Thursday, December 22, 2005

A Writer's Best Friends


I've known that a writer's best friend is a little, transportable laptop. For about a year, I had an older one that I bought used - practically an antique, with a 500 Mhz processer, that ran Windows 98 and had external drives in order to make it light. I loved it at first, but it began having problems: it would freeze, stop recognizing the USB drive, all sorts of other little problems. It was a pain in the ass downloading drivers for practically everything I bought for it, and then there was the wireless problem: I couldn't get a wireless card to work on the darn thing, and I tried several. Clearly, this laptop was not my best friend any longer.

Several months ago, on a whim, I started looking at the electronics stores for small laptops. I really didn't think I'd find anything, because it seems that size is not the issue on the current market - large screens and super fast processors are. However, much to my surprise, I found my new best friend at CompUSA. The Averatec 1020 sat there on the shelf, waiting patiently for me to arrive for God knows how long. A 1 Ghz Celeron processor with a 10.8" widescreen and a CD burner drive, weighing only a little over 3 pounds, I fell in love with it instantly, and bought it on the spot - the very one, as the floor model was the only one they had left in the entire region.

I get a lot of comments on how small my laptop is. I always tell them that it's a writer's best friend. Well, yesterday I discovered a writer's second best friend.

I interviewed a lady for a business profile, and took along my mom's mini voice recorder. Although I took my laptop as well for the interview questions, I didn't want to hold things up by having to type everything, so I decided to record the interview and take the notes later. It worked beautifully. The entire interview is preserved on this miniature tape, and I can play it, rewind it, fast forward it, however I like. The only trouble is, my mom wants her voice recorder back (long story), so I'm going to need to get my own. But I've decided that as a writer, it's something I can't do without, so it's worth buying.

Well, there you have it: a writer's best friends are, first and foremost, an easily portable laptop, and secondly, a voice recorder to facilitate interviews and such. Amazing to think how writers managed before technology, isn't it?

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