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No tablets for me

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.

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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. Continue reading


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Making peace with tablets

Our upcoming vacation is meant to be a nice thing, not improved by a laptop. If I really feel motivated to write fiction, I can write on paper.

But, I would feel just better with a bigger screen and keyboard at my disposal. So I’ve been using my tablet (an iPad mini) for occasional work, as something of an experiment.

I have never taken seriously the idea of tablets as work devices. Wonderful for watching and reading, excellent for play, but they ask too many compromises for productivity.

But, this is another way of saying my productivity has become encrusted with too much stuff. Continue reading