The New Toy

Time for a post that's not about the world melting into a puddle of magma. I imagine you could use something like that now.

Thanks to the generosity of my family, I'm now typing this on a replacement for my personal laptop, a grotty old thing that was upwards of six years old and suffering from a damaged power connector. The new one only costs about as much as three two-person meals at a high-end restaurant, runs at least as fast if not faster (in big part thanks to a snappy M.2 storage system, as opposed to the 5400 RPM hard disk of the old model), is so power-efficient it doesn't even need a fan, and uses a standard USB C connector to charge. It doesn't have a touch screen, but I can live without that, and it has the backlit keyboard and HDMI connector the previous model also sported. It is, in short, just about right.

I can't help but be boggled by progress. I'm also reminded of how much, or how little, of this power I need to actually do my work.

I still have a desktop PC, a beast with multiple multi-terabyte hard drives I built some six years ago. That machine still runs fine for what it has to do, and I do most of my daily work on it, in large part because it has a big comfy screen and big comfy keyboard to go with it. Most of the work I have to do on that machine requires its screen size (desktop publishing, like book covers, or artwork), its mammoth disk space (video production), its GPU (video production again, or gaming, which I do very little of), its CPU (some software development).

But my writing, and its toolset, don't need a lot. Aside from Microsoft Word, which runs well even on a purportedly dinky system like this, all I need is my wiki app, Folio, which runs in a web browser and has minimal system requirements. I really don't need much, and this machine actually overshoots what I need by a satisfying amount.

That said, my big obstacles towards taking my writing work anywhere with me (not that that's happening right now) aren't about technology but attitude, headspace. I like having the comfort of my big screen desktop when writing, but I've found what matters most is being in a office where I can sit in a chair with my back straight, close the door, put on some minimal background music, and work. Or, failing that, sit up in bed with earphones on. I've never enjoyed trying to work anywhere other than a place that I designed not to be distracting. Still, I like having the option to take at least some of my work with me, and having a backup of some kind in case my main machine smokes out on me for whatever reason.

Tags: computers  technology 

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2020/06/02 08:00.

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