Writing Tools

A long while ago, I did a blog post about my search for a laptop on which to churn out incredible chunks of prose that will one day be considered classics of the fantasy genre (a guy can dream, right?). At the time, the biggest challenge for me was finding the right features that suited my needs: specifically,  double sized left shift button.

Acer_AO532h_keyboardSounds like a simple need, doesn’t it? Not so. It’s amazing how many computer companies have changed their keyboard layout to a single-sized shift on the left hand with a slash button beside it. I tried it out on an Acer laptop but ended it up taking it back because guess what happened every time I tried to capitalize? That’s right, I’d get one of these: \

I ended up getting a Dell Inspirion and that sucker turned out a number of novels I’m happy to say I wrote. Though, in comparison to new laptops on the market, it had become a bit of a dinosaur not so long ago (I knew I was falling behind the bleeding edge of technology when my wife got an Apple MacBook Air), it was like a faithful dog and I was loathe to put it down when the battery gave up the ghost and I could only use it when plugged into an outlet.

Outlets are plentiful, after all. Right?

Sometimes. There were a couple of times I went out to my local coffee shop to write and personalized_funny_mustache_power_outlet_case-rf541f2ef9e1b454fa8fcbf6b915d3be7_a4600_8byvr_512spent more time either waiting for a seat by a plug or pulling up stakes to head to a different spot than I did writing. Not too often, so I might have dealt with it for considerably longer if I hadn’t got a message from my computer saying a hard drive failure was imminent. (I swear, that’s exactly what the message said; not just a faithful dog, but considerate and well-spoken, as well).

So the time had come. This time, I decided there were a few other features I wanted as well, the most important being a laptop with a little less heft to it than the last. The old Inspirion sometimes seemed to weigh as much as a small child. The other thing that impressed m about my wife’s rig was how quickly it started up and shut down. Sure, the boot up and shut down processes with the old hard drive/windows 7 combo left me opportunities to nap both before and after my writing sessions, but I thought that down time might be an opportunity to write a few more words.

Enter the solid state drive.

I’d always thought these were inferior beasts simply because the only time I’d ever encountered one was in my daughter’s tiny netbook. It’s also a couple of years old, so I don’t know how much memory it was, but it never seemed like enough. Unfortunately, as my age grows, it seems I forget that technology advances at an unbelievable pace.

So the search began: shift key, solid state drive, lightweight. I decided anything less than a 13″ screen would be too small, not because of the screen, but because anything less than 2000541855that usually equates to a less than full-size keyboard. God knows my hunt-and-peck  keyboard skills are mediocre enough without shrinking down those keys.

Add in a desire for a touch screen (so I don’t feel like technology leaves me behind too quickly) and a great Boxing Week sale at the Microsoft Store and I found my new baby: an Asus Zenbook UX305.

Small, light, and quick. The biggest advantage of the new laptop is that I now truly feel likeasus-ux305-640x341 I can take my writing instrument anywhere and crank out some words (or a blog post) anytime.

In a word: Freedom.

I’m expecting to write more and more often. My last novel took me about a year to write, I hope to cut that in half or less this time around.

Why didn’t I think of this before?


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