Monday, May 9, 2011

Post 1617 - Netbooks And My Love For Them

You may remember that, some 2 years ago, I bought an Asus eee netbook, with a whopping 8gb of storage on a solid state drive.

Despite all logic, I love this little computer.  I use it all the time.  When I transcribe blog interviews, which is becoming my life's work it would seem, I often hook it up to an external monitor, mouse and keyboard, and have an ersatz desktop computer.  That's the arrangement I have at my mother's if you must know, you nosy so and so's.

I take this computer to coffee shops and libraries or any place that has an available wifi spot.  I do this even though I have a full-fledged laptop that I have for work and that I surf with from time to time.  It is just more fun, more intimate, with the netbook.  It is hard to explain unless you have used one and come to appreciate its qualities.  The rest of you will think me daft.  That's fine.  I'm used to it.

Earlier this year, I bought a second netbook from a woman on kijiji.  It was a little shady, this exchange.  The moment she got my cash, she took off like she had to pee real bad.  I could soon see why. The spare battery she included didn't even fit this computer.  I realized when I got home, however, that it fit my original netbook just fine, which made me  happy.  The touchpad doesn't work at all, but she gave me a laptop mouse, which is fine.  The original battery sucks.  That's fine.  I don't plan to take it anywhere that involves surfing on the go.  It is at my mother's as well.

My sister bought a new laptop a couple of months ago.  She gave me her old netbook, which is the same as the one that the chippie sold me in January.  These 2 netbooks only have a 2gb solid state drive.  Very little space once you take a look at the software that the computer came with.

I use a mixture of windows and linux-based machines.  It is a little sad, really.  I work with computers all day, and then come home and work with them all night, too.  I need to get out more.  Spend time with Patricia.  Get another hobby.

Anyway, when I transcribed on a windows machine, I used the very simple wordpad word processor that comes with the windows operating system.  If all you want to do is type in text and don't need to do things like create tables or boxes or much of anything other than pure text, then wordpad might be all you need.

The problem is that wordpad doesn't run on linux machines.  It might run under the sort of emulator wine, but it seems like more work than it's worth to get it going.   That meant that I wanted a simple word processor that let me work and got the Hell out of my way while I was doing what I needed to do.

The Open Office suite of products doesn't really cut it.  Far too much functionality. Far too bloated.  Far too slow.  Far too helpful in the sense that if I wanted to type in something like "1." OO just assumed I wanted to create something I didn't.  Turning off that feature was more trouble than I wanted to go through.

I looked around and found a word processor called abiword.  It runs nicely on linux and windows machines, so I could use it on any machine under my control.  It is fast and contains all the features I'll ever need.  And, best of all, it lets me save in the Windows .rtf format, useful for when I send the first drafts off to my blog "clients".

The eee 2gb machine is hard to configure with the default xandros linux distribution.  But, this evening, I found a way to install abiword on the computer I got from my sister this winter.  Now, I just have to do the same simple steps on the other 2gb machine, the one that's at my mother's.  I will do that later on this week.

It will be really nice, having the same word processor on all my machines.  I know you don't care, but it makes my life easier.  As my hair becomes longer and more luxuriant, it is nice to be able to have some simpler things in my life that enable me to do what I need to do with a minimum of fuss.

Abiword is a very nice word processor.  I don't understand why people need the big, fat, bloated apps these days, containing a host of  features that the average, even the above average, person will never use.

Interested in learning more about abiword?  Check out the website!

Man, this is the geekiest blog post I've ever done.  Is anybody impressed yet?


1 comment:

kevin.tillman said...

Bev, i saw a slate/tablet pc in use yesterday. Very nice, about the size of a ipad, little thicker, full glass top. 4GB running windows7.

With handwriting recognition software become more accurate, maybe lost art of penmanship might come back.