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computer or notebook or other device for writing : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

computer or notebook or other device for writing

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
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tydra
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computer or notebook or other device for writing

Postby tydra » Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:54 pm

hello all,

i have tried to find posts on this in the forum, but the various search tags i tried brought no results. sorry if this has been asked before.

i was wondering, what do you write your novels on? do you use a desktop, a notebook, or something else? is it something that is purely dedicated to your writing or do you also do your normal day-to-day activities on the same device? does it make any difference? is it something small and light that you take along with you whereever you go? is it a classical computer, or some pure-writing device? does something like that even exist? something that isn't based on the classical operating systems that requires a lot of bootup?

i'm curious, which makes and models do you use for your writing work?

i have two right now, one is smaller and lighter but it's my work laptop. so after i have done my daily work on it i don't really fancy sitting with it any longer and continue typing, even if it is non-work related. my other laptop is a big and heavy gaming laptop that is used as a desktop replacement. it's my private laptop, but it's too heavy and junky to just pack up and take to the library to write a bit there instead. both of them have their pros and cons, so i was wondering how you are handling your writing routines :)

looking forward to your input! :)

cheers
tydra

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pls
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Re: computer or notebook or other device for writing

Postby pls » Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:59 pm

MacBook Pro, mostly.
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Re: computer or notebook or other device for writing

Postby Oldtimer » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:41 pm

Welcome to the Forum, tydra.

I have recently moved and, after using a laptop for years, I am now using a desktop computer which is much sturdier with far greater memory. I have never been one for carrying a laptop around with me, preferring to sit in a quiet corner at home to type.
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Re: computer or notebook or other device for writing

Postby MookyMcD » Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:24 am

The truth is, word processing takes so little computing power (compared to even the most basic games, for example), that you can use anything you want. I have a laptop and a desktop and use them. I much prefer the larger keyboard on the desktop, but that's about the only real bonus.

I'd make the desktop/laptop/notebook decision based on your need for portability, and select more specifically within those based on your other computing needs. If you don't have any (internet and word processing is all you do) then get something super cheap and reliable. That's just a Consumer Reports type question.

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Re: computer or notebook or other device for writing

Postby TerryRodgers » Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:08 am

I use a laptop and an all in one desktop. I backup my files online so my docs are up to date no matter what machine I use.

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Re: computer or notebook or other device for writing

Postby robjvargas » Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:25 am

Slowly putting together a "replacement" forum at http://writerswriting.proboards.com.

It's still under construction, but come take a look.

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mammamaia
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Re: computer or notebook or other device for writing

Postby mammamaia » Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:58 pm

since 1999, i've used nothing but dell laptops, upgrading 4-5 times since, as i found i needed what the newer models had added, to make my job easier... my current model is an inspiron1550...

i wouldn't buy anything else, as all of my dells were virtually problem-free, still had years of good use in them, when i gave away the old one, as i acquired each new one... the only time i had an issue [bad screen] they sent a replacement with an installer to my home, at no charge... they're affordable and reliable, the extended warranty and in-home service options well worth the cost...

i always use a peripheral keyboard and mouse, since a laptop keyboard and touch pad are not suitable for working long hours every day, as i do... i'm partial to what's commonly called a 'media' keyboard, since it doesn't have a calculator section, so it's a closer reach to the mouse... they're dirt cheap, at under $15 for my last one... and i've switched to an ergonomic mouse [by evoluent], which has blessedly kept me free of the carpal tunnel probs i had with the 'normal' kind...

i've schlepped my dells all over the world for 15 years, on and off planes, trains, buses, ships, and ferries, had 'em bumped and banged, used 'em on battery, ac, or dc, depending on what part of the planet i was on, at the time... in every kind of climate from a bug-ridden tropical pacific island, to subzero blizzards in maine and canada... have, for the past two and a half years, been subjecting my latest version to a pacific northwest rain forest's not so tender mercies and my trusty dell just keeps on plugging away, like that pink bunny...
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Re: computer or notebook or other device for writing

Postby James A. Ritchie » Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:29 pm

I use HPs, a desktop and a laptop, partly because I love them, and partly because of the customer service. I used one until long after its warranty expired, and then the motherboard went out. HP not only replaced the motherboard at half price, they also gave me a new hard drive. Better, I mailed them the computer at their expense, it came back just three days later, and they never charged me a dime until after I'd used it for several days. I've never had a company not charge until after I took the product home and used it.

I don't mind a large laptop for such things as library use. The bigger the better. Our library had writing room, and outlets at every table, so I can plug in and not worry about battery life. I use an HP Zbook. It has a 17.3 inch screen, and a full size keyboard. I also have an HP desktop as my office computer, and it has a 32 inch monitor.

But any laptop or desktop will do, though I'd shy away from the really cheap models. They may have an Intel or AMD processor, but never the best, and the otehr components are cheap. They break often.

When you get right down to it, though, it takes remarkably little power to use a computer as a writer. In fact, I write half of my manuscripts in longhand, which takes no computer power at all.

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Loretta Green
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Re: computer or notebook or other device for writing

Postby Loretta Green » Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:31 am

It's interesting that this question came up. I have recently been thinking about buying an old manual typewriter. I have an iMac all in one desktop and an iPad with keyboard, but for all their "Now" technology, they are often a distraction with their games, internet, and email. Maybe its because I recently tried Tom Hanks' iPad app, but I miss those hours spent hammering on my father's old manual typewriter. Just as I miss physically holding and reading a paperback book. Somehow with the gain in technology we've lost the "Experience." The physical "Feel." The smell of a book. Licking your finger to turn the page. Dog-earing the page. Punching those typewriter keys hard and fast. The clack. The carriage return. Nothing to distract. The physical movement and rhythmic sounds as the words appeared letter by letter right in front of you on crisp clean paper. Getting that paper messy with x'd out typos, yanking out that page and adding it to the "Accomplished" pile, just to be able to start all over with a fresh white sheet. Building; stacking words, sentences, phrases on letter at a time. And yes, even getting that clog of keys at the top of the typewriter. It's one of the reasons I fell in love with writing in the first place.
Thank you for posting this question. It has helped me make up my mind to go ahead and give in to the nostalgia.

Loretta Green

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tydra
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Re: computer or notebook or other device for writing

Postby tydra » Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:43 am

Loretta, that's kind of what i am facing too. although i must say that i don't particuarly miss the paperbooks, i kind of like my Kindle. but that's only for the real reading. if i need to buy any book for reference or guidance, then i still prefer to buy that as paper form. you can just flick back and forth between the information you need, i would never get that in kindle.

but as for the typing, that is similar with me. i have tried to do some typing/writing on my iPad, but i must say that the virtual keyboard is driving me insane. i need to have a feel for the keyboard, need to be able to strike that button and hear the click. much less typos that way too. i haven't tried attaching a keyboard to the ipad yet, but i imagine that it's going to have a "fake" feeling too.

so i prefer to type on a proper keyboard. right now all writing i am doing (although it isn't much yet, i am just getting started) is on my main laptop, which is an Alienware with 17inch screen. but sometimes i am getting that feeling that i would like to go out somewhere, sit in the library or coffee shop and write a bit there, get out of my usual environment. the alienware is not suitable for that, too big and heavy to carry.

then there is my work laptop, which is a dell. it's smaller and i could use that, but then again, it's my daytime work laptop. don't want to spend more time on it than i have to ;-)

so i was thinking if i should buy something else, something small and portable, but with a proper keyboard. i think for the time being i will leave my options the way they are, but once i get more into the whole writing i will think of other alternatives again.

that's why i am curious to see what others are using and what your writing habits are :)

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