Gear List

As an apology to the regular readers here I treated so poorly in my last manifesto, I have a treat. One of my favorite things to read for musicians and writers alike is gear lists. I love to know what kinds of guitars or amps or mics a musician is using and for writers I love to know about computers and software and music and everything else techie.

So let’s start with the writing stuff.

My laptop is a Gateway I bought in 2006 from Best Buy. Even six years later this computer still does everything I need it to do and I haven’t had to add or upgrade anything. I’ve watched DVDs on it, burned CDs with it, played games, listened to music, designed websites, browsed the web, and written three novels and numerous short stories on it. The battery life is still around 3 hours when I’m not online which is fine for me. If I’m browsing online it goes dead in about an hour and a half. The last laptop I had was a hulking beast and after six years it needed to go. I’d had to buy an ethernet adapter for it, a wireless card, and a new battery. This one six years in shows no signs of needing to be replaced which is fine with me. It has Windows XP which, after coming off of Windows ME for my previous laptop was a dream.

Most of my writing done on the laptop is done away from home at restaurants, coffee shops, and McDonalds. When I’m at home I do most of my writing on our desktop for some reason.

That desktop is a Dell my wife already had when we first met. It’s our main household computer for storing music, printing maps and coupons, and browsing the internet. It’s got nice speakers as well so it’s out official YouTube computer as well.

My writing software has always been Microsoft Word. I’ve tried several others and the only one that I sort of didn’t mind was OpenOffice but I hated how its word count and Wod’s word count differed and it always threw off my productivity. Until last year I was running the copy of Word 2000 that came with my first laptop in 2001. This was a standalone program and didn’t include any of the other Office 2000 products. Finally last year I caved in and bought Office 2007 when it went on sale at the University computing center. In addition to novels and short stories, I’ve also written several short plays, one full length play, a short screenplay, a few TV scripts, and pieces of longer screenplays in Word. I’ve never attempted  a full length screenplay but hope to get to that when work on my current novel is complete. I’ll also do that in Word using custom designed macros until I’m either forced professionally or through frustration to switch to a dedicated screenwriting program.

As far as the blog goes I use WordPress.com and love it. I’ve used the mobile version as well for uploading pics and short posts and have been happy with that as well. WP is by far the best blogging platform I’ve used and even imported all of my old Blogger archives into WP for a unified front of my internet presence.

Now onto other random hardware that it loosely connected to my writing.

My phone is a Samsung Infuse I got just last year. I rarely use it as a phone and it is more of a mobile internet and music and Kindle device. I used to use iTunes exclusively for purchasing music because I always had an iPod. But after my last one died I had no interest in the new Nano models so I started using my phone as an MP3 player. My Blackberry synced to iTunes okay so I didn’t need to change much. But my new Android device didn’t play very well with iTunes and I didn’t have any way to purchase music directly from my device (which is how I bought most of my music with my iPod touch) so I began experimenting with other MP3 platforms until I found Amazon. Their MP3 platform integrated well with my Android phone and allows me to use my Amazon gift cards to buy music or books directly from my phone.  And speaking of books, the screen on this phone is HUGE and makes reading books through the Kindle app very nice. I find myself regularly reading from it while in line or waiting at the kids school or any such thing.

I have a printer but don’t ever use it for printing stories or novels anymore. Everything is submitted and passed around through email which is just fine with me.

So there you have it, my writing gear list. What kind of gear do you all use?

2 thoughts on “Gear List

  1. Just replaced my six year old Gateway with a new Lenovo ThinkPad Z580, which I’m loving so far. I didn’t have your luck with batteries; the old, now semi-retired Gateway was giving me the blinking “low battery” light after 20 minutes. I considered following the crowd and getting an Apple, but I couldn’t justify shelling out that much more money for what, I’m sorry, is not that much better a computer. Prettier, yes, but this one does everything I need it to do, does it well, and doesn’t lock me into making every device I have an Apple product. Plus, I really hate iTunes for the way it insinuates itself into every part of your system and gobbles up memory.
    I was going to use OpenOffice on it (I had it on the old machine and it worked fine) but my wife had had problems with it at the office and wanted to get Word for the computer that our daughter is getting ready to take to college. There was a deal on a three-machine license for Word, so we got that, and that’s what I use.
    My phone’s a dumb phone, a cheap ZTE Adamant: I just use it for calls and texts, no Internet or apps. I’ve been pleased with the music player on it, so I beefed up the memory with an 8 dollar 16 GB MicroSD card and moved some tunes onto that via Bluetooth. I also use the calculator function on it a great deal.

    Now, if I could just find a place to write…with both kids home, it’s a challenge.

  2. I’ve got a MacBook Air laptop that’s about four years old now but still doing well (knock on wood). I don’t have a desktop PC, just use the laptop for all my writing. I do lust after an iMac though. I blog on WordPress, which I love, and can access from my laptop, iPad or iPhone. As you can tell, I’m an Apple kind of a gal!

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