Dawning of a new era

diffeng2.jpgThis weekend marked Kaylee’s third birthday. While she’s enjoyed the parties of past years, this was clearly the first time she really understood the central concept.
“This is a special day for me, and everyone is here and eating cake and singing because of me. Also, I get to wear a crown all day. Bonus.”
Another upgrade (considerably less significant in the grand scheme of things, but still nice) was that I got a new computer system (see picture, which is entirely accurate). This new Dell XPS comes in as a replacement for my five and a half year old workhorse (getting quite wheezy and easily overheated in its later years), which has served me very well (easily the best run of any of my previous machines).
I’ll be completely honest — this new comp is primarily a gaming rig — it’s got a lovely (and huge) video card, obscene amounts of storage space and memory, a quad processor setup, and runs all my current games and entertainment with a kind of flawless perfection that makes me waste fifteen minutes taking screenshots of the intricate stitching on my avatar’s leather pauldrons.
So, clearly: gaming. Which is fine, since I’d rather do my writing on a laptop most of the time anyway, and I now have a fair number of options in the house for doing just that.
One other thing that makes writing on my laptop(s) preferable to writing on my PC: Office 2007. Specifically, my new desktop has Office 2007, my laptops don’t, and I think Word 2007 should win some kind of not-award for discouraging the actual act of writing in what is (still) rumored to be a word-processing program. I’d honestly rather write a full novel in Notepad just to avoid the intensely intrusive tool bars at the top of the window – massive Publishing and Layout buttons that seem to scream ‘WHAT YOUR NEW STORY REALLY NEEDS ARE SOME EYE CATCHING FONTS, DONCHA THINK?”
No. No, I really don’t. For writing, I need a program that:

  • Spellchecks with some degree of intelligence.
  • Allows you to boldface and italicize type.
  • Allows you to center the occasional line.
  • Saves the file into a format that pretty much anyone on the planet can read.

And that’s about it. Everything beyond that is probably a distraction.
For my money, Rough Draft (a free, 1.6 megabyte program with both American and British English dictionaries installed) is all I really need, For that matter, there are a couple good reasons for me to at least consider writing Little Things my next story using Google Docs.
How about you? What’s your preferred sandbox?

One Reply to “Dawning of a new era”

  1. Hope the b-day was good, give me some ideas for gifts for the princess so I can go shopping soon. I also still need to get a wedding gift which will be a first ann gift if I don’t hurry up.

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