Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Netbook Jones

Within the space of this week so far, several things have changed for me.

These things have only changed in my head so far, but that's the most important place to start.

The first of those things is that I was reading the Drex Files, which is a science fiction blog (see my post from earlier in the week). Anyway, he did a blog post about the Steve Canyon DVDs I've been working on. I made a comment on a later post about something in a Steve Canyon strip, and he asked me to write about myself for his blog: my experiences in the Air Force, and also my experiences with science fiction fandom and friend of John Ellis. What that means is that there's a lot to write about.

I told him that he wouldn't get it all at once.

Anyway, earlier this week I sent him some photos: two newspaper articles about me, two sketches that I did, and a photo of John and Holly and I. Then, I sent the text for the "Adventures of Jo in the Air Force" article. It was rather long, and I told him he could cut whatever he wanted.

It was still long, even though I left out the time I was back late from leave during basic training and wound up climbing over the fence and getting back on base illegally so that I wouldn't be late, and a lot of other amusing stories, such as stopping the stock car races at the airport at Walterborough Airport so we could land and watch the races.

I still have to write the story of my misadventures with John.

And all this got me thinking about the next article and writing in general. About a year and a half ago, I decided to write a book. Actually, I decided to write several books. I even started writing them. But somewhere along the way, I stopped.

I think it's time to get back to writing.

In the meantime, earlier this week, my poor old original iMac (you remember the big old original ones?) started telling me it can't contact some internet sites. It still works well for editing photos, page layout, drawing, doing Steve Canyon DVD covers, etc. I don't have to upgrade it to have it be a very useful tool.

But I can see that it's the beginning of the end for it on the internet.

Yes, I upgraded my browser. I can't upgrade my operating system, because a newer OS just won't work with the processor in the Mac. And the newer browser is the newest that will work with my OS.

So, it's about to become obsolete for anything on the internet. Not now, not tomorrow, but real soon now.

I had been thinking I'd like to have a small notebook computer for writing and accessing the internet.

Then yesterday I read Crazy Aunt Purl's blog.

Crazy Aunt Purl is Laurie Perry, who has a wildly popular and usually very funny blog. She also wrote Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair. And one of her favorite things to do is travel. She most recently went to Ireland. She also sometimes posts about really neat products that she's found.

Anyway, yesterday, she put up this post. If you scroll partway down, you'll see the cutest little computer ever. There's a link to Amazon in her post. You can also see it here, and there's an upgraded version with more features for not much more money here. And if you plan to travel anytime soon, she has a batch of tips in this post.

When I first looked at it, I didn't think it was real. I thought "Wow! That's a really BIG glass of whatever she's drinking!" Then I looked at the passport in the photo, and decided that it is really that tiny. And when I checked on Amazon, I found out that I could actually get one for about $250, including shipping! The upgraded version is better, and is available for more like $300.

I'm in love!

I wrote to Laurie, and she was nice enough to write back with a long, detailed letter about netbook computers, which is a whole different thing from laptops. She recommended a Mac Book. Well, I'd like one, too, but the netbooks are about a third the price. The difference in price is the difference in getting one in the foreseeable future, and getting one someday, maybe.

She pointed out the keyboard is really small and that she wouldn't like to do a lot of typing on it, and maybe I'd like one of the newer, slightly larger netbooks better, and sent me a link to this Acer netbook. I have to say (from the standpoint of an artist) that the fact that it's blue is a big emotional factor in it's favor. Scroll down in the description and see how pretty it is.

The theory that the keyboard is larger may not be completely true, though. It's about an inch wider, but the Eee has a keyboard that goes as close to the edge as possible. The Acer has at least a half inch on either side of the keyboard, so I don't think the keyboard is really noticeably bigger. And I'm really biased toward the Eee because the buttons next to the touchpad wrap around the front and are intended to be hit with your thumbs, which is how I always try to use a touchpad. But a review of the Acer says that you can tap the touchpad instead of using the buttons which is probably how I would wind up using it. Decisions, decisions.

I'll keep you up to date on further developments.

I'll quit boring you with this now, and we can get back to our regularly scheduled post.


I'm so sorry about saying that Eureka was on the other day. It was actually Warehouse 13, which is good enough that John said he hoped it would remain on the air. I was in the middle of writing my Air Force article, and wrote "Warehouse 13" and then turned on the digital TV guide, and it said Eureka (they were rerunning the last two week's episodes right before the new Warehouse 13), and thought "Eureka is on Tuesdays. What's wrong with me?" Well, it was on Tuesdays, but it just changed to Friday the week before, and my subconscious hadn't caught up. Anyway mea culpa.

Anyway, and all-new Leverage was on last night on TNT, and it was wonderful! I hope you caught it, but if you didn't, it'll be on again sometime before next week.

Tonight, we have The Listener, and The Mentalist, a new Burn Notice, and later, Doctor Who on SyFy, this week, The Stolen Earth, the second part of the three-part finale from last season. Check it out, its so good!

I have a lot to do, so I'll see you tomorrow! Have fun!

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