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On Monday I ordered my laptop for grad school, a nice shiny new 12.1 inch titanium powerbook G4. I also ordered a printer, USB cable, adaptor and a new optical mouse for the desktop (a creaky old-but- reliable G3 Power Mac). I have to say I�m impressed with the Apple Store�s speed. I received the printer yesterday, the adaptor this morning and just now Fed Ex delivered the Mouse and cable. Now if only the laptop would arrive, I�d be set�

I just hooked up the optical mouse to the G3 power Mac and oddly, it seems that the computer now runs faster. I suppose the USB connection through the newer keyboard we bought last summer responds quicker then the old mouse, which was connected to the back through the old port but even on screen, the graphics respond quicker. Not that I�m complaining. As we upgrade the hardware on the G3, piece by piece it gets better and better. Not bad for a six year old machine. But then it�s a Mac not a clunky old PC that is obsolete the moment you take it out of the box and can only be upgraded but so far. We added a new memory chip and a USB port last summer when the old keyboard died and the only available one was the spiffy black and clear keyboard that matches the imacs.

So we have this sort of hybrid now, with a massive tan monitor and big old tan hard drive case, an external modem rigged through the printer port with a shiny new keyboard and optical mouse, running OS 10.0.2. The printer, alas was the only thing we couldn�t patch through when we upgraded the OS to 10. For some reason we have the only model Epson they never made a patch for. Go fig. Anyway, I think I�ll take this new mouse for a spin and maybe when I get back the laptop will be here!

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Typewriter vs. Computer

I�m quite the anomaly as writers go; most seem to write lengthy long hand drafts before handing them off to an assistant to be typed. At least the famous ones do. The not so famous ones then type them up themselves on a typewriter of course, the older the better. Just watch any movie with a writer in it and his soundtrack is usually the clack, clack, zip of a typewriter.

I write on a computer. Shocking, I know. Hemmingway would bitch slap me if he knew. Whatever. I�m way to schizoid to even touch a typewriter.

The taboo against word processors is slowly dying out but you�d think by the twenty first century, writers the world over would have embraced the computer. (I can hear some of the Old school mentors of mine grumbling how in their day it was all pencils and typewriters). But seriously, it�s so much faster and easier to spell check and cut and paste then to laboriously retype every time I want to move a word or cut a fragment. Writers should embrace the tools of change and make them work for them. Other artists in film and graphics are allowed but somehow, we writers are supposed to remain mired in the nineteenth century? I don�t buy that. I think it�s just fear of change, fear of the machines doing the writing while we sit back and stare in horror at that which we have wrought. Or something to that effect.

Though I have recently been trying to write rough drafts longhand, just for the exercise. But it�s still a bit of a chore. My mind, mediated by Television and film tends to zip ahead or back along non-linear paths. It�s a rare day when I write a sentence all the way through without having to go back and adjust a word, add a clause or fix my dog awful spelling. But I have noticed that having a few handwritten bits of dialogue or at least some notes takes the edge off, gives me a spring board to work from. No more sitting there at the computer, starring into the infinite hall of ones and zeros like at the beginning of the Matrix.

But I�d be screwed if some terrorist detonated an EMP device and fragged all the world�s hard drives. I�d probably turn to selling lemons from a roadside stand.