Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Art of Switching Computers (and What That Does To Your Writing Groove)

I got a new computer!!!!

There was nothing wrong with my old laptop.  It wasn't bogging down, or crashing, or dropping my work left right and center.  The screen wasn't cracked (as my previous laptop was), nor was the mouse jumping all over the screen like a crackhead on the first.  In fact I still loved it and probably would have been happy with it for years to come.

So why did I need to get a new one, you may be asking?

Well, here's the thing.  I wasn't the one who needed a new laptop.  I wasn't the one who's cracked their screen by placing an earbud on the keyboard, forgetting about it, and then slamming it shut.  I wasn't the one running an outdated operating system that barely supported Minecraft and crashed every time Roblox was loaded.

Are you starting to guess who the biggest benefactor of this new computer is?

That's right.  The Spare.  My adorably brilliant youngest son will be inheriting my old laptop, which DOES support Minecraft and DOESN'T crash on Roblox.  He'll now be able to watch videos, play games, and do his homework on his own dedicated machine instead of having to share time with an older brother that sometimes likes to play the dictator over everything that he sees as HIS.

Don't worry, Mr. Postman is getting a new machine, too.  So the Heir is actually getting a gaming laptop for his personal use.  No feelings will be hurt in this upgrading of technology.

Now the downside to getting a new laptop is setting it up.  You have to meticulously go through your old laptop, find all of the programs that you use, set them up on the new laptop, and hope to God that you remember the password to that one program you use religiously, but haven't actually used the password in three years.

And then we've come to the real productivity killer...file transfers.  You start combing through all of your old pictures and documents, making sure you actually need them all, and suddenly you are sucked into a time vacuum where all you do is re-read story ideas you haven't thought about in five years, or look at baby pictures from that time your oldest peed all over your mother's new sofa after a bath (yes, I took pictures...don't judge me!).

After you've finally gotten all of that done, you've flashed your old laptop to factory default, and you've set up your browser to exactly how you want it, the time has come to actually write something.  So you sit down at your desk...

AND NOTHING LOOKS FAMILIAR!!!!

I serious spent ten minutes looking at the keyboard like it was a foreign entity.  It wasn't like I bought the computer sight unseen.  I actually sat down at the store and typed out a hundred words on three different laptops before settling on this one.  I researched everything I could understand and then had Mr. Postman research everything else.  I spent two days looking at laptops in the store after extensively looking for them online for over a week.  We still spent over an hour before making the final decision.  So this laptop was not supposed to be foreign to me.

Yet, it was always going to be.  This was not my old, familiar laptop that I had written nearly all of my books on.  It didn't have the familiar feel or the B-button that sticks.  It didn't make the familiar whirring sound or have the overly worn-out click pad.

But I only gave myself ten minutes.  Then I got to work.  This post is actually the first thing I've written on this computer, and I've found it a good introduction.  So...yay for new technology, boo for distractions, and woo hoo for getting back to work!

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