My, My, My . . . Dell-ilah

Hello, Scribe Friends, Suze here.  Last week we had a great discussion about e-readers.  Let’s take it a step further and talk about computers, shall we?

Like virtually every writer out there, I do my writing on a computer.

Meet Dell-ilah, Suze’s Laptop

Now I know there are still a few people who write longhand.  In fact, I just read somewhere that writing longhand provides a brain/hand connection that enhances creativity and intelligence.  (I can’t find that article right now, but when I do I’ll post it). Stephen King wrote Dreamcatcher, nearly 900 pages long, with a fountain pen.  Whatever Mr. King is doing seems to be working, and I’m not arguing.  And of course, most of the great literature of the world was written without electronics.  Somehow, I just can’t picture Jane Austen, little frilly cap on head, pecking away at a keyboard by candlelight.  Kind of takes away the romance, don’tcha think?

Me, I’ve been typing for so long, it’s a real effort for me just to fill out an occasional check, though I do make most of my to-do lists by hand in a spiral bound notebook.

My little laptop, Dell-ilah, and I have been friends for a long time. She’s very low tech as far as computers go — her CD drive is external, her Wi-Fi antenna is external (can’t use both of those things at the same time unless I buy a splitter of some kind, which I haven’t bothered with), and she can’t play a DVD at all.  Which, if you think about it, is all kind of a good thing when you’re writing.  Because you’re just supposed to be writing, right?  Not watching marathon episodes of True Blood and drooling over Alexander Skarsgard.

But I know Dell-ilah cannot live forever.  Her case has a crack.  Her hinges and some of her keys are loose.  Her processor brain is still pretty sharp, though.  (Even so, I back up my work on a flash drive after every writing session, and periodically I e-mail my WIP to myself.)  She and I have discussed it, and she’s given me the Do Not Resuscitate order.  When her time comes, I will need to let her go.  Right now, I’m researching with what I will replace her.

Dell-ilah is a PC.  I’ve always worked on PCs, but I’m open to exploring the Mac option if somebody can convince me that it really is worth the price differential.  Should I get another laptop?  A sweet little netbook?  What about a tablet with a wireless keyboard?  That might be fun.  Oooh, how about an iPad?

What kind of computer do you use, and what do you love/hate about it? This inquiring mind would love to know!

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27 thoughts on “My, My, My . . . Dell-ilah”

  1. I have a laptop but I think that a notebook is nice: it is quite a bit more portable and lighter than a full size laptop to me. I also think that while a netbook is even lighter, I don’t think that its memory capability is for me. There is always a small notebook and pen in my bag for jotting ideas and scenes etc and I keep a notebook by my bedside.
    Debralee Mede

  2. I love Lenny, my Lenovo Laptop. And Alexander Skarsgaard…but that’s another story. I do think I’m going to look into an ipad at some point, I like to edit with pen and I think there is an app for that…

    1. I think Alcide needs some air time next. He’s yummy too. I hope the iPad lasts better than my iPod touch (which is a year and a half old and having issues). I’m really leery about dumping a lot of money into a device now.

  3. I was a PC. Then I bought a Mac. I hate the Mac. I want to love it, but so far, no go. Software is ridiculously complex, not nearly as good or straightforward as PC. My Mac drops me from the Internet at least 12 times a day; the PC did not. Mac support, while friendly and pleasant, has not once been able to solve any of the problems I’ve had. None of my emails could transfer over, thus baffling all the geniuses. I knew more about computers and software than all of the teachers of the Mac classes. So. I think it’s pretty clear how I feel. The good news? Mac gave me a 60% discount because of customer dissatisfaction. But I’m still stuck with a Mac.

    1. Thank you. I have had Mac envy for a long time. Now I feel better that I haven’t spent the money on a Mac. As it is, my iPod touch (which I love) is now having screen issues, so I’m not feeling the love for Apple products right now.

  4. My PC recently died on me (after only three years). After a call for help from my fellow Scribes, I was hooked up with a this great tech dude (thank you Katy’s brother!). He told me that the cost to fix the dead mother board would be about the same as a new laptop. He directed me to several laptops under $400.00 to replace mine (and I spent way more that $400 on that thing!). I bought a Toshiba and so far I love it. It does everything better and faster. I also hope it lasts longer, but if not at least I didn’t spend a ton of money.

  5. Oh, no Kristan! I have a MacbookPro. And I LOVE IT!!!! I had a Dell and an HP before and they were nice but I constantly had security issues with viruses and Windows always had a problem. Getting onto internet connections was a pain. The Mac never has security issues. It jumps onto the internet with no problem. And I never get bumped off.

    Kristan, yours is the worst story I’ve heard. It sounds like you bought a lemon! I hope it clears itself up. The other night our internet connection went down and I thought it was the computer, which began a mini-temper tantrum that my husband quickly resolved.

    Casey, good luck with your Toshiba. Happy writing! Jordan

  6. I’m a PC and I prefer my Dell. I’m sort of a tecky wannabe so I’m diligent about running the utilities (disk cleanup, virus scans and defrag). I rarely have computer issues. Writing issues are another topic.

    I know a lot of folks who swear by MAC and 10 times that number who swear by the PC. I think it’s all in what you’re used to using. Change can be painful. Right now I’m trying to learn my new iPad. I bought it mostly to use when traveling back and forth to CA. Laptops and 10 hours on an plane don’t mix. It’s been a little challenging for me but I’m getting better. I’m sure by 2025 I’ll love it. But until then …

    1. How is the battery life on the iPad Kathye? And did you buy a portable keyboard to go with it? I do love my iPod Touch (even its having issues) and I envision the iPad as being a bigger version of the iPod. Only way cooler. And more expensive!

      1. Hi Casey,
        Yes I purchased the keyboard that also serves as a case for the iPad. I think it’s called a Zagg or something like that. Very nice. As for battery life – it says battery life is around 7 hours. Don’t know if that’s true but hoping so. At any rate, so far it’s been longer than the laptop. Oh, an expensive? YES MA’AM.

  7. So I’ve been using PCs for quite some time, and am comfortable with them. My sister has a Mac, that I set up for her before she went to college, and I couldn’t stand it. Mainly due to all the little keyboard shortcuts and tricks that I know on Windows and DOS, that just don’t work on a Mac. I’m also a desktop fan, but a big part of that is due to the fact that I build my own computers. I like to know the parts that are going into, as I tend to pick more reliable parts. Also, it’s fun to start with parts all over the place and have a working computer at the end.

    That being said, V’s Lenovo is great. I recently recommended that brand to my other sister when her laptop died. Big part, aside from the fact that they’ve both been pretty reliable, is that Lenovo, unlike other manufacturers, provides all the schematics and documents on how to dismantle said laptop, and you can buy replacement parts from them, without have to be an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) This is great if you say, spill some juice on your keyboard. I pulled up the documents, dismantled the laptop, and when cleaning the keyboard didn’t work, replaced it with a new keyboard for $40. Taking that someplace or sending it for refurbishment would have been probably $100+ not including whatever markup they added to the parts and shipping.

    Net books are okay, but from my understanding, they have issues doing much else besides basic office stuff, internet browsing, and e-reading….which may not be a bad thing. I’ve been debating getting a tablet, but since I have an Iphone, I can do a lot on that, so I haven’t picked one up long enough to form an opinion, mainly due to the price, and the concern that I’ll spend that much on something I may not use regularly.

    1. Hi honey! That’s my hubby – he’s even cooler than Alexander Scarsgaard! And if you accidentally spill a tablespoon of Hawaiian punch on your keyboard he can fix it! I don’t get that whole take-a-pile-of-bits-and-wires-then-built-a-computer-with-it thingy.

  8. I have everything. The ancient desktop, the laptop, the netbook and the iPad. I save my work on USB keys so that I’m not limited to what I work on based on where I am …or where I wanna be.

    1. Always a good idea to back everything up all the time. When my pc died it was sudden and swift. I was so happy I saved all my stuff on back-up drives. And I was lucky that Mr. Fix It was able to transfer my files from the hard drive (which was just fine). Does anyone save their stuff on clouds (external servers at another location)? I know there are a bunch of different services out there. Any recommendations?

      1. I use Dropbox to keep certain files available. It’s free for 2GBs( I think it’s 2) and you can get an extra 500 MB for every person you share a folder with and they join Dropbox. There’s a few other cloud storage that are free, I’d have to find the bookmark I have for them though. Also, you can set up a few software programs (Some of which are pretty easy to setup) that allow you to access folders from a website. Zumocast is one I use.

      2. Also, for non-cloud backup, you can use Syncback to setup backup jobs to copy files to another computer. If you have a spare desktop computer kicking around, adding more hard drive space isn’t too expensive, it’s around $1 a GB, so $80-$100 for a 1 Terrabyte hard drive.

  9. Oh boy. This is a good one. I caved in, no gave in and bought, yes spent lots on a MacBook Air. It has two attributes that beat Dell-ilah. It has no weight and it boots-up fast. Like in a blink. Other wise, watch out baby, you are in for a ride. Mac thinks EVERYTHING opposite Dell-ilah. And, it doesn’t help to get Windows 7 installed. The learning curve is horrific. Unless you have someone who really loves you to help, I would think long and hard. If you do it, then sign up for the live workshops, $99 for a year. It helps, and they do offer phone help too, but it is torture getting them on the phone, and the learning curve is torture. If you don’t have anything else to do, but learn the methodology, then go for it girl. The latest technology is good, but then again, Dell-ilah’s newer models would be good too. Does this help? May God bless your decision.

    1. Thanks Gail. My new Toshiba came with Windows 7, other than getting used the constantly changing wallpaper, most of the functions were close enough or the same to Windows Vista. Is Windows 7 for the Mac vastly different than the PC version?

  10. I have a Toshiba and I love Toshi. It was inexpensive has loads of memory and three years later still runs like the day I bought it. My only compliants are, that its heavy so I can lug it back and forth and the battery only last two hours. I also have a Macbook which was given to me by my employers. I HATE Macs. I will never spend my hard earned money to buy one I don’t see what the big deal is and as for the virus thing. MYTH! Half of the people at my job have had a virus. I have never had a virus on Toshi. If you get good software that should be a problem. We also have an IPAD at school and it’s cool but I don’t like writing on it. I will forever be a PC.

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