Saturday, June 09, 2012

A tale of two computers

My Averatec 1020, my Nook Tablet, and my Asus Eee 1000HD

Since my netbook's hard drive quit a couple weeks ago, I've been using my old Averatec more.  It's my backup computer, so I used it while the Asus was getting the hard drive replaced, but I also used it for several days after I got the Asus back.  It was having quite a few problems when I retired it ages ago, but part of that was that Outlook was freezing -- and since I haven't been using Outlook on it (just webmail), I haven't had any problems.

I'm remembering the things I liked so much about this computer, such as the nicer screen (larger, better pixel density, and just in general nicer to look at), and I've been thinking about reinstalling the operating system so that I can start using it more again.  I went ahead and ordered a new battery, too, which came yesterday (the old battery wouldn't hold a charge at all).  The new battery is telling me that I'll have close to 5 hours of battery power with it fully charged up, which is far more than the netbook -- another point in its favor.  The biggest disadvantage right now is the smaller hard drive (though I have a USB hard drive to put pictures on, so it really doesn't matter) and the fact that it runs a little hotter than the Asus -- not a good thing in summer, but since I'm not really at home anymore during the hottest part of the day, that's probably not a problem.

I have been so busy this week that I haven't had much of a chance to do anything with the computers.  Both have been sitting on the coffee table in the living room, the last place I was working on them (partly because there isn't room on my desk for both until I clean it).  Today I'm working on getting the most recent copies of all files onto each of the computers.  I also need to finish reinstalling some of my software onto the netbook -- I haven't yet done that since getting it back -- and I want to test the Averatec's battery to see how much time I really get out of it.  Once I've done that, I'll reinstall the operating system.

In order to solve the problem of which computer to use, I intend to clean my desk and keep both of them there, with one out of the way at all times so that I can work on the other, but easily change them out if I want to.  And then we will just see which one I end up liking best over the long run!

Monday, June 04, 2012

How do you revise?

With the June session of Camp NaNoWriMo under way, I've been working on revising last year's novel.  I decided that in June, my goal will be to go through the entire manuscript and mark up the changes I want to make.  Then in July, I will make the changes.  I'll also be working on some remaining research during both months, though I think that might fall more into July's to-do list.

Revising a novel is infinitely different than revising an article or a blog post.  For the shorter things, I tend to revise a bit as I go, and then give it one last read-through on the computer when I'm done.  With the novel, though, I'm starting out by doing it the way Stephen King suggests in On Writing -- reading through the manuscript, marking changes, and then making the changes once I'm done.  The only difference is that since I want to be able to work on it on the go, I am marking up the manuscript in a PDF reader on my Nook.  It's much easier than hauling around a 300-page manuscript!

I'm not sure yet how much I like the method, though, and I am still in the process of figuring out what works best for me.  Therefore I am interested in hearing from other writers: How do you go about doing revisions on a longer piece, such as a novel?


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