story we wrote together (and by that I mean SB did most of the writing part. It’s a couple of years old, so fun to get f/b.
- I just ordered the Elgato EyeTV Hybrid – so I will be able to hook up my region-free DVD player to Priscilla and get TV signals via the device, too. Since I no longer have cable and they finally turned off the cable signal. Basically, this means that my TV will be obsolete.
- I’ll be in Boston in October for a work thing. I’ve got possibly one night free. So, Boston area peeps? You game for dinner somewhere? (I’m not sure which night yet, either Sunday, October 8 or Monday, October 9)
In conclusion…my new cover art for the re-issue of Matters of the Blood (incomplete – just the art part without the text) The book is still scheduled for March 2007 release.
Behind the cut