On writing · Technology

Technology Woes

Back in January I wrote a couple of pieces under the heading of “Technology Sucks” (you can read the first one here, and the follow-up is here). Maybe, to avoid tempting fate, they should have been titled “Sometimes Technology Sucks”, or “Technology Woes”, like this piece. At the start of the year we were counting the cost of numerous hard drive failures (for recording TV programmes, and in laptops) and here in July technology issues are affecting my ability to draft and blog as regularly as I have done since January.

The Mac Book Pro that I use for most web-based work has been poorly since last Friday (1 July) and I have been drafting posts on other laptops since then. The ability to write anywhere is a valuable one. I hear that Agatha Christie could write anywhere. She didn’t even have a desk, let alone a room, dedicated to her craft, and Lord knows she could afford one. All she needed was space for her typewriter. The general advice, from her and from other writers, is just get on with it. You don’t need a magic combination of pencil and paper, you don’t need to wear your lucky pants, just get on with it.

Although I don’t have an attachment to any particular location (or items of clothing) for writing I feel more comfortable, and efficient, drafting and posting items on the Mac. These words are being typed on a new Windows 10 PC. It contains all of my regular AutoText, which saves time typing and proofing, but the spacebar is smaller and has a softer (more sponge-like) feel than on the Mac. Sometimes words run together and I have to go back and insert spaces. Even if text is drafted elsewhere it is usually finalized and posted from my Mac.

The specific technical issue affecting it is related to the hard disk: it is not being recognized and the laptop won’t boot up at all. Attempts to Verify or Repair Disk fail, and after several unsuccessful attempts to do a full Restore from a Time Machine Backup I have admitted defeat and will take it to the local repair shop. They replaced a faulty hard drive in May last year. If there was a one-year warranty it looks like the drive has managed to get just past it before causing problems. In the meantime I am taking longer than usual to draft pieces and finalize them. I use a trick on WordPress to post something every day, even if it’s not ready for publication yet: create a New Post and use the “Edit visibility” option to mark the item as Private rather than Public. When it’s finalized change the visibility back to Public and it still appears with the date when it was originally posted, not the date that it was made Public.

I’ll  update this piece with progress about my Mac Book Pro and continue to draft and write, less efficiently, on other laptops.

UPDATE: The laptop took many weeks to be repaired, some problem with the mounting of the new Solid State Drive compared to the one it had replaced. They’re different sizes and it took a few false starts before the store could return it to me. On two occasions, when I went to collect it, the laptop would boot up fine when the casing underneath it was removed (exposing the hard drive and cable), and if you turned the whole thing on its edge it would work. As soon as the casing was screwed back into place the machine would fail to boot up. Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I’m the kind of person who likes to have the protective casing in its regular place, and I prefer to have the keyboard flat on the surface rather than at a 90 degree angle to it. The machine was finally ready for use on Saturday 20 August, around six weeks after I took it for repair.



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