As some might already know, I’ve had an ‘enforced break’ for a number of weeks due to the recent death of my long-serving laptop, Mac. A combination of age, excessive use, and a terminal battery-attack did for him in the end.
Although it happened quite suddenly, it was not entirely unexpected. Mac had been given six months at best, but managed to slog on for an additional five before his battery packed in and he slipped into the (un)welcome embrace of night eternal.
It was not to be.
With candles lit and arcane symbols chalked upon the floor, I dusted off my long-forgotten copy of the Necronomicon and set about bringing life to that which was dead. Toss in a few screws of differing lengths and a fresh battery torn from the breast of another, I was almost ready. I will admit, however, that the most difficult item for me to procure was not, in fact, the last breath of a fallen star or even the tear of a mermaid, but was actually a genuine virgin (this is 2015 after all). With much searching one was eventually acquired. And so, with screwdrivers sharpened and incense smouldering, the ritual was prepared.
On a dark and stormy night (well, it was definitely dark), torx-bladed screwdrivers were turned accompanied by much maniacal mirth. Candles spluttered and cats wailed (although it may have been the inconsolable lament of viewers still voicing displeasure at the ending of ‘Game of Thrones- Season 5’). Mac’s body was rent apart; his innards lain bare.
With much skilful twiddling and bashing, the new battery was set in place, and, with the right incantations, lightning struck – not once, nor even twice… but thrice!
And there was a great sound as the gates between this world and the next cracked asunder. Electricity sparked and cackled as eldritch energies surged across the aluminium casing. With baited breath and a hesitant finger I pressed the ‘Sacred Button of Power’.
The screen flickered and went dark, before glowing with an unholy light as Mac took his first hollow breath of undeath.
Yes, that’s right. I can put aside my trusty iPad and resume the writing of “Glade” on my laptop once more.
Actually, I never stopped writing, as I do keep my manuscript in that most mystical of places known only as “The Cloud”. I also keep copies in the illusory “Box into which things can be Dropped (and later Recovered from)” along with plain old email. I write using iA Writer so I had no problem with accessing my text. The research notes and other details I keep in Scrivener (where I edit and finish off my work). This would have been an issue as there is no Scrivener app (yet) to open Scrivener files. It was but a small issue, however, as I keep backups and could have simply opened them on another computer if pushed.
I did make the mistake of keeping my blog updates and files for this site stored on the local drive. That meant I was unable to update this blog without having to rewrite everything. That would have been irksome indeed, so I decided to wait until the stars were best aligned (and money was had) to bring Mac back.
In addition to the aforementioned unfortunate event, I also had to find another internet provider. The cost of the previous one was just not working out for me and my ‘Pocket of Never-Increasing Coinage’. I have since enlisted the services of another, albeit slower, service (that combines willpower with the collective energy of three, rather plump, hamsters running slowly in unison on a wheel). Best of all, it allows me to keep both arms and legs exactly where they should be.
So, apologies for the apparent absence and for those articles and tweets that I may have missed on other sites. I’ll try to catch up as and when. During the absence of Mac, I relied upon my iPad as I have already mentioned. I don’t actually keep a lot of apps on my iPad, other than those that focus on writing, photography, or design. I keep it this way to avoid the temptation of playing something or easily connecting to Twitter, Facebook, etc.
In the past, I used a palmtop (I had two, both second-hand, but functioning) and carried a set of 6 rechargeable batteries so that I could write (in theory) for close to 14-18 hours before I had drained every last drop of life out of them (there is a picture somewhere on this blog that shows my old palmtop, HP, in all her glory – the ice-coffee was hers and not mine, but then you should have known that anyway).
I became rather adept at typing fast and accurate on that little keyboard (when I hear complaints about typing on an iPad I just have to laugh). It was quick and simple without any other distractions. I couldn’t connect to the internet and I couldn’t play games on it. It was just an electronic writing tool that saved files to a Compact Flash card. This I would then transfer to my computer to open in whatever word processor I happened to be using at that time.
It was small enough that you could tuck your elbows in and type with your thumbs quite easily even when stood in a Korean subway carriage during rush hour. The best thing about it though was the screen. It was small and simple, but you could use it in broad daylight without needing shade (unlike everything today – except Kindle – and how I would love for Kindle to bring out a writing pad/tablet that just allowed you to write!). In darkness, you could make the screen glow with a lovely shade of Frankenstein-Green, allowing you write on planes, in cinemas (for those times when you relent to the thumbscrews and get dragged to watch Twilight), or even within the depths of the Abyss (hey, at least the Twilight Saga is banned there).
The iPad is good, but I would prefer my old palmtop. Sadly, they both passed away and despite numerous rituals and shady dealings, I was never able to retrieve them from death’s little home (probably located somewhere in Ludlow – in fact, Death’s probably using them right now the ol’ bugger!).
So… there you have it really. Well… I’ve wasted enough of your time and mine (mine being infinitely more important of course). Cheers! ;)