I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

For working in transit

We rarely buy a new computer and our knowledge and criteria waste away during the years in between. This Compaq Mini 110 notebook, aka a netbook computer, sometimes generically listed under tablets, was acquired three months ago for two jobs: (1) Composing sonnets, etc, en route by train to The Blogger’s Retreat and back (300 mins actual writing time), (2) Writing and editing novels while on holiday.

Pluses: Dimensions (Much smaller than laptop; some hardback novels are bigger), screen size (Fine for word processing), weight, built-in proper keyboard, email/internet capability.

Minuses: Battery life, lack of CD/DVD drive, no software other than XP, cursor pad.

Compromises/improvisations: Power lead essential (British trains now have power points), data transferred from main computer as email attachment, new programmes downloaded from internet, pad bypassed with dinky mini-mouse (shown). Word processing: I’m very pro MS Word but the WP part of freebie Open Office accepts Word documents hence saving of £100 for new MSW.

Numerics: Cost £240 but cheaper options available   Specs: 1.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM, HD 160 GB, up to 3 hr battery life, dims: 35 x 265 x 170 mm, weighs 1.1 kg.

PERSONAL NOTE: The need became apparent in France in June when I wrote a 4000-word short story WITH A PEN. Barbaric! Might as well have used a chisel on granite. Realised I could also keep novel on the boil via improvisation mentioned above. Must emphasise this is an in-between indulgence; desktop much more comfortable and comprehensive. 


  1. There is the slightest whiff of Works Well in the autumnal air wafting from my computer as I read your post.

    I like it.

  2. Very neat. I considered one myself recently, but couldn't justify the cost against potential use. One slight drawback with all laptops or similar is that cumbersome transformer thing built into the mains lead (no doubt the latent Works Well supremo will rise to the bait and define exactly what that is), it reminds me of Del Boy and his house brick mobile phones. It seems odd we can't do better in these days when we can put over a thousand tracks on a chip the size of a fingernail.

  3. A netbook fills that transportation niche well, especially if the keyboard has the right feel. Does it turn on quickly?

  4. The Crow: Nothing works well any longer: Barrett Bonden arm wrestled Lorenzo da Ponte, they both had heart attacks, this was decades before the magic insights of Dr Gregory House and sliding people into the big metal tube. Both are mere collections of bones. The blog title Tone Deaf was retained for commercial reasons and those of a sentimental turn of mind can take comfort from the anagram Noad Feet. The next TD post will reveal that the last bastion has fallen and that I too am capable of sentimentality. Always assuming I remember.

    Sir Hugh: It only seems odd because of your imperfect grasp of the laws of physics. Far be it from me to crack the shell of that virtual free-range egg of innocence. Gimmer will make things clear.

    Julia: Only one keyboard ever had had the right feel: an IBM back in the early eighties. As if the keys were endowed with ever-changing flesh magnets which drew my fingers not only to the correct spellings but to the most felicitous syntax. In answer to your last question the answer is no. I should have tested for that, I didn't and now I'm a few hundred yards up that creek which you, as a southern lady of gentle birth, wot not of.

  5. Robbie, all Southern women, whether of genteel upbringing, like Julia, or a sharecropper's daughter, such as I, know precisely which creek thee means. It's just that the sharecropper's daughter is more likely, without compunction, to call it by name.

  6. All Southerners "know up a creek without a paddle." I'm trying to remember if there is more to this expression than first springs to mind. Idioms start disappearing after living overseas too long!

    A slow start up in our ancient netbook drove me to an iPad, but the keyboard is rotten for anything except telegraphic emails. (The kids like it though, and it is handy for testing).

  7. The Crow/Julia: I am of course referring to the creek designated Scheisse in German (and the name of a Lady Gaga song) and merde in French.

    Rather than "lady of gentle birth" I should said belle (living, of course, in an ante-bellum mansion.

  8. My tablet helped write stories on holiday which kept me constantly entertained and kept me in touch with emails.It justifies itself in many other ways on the move and in the house, particularly where photographs are concerned. I use it all the time.