Writing in the Cloud

Greetings.  And Happy New Year, I guess, since I haven’t posted anything here since 2015 started.  Lots of stuff going on in the Hakes household.  Have a new baby (one month old today!), and old cat who is now not puking so much after some anti-nausea meds, and carpets that I cleaned with a rented machine a few weekends ago.  I know, where should I start…?

One of the significant events (writing-wise) that happened in the last few months was the final lapse into day-to-day unusability by Alyssa’s old laptop.  We’ve owned this device since 2004 (or maybe it was 2003…), and I’ve been using it for my writing computer since 2008 or so.  Over the last few years, I’d had it in a more-or-less-permanent mode of sleeping most of the time and being on when I’m working.  The reason was that booting up from nothing would mean an average of two hours until the computer could actually do anything useful.

The replacement power cord I bought worked for a while, but then started to develop its own idiotic idiosyncracies.  Then, in December, the computer abruptly went into a new phase, where it would no longer switch to battery mode when I unplugged it.  Since I was not interested in two-hours-per-day boot-up time, a new computer was clearly in order.

As I’m not thrilled with the super-consolidation of business concerns in this country, and, in particular, those who sell computer software, I decided that I wanted something that was Linux-based, cheap, and could still give me the basic word-processing/mp3-playing capabilities that are the most important parts of my writing day.

After some consideration, I decided to go with a device backed by another large company (we can’t escape them, after all… yet…), but one that has a simple OS based on Linux, and does pretty much all of its operations on the internet (if you know anything at all about computers, you will probably be able to narrow down what device I’m talking about…).

I was always nervous(/paranoid?) about using web-based programs, and the new set-up certainly has a few kinks I have to work around, but I’ve been very happy with the overall effect.  Because my computer does mostly web-based operations, I usually get somewhere between ten and thirteen hours of operation on one battery charge.  I get an automatic back-up in the cloud (in addition to still having my own back-up files on flash drive), and can even work offline if necessary (though that puts further limits on what I can do).  For the time being, this system works for me.

Now, if we only had something like antitrust laws in this country, so we could break up companies that get too big…

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