I Need to be Ready to Write

It was ironic that the other Friday night, I actually felt a strong, positive desire to write. I wanted to push forward with my blog posts, but I was right in the middle of doing an operating system reinstall on my netbook. I figured I would be ready to go shortly, and I could crack on with an evening’s writing. Murphy’s Law timed itself impeccably. The re installation did not go smoothly, and by the time it was done, it was getting late. Tiredness mixed with the frustration of technical problems caused my enthusiastic desire to write to pass.

I doubt that the great writers took their typewriters and starting unscrewing them to tinker with them, installed experimental ribbons, or tried making adjustments to the key actions. But I’m running Xubuntu on my netbook — a ‘flavour’ of Ubuntu, which is in turn a variant of Linux. Linux is well know for being a hobbyist’s operating system — in that due to its open-source nature, it can be tweaked and changed more so than operating systems from Microsoft or Apple.

Whilst I’m not skilled with the deep workings of Xubuntu, I do get a certain enjoyment out of experimenting with it. I like to try out the new versions that are released twice yearly, as I’m always trying to make my netbook work ‘better’. I had recently upgraded to the latest version of Xubuntu — 16.10, but discovered some issues, and thought that reverting to 16.04 (with long term support) might be the best course of action.

I’ve had thoughts about buying a new netbook for writing. I’ve wondered about getting something with a bit more RAM, a faster processor — maybe something Windows based. I want a small screen — 10 inch ideally, a reasonable amount of storage — more than the 32gb that a lot of these slim machines are offering at the moment. I want a battery life that exceeds 6 hours, and finally I want a matte screen, and the trend right now seems to be towards glossy screens. I just can’t seem to find anything that is exactly what I’m looking for — especially something that’s within my price range.

Once again, I’ve returned to my trusty Xubuntu operating system on my 7 year-old Asus Eee PC. To be fair, when I’m not messing around with it, it’s great for writing. It can be a bit slow when it comes to browsing the web or working with photos — but this is perhaps a blessing in disguise as it forces me to regard it more like a tool for writing than a fully-fledged multimedia PC, thus reducing the temptation for distraction.

However, after Friday’s frustrating incident, I’ve learnt my lesson. I  need to adopt the mindset that my netbook is my tool, my ‘production’ machine and not my toy. I need to make sure I have a system that’s ready to go because when the writing urge strikes, I need to be able to act on it.

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