Laptop Ruminations

I’m not your average Sci-Fi writer. I’m very picky about the software I chose to run. I don’t normally use your operating system of choice. That is to say, I don’t have allegiance to Apple or Microsoft. I’m in a very small minority of writers these days. I don’t need to be hip and I don’t normally keep up with all the hardware specs out there. Partly because I’ve never been cool and I’ve never really cared about hardware, i.e. CPU speed and screen resolutions. So I don’t need the sexiest new Mac and I don’t need the beefiest new Windows box.

My operating system of choice has been Linux for the past decade or more. Currently I run Ubuntu, which is a flavor of Linux. Linux is free and until recently, it didn’t really matter how old and clunky your hardware was, because Linux usually ran just fine on it. So none of my computers have been bleeding edge. My primary writing laptop is an HP Mini netbook. It’s the fastest, most modern computer I have. The problem is, it’s too small for editing on. I have a first generation Macbook, but it’s getting long of tooth and literally falling apart around the edges. The family has been taking over the Macbook lately and I think it may be time to get myself a new laptop. I have a feeling the kids will adopt the Mini, its small keyboard just right for their little hands.

About the only real requirement that I’d like a new laptop to have is a backlit keyboard. I do much of my writing in a dark family room in the wee hours of the morning. If I turn on lights, I risk waking up the house. So having a keyboard with lit keys would be wonderful. Aside from that requirement, I’d like it to be light weight with a half dozen or so hours of life on the battery.  My screen size is 13-15″ with a preference for 13″. I’d like to try one of the new ultrabooks coming out, but finding one with a backlit keyboard is very difficult. Heck, finding any laptop without an Apple logo on it with that feature is very difficult. I could use a new Macbook fine, but as when I run Windows, I always feel dirty and walled in. If you don’t use Linux, you would not really understand that sentiment.

I could go out and get a $300.00 dollar laptop and be just fine with it. But I’d like to get the latest in specs so that in 5 -6 years from now, I can still use it. I tend to shop for cars and computers with the intent to own it until it falls apart or becomes too expensive to maintain. The Macbook is starting to fall apart and can’t be upgraded. So getting something new makes sense. I think I’ll just cruise along until something drastic happens. Either a backlit keyboard lappy arrives or my current computer croaks.

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3 thoughts on “Laptop Ruminations”

  1. I got to this post by a pretty circuitous route (someone on LJ linked to it saying that they wanted the same thing). I’ll leave here the same comment I left there — in my experience toshiba portege is good. My 3-y.o. then-top of the line model is my main workhorse still. And the latest one has backlit kb and claims 8 hr battery life. I never had any problems installing ubuntu on any of my toshibas…

  2. But I’m not cool or else I’d have a new Macbook Air. So probably won’t even be looking on Cyber Monday, unless I get a kitchen pass for it. Not likely. We need a roof and new floors and maybe a new couch and love seat. Computers are never as important as domestic needs. Unless we find ourselves without one.

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