the anthony dobranski blog

No tablets for me

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NaNoWriMo 2015 Day 02 – 3775 words. I think it is the most I have written in one day ever. I had an outline but a lot of patches that I found promising ways to fill. Many more distractions today than yesterday, including house painters, so I worked very late at it, but I am pleased to have beaten the goal on this biggest single day of my schedule.

One good thing about being a slow blogger is that you don’t have as much to undo.

At several different points this past year I was convinced I had found a way to use a small touchscreen device – sometimes a tablet, sometimes my phone – in a way that helped my writing more than the extra work it took to use. I even wrote posts but never finished them.

None of my tools survived so much as a week. While the hardware form-factor was pleasant, the compromises of using apps designed to take over the screen and only open one document at at a time (with no local storage) was too inconvenient for long-form writing.

That said, I had some fun. My most noteworthy creation was to take a hinged keyboard for a tablet, and replace the tablet with plexiglass and poster-hanging putty, to make a rest for the phone.

IMG_0130

It worked well enough that I know in a pinch I could do remote work on it at length. Despite its appealing 1970s-tech look, I wouldn’t want to.

The real question of course is why I do this.

My laptop weighs three pounds/1.36 kg, contains all needed peripherals, and can open a dozen windows on its 13″ screen. It also becomes a desktop at home, connecting with four cables to two monitors, an ergonomic keyboard and attached backup and storage. It contains local copies of all my work – thirty years’ worth – and I can use my phone to get it online almost anywhere. There is simply no better writing tool for me.

I just wonder why I keep not trusting that. It’s a periodic technology itch, the mid-life crisis of a person lovingly married to a well-adjusted beauty who does housework and bedroom work with equal aplomb — yet always ducking out on his laptop spouse with demanding, headachy, cigarette-slender models.

What do I think I need that I am not getting at my laptop home?

Author: Anthony Dobranski

I'm a fiction writer, mostly.

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