Wildcard Topic: Talkin’ Tech

I often wonder if I’d be a writer without all the technology available these days. Sadly, the conclusion I always end up with leaves me a little depressed, because there’s a good chance the answer could be “no”. Or at least, not with any kind of efficiency. I did start out writing on paper in high school, though the thought of writing an entire novel by hand now makes me shiver. Twice.

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that. Before I got my netbook almost exactly a year ago, I’d finished three novel drafts (they all suck) in four or five years (a couple started/never finished). Once I got the netbook and could write while in the living room with my husband at night, I managed to finish two novels in one year, and I’m pretty sure I can do at least that this year as well. Unfortunately, I don’t trust my netbook – it appears to have a known screen issue, and a couple of the keys are difficult to use. Even though my documents are backed up to SD card, I get a little “twitchy” when it comes to computers glitching…so I’m in the market for a bonefide laptop next month. You’ll be hearing more about this, never fear…there’s a Sony model I’m kind of lusting over.

I am kind of looking forward to a larger screen – it will make photo editing and blog/web site administration much easier. Other than that, I really just need something that will run yWriter and Open Office. It would be nice if it would run some digital journalling software too, and my Paint Shop Pro program. A comfortable keyboard is a requirement, of course…

The other device I could not live without is my Palm TX PDA (personal digital assistant). I love it so much that I had the screen and battery replaced last year for newer, better models. This was especially important because it’s nearly impossible to find a dedicated PDA these days what with everyone going for smartphone devices. I’m crossing my fingers that eventually, before my Palm wears out, someone will invent a teeny tiny pocket computer without a cell phone that doesn’t run on “istuff” and can run my favorite portable software as well as multiple ebook formats. I use this for all of my scheduling, my “to-do” lists, contacts, notes, reading, and a card-reader so I can take my documents back and forth to work with me. I have alarms that go off periodically all day/every day to remind me of mundane little tasks that would get lost in the shuffle. When it’s time to workout – my PDA plays “Barbie Girl”. Yes, I know. A girl can be optimistic…

I’ve been watching the ereader market, biding my time as devices get cheaper, smaller, less hooked into the “cloud”. When I finally buy one (and I’m sure I will at some point), it will have SD card capabilities so I can store my library off the device, a corded hookup to a computer, even if it has wireless capabilities. It will have a color e-ink screen with an LED light or lights set into the case or cover for night time reading. And it won’t be as large as they are now – I want one closer to the size of my PDA or slightly bigger to carry in my purse. My perfect price point would be less than $200. It’s going to happen…it’s really just a matter of waiting for now.

What are your “must have” technological devices? Anything on your wish list?

11 comments on “Wildcard Topic: Talkin’ Tech

  1. Shannon O'Donnell

    I’d be lost without my computer. I even bought portable wifi so I can take it with me wherever I go. 🙂

  2. Dolly

    Must have – my computers. Though I currently use Finn for a lot of stuff (because laptop really needs a reformat), I prefer netbook for writing, Laptop for browsing and editing, and desktop for gaming – well just Sims 3 really.

    Netbook screen is too small for everything except writing – for which it’s ideal.

    I would love a huge monitor, especially for editing.

    I hate phones – so that’s not on my tech list. Just a useful, cheap mobile phone which I only use for necessity and not that often.

    I love my Sony MP4, because I store audiobooks on there and few videos, but I don’t use that a lot either because I am usually reading paper books. Love my DS too, but again, not much time to use it.

    I would like a PDA (Like you I find all the smartphones which I don’t want), because it would be handy to have something that I can transfer notes/list around at home and outside.

    And that pretty much covers everything. 🙂

  3. Elana Johnson

    I’d like to say yes, but I’m afraid I might say no too. I mean, the editing alone makes me break out in hives!!

    I’d love a netbook and an iPhone and just about everything, because I have nothing. 🙂

  4. Erica Chapman

    Oh gadgets! I love gadgets. Let’s see… can’t live without my macbook – it’s my life! I have a blackberry that keeps me scheduled (along with outlook at work)

    I’d love an ereader too – but I’m with you – I’m waiting for the same things you are ;o)

    Great post!

  5. Carol

    I remember the days B.C.(before computers) when I had to use a typewriter. A manual typewriter. *shudder*

    I absolutely could not live without my lap top. At one time I had a vague notion of getting an AlphaSmart Neo, but Wal-Mart has lap tops for under $500 so I’d rather invest in that. Wal-Mart is the devil. 😉

    As much as I enjoy using technology, I don’t trust it 100% either. I back all my documents onto a USB key once a day (if I’ve been working on them) and back the USB key onto a DVD once a month.

  6. Jamie DeBree

    Ooo…portable wi-fi! I’m too cheap, but I bet that comes in really handy! 🙂

  7. Jamie DeBree

    I forgot all about digital music…then again, I’m not one of those writers who has music on when writing (and I know you aren’t too much either), so iPods and such aren’t even really on my radar. I think the last portable music device I had was a cassette walkman. LOL

  8. Jamie DeBree

    I hope you have a computer of some sort! LOL Luckily, netbooks are getting cheaper by the month. I think you’ll really love one – I really do love this one, especially for writing when I’m away from home. 🙂

  9. Jamie DeBree

    Bright, shiny new tech toys are pretty irresistible, aren’t they? 😉

  10. Jamie DeBree

    I’ve done the manual typewriter thing too. 😉 Still have one of those, and an electric downstairs somewhere…

    I thought about an Alphasmart too – but decided on the netbook instead. I’m glad I did, even though I’m looking at a larger laptop now.

    The CD or DVD burner is another thing I’d like with the laptop – for exactly that reason. I love SD cards for the size and portability, but CD/DVD seem better for long-term storage.

  11. Medeia Sharif

    I think that without technology I’d still be a writer, but it would take me much longer to write a book.

    I started writing in the 90’s right after purchasing a word processor. Before that, I’d start but never finish anything on my electric typewriter.