I bounce around with the computers that I write on. Sometimes I use Linux, sometimes I use Mac. I never use Windows, don’t own that OS. I wrote all of Starforgers on my HP Mini in LibreOffice Write, but I edited it in Word, on the MacBook. Primarily because the Mac had the bigger screen. But the MacBook is getting old, over six years now, and its starting to fall apart around the edges.
So I’m looking to replace it with something new. The great debate is whether I wanted another MacBook, or would a cheaper Windows box with Linux be sufficient. Who wouldn’t want a fancy new MacBook Air? But do I really need one? Turns out that no, I don’t really need one. I can write and be quite productive on a simple, low spec laptop for less than $700.00 dollars. I don’t really need a paper thin, high performance machine to write what are basically text files. So why buy something more than what I really need?
I suppose that if I were richer, I would not be having this quandary. I would buy a couple Airs and be done with it. But that’s not going to happen. I have other financial obligations that limit my expensive toys. While I’ve had no issues with the software on the Mac, I’ve always felt kinda dirty using it. I know, that’s hard for you Mac and Windows people to fully grok. But I’ve been a loyal Linux user for over a decade, never not having at least two or three Linux machines in my house. I don’t run from but seek out the terminal window. I love free (as in open, not free beer) software.
So I’ve decided to export all the notes I had been inputting into Scrivener on the MacBook and create a flat file system with simple txt files for all my notes and chapters. I’ll use a Python script to combine the chapters into one document and then import that into Write and save it as a doc for my editor to work her magic on. Then copy and past the finished work into Sigil for the final ebook. The outline will be created in a spreadsheet, just like I’ve always done.
The laptop that I’ve all but settled on is the Lemur from System76. They make computers specifically for Linux and in this case, Ubuntu Linux. So I know all the hardware just works with the software. This should cut my fiddle time to zero, once I set up Dropbox and get to work writing.
I will be chronicling my writing on Linux, as I complete the novel. I won’t sugar coat what I run into. If something stops me or irritates me about it, I’ll let you know on this blog. So if you are a Linux Hater, best just find some other poor, struggling SF writer to follow for the next, well, forever. Because there will be free software talked about freely around these parts. Soon I will be known as that crazy guy who writes SF on Linux. Not to be confused with that other guy who writes on Linux – Cory Doctorow.