Another kind of backup

Viggo Mortensen's Journal

New post over on the tech blog that will be of interest to you writer types:

“As I was in the process of moving from one house to another… someone broke into the passenger side window of my car and grabbed the backpack containing several notebooks I’d filled, since early 2001, with handwritten stories and poems. The backpack also contained a couple of journals, two screenplays, my passport, and two half-read books. The hardest losses were the stories and poems in the notebooks. I had been looking forward, in particular, to reviewing and fine-tuning hundreds of pages of, for me, uncharacteristically long and unguarded poetry that had been written during a series of very quiet nights spent in the Sahara Desert in late 2002.  

“…I spent a lot of time and effort in the following weeks scouring my part of town, looking through trash cans and alleyways, offering no-questions-asked rewards, doing anything I could think of to find what was irreplaceable for me and probably completely useless to whoever had stolen it. Finally, I let most of it go…”

–Viggo Mortensen

The specific thing that made me recall that story was testing Evernote’s Page Capture feature. … The idea of scanning a paper journal to a digital file isn’t exactly new. But with smartphones being so wide-spread and the cameras in them getting better and better, I wonder if it’s now just convenient enough that writers would spend a couple of minutes every day adding their journals to Evernote and if that would end up being an effective backup system?

Click here for the full post & discussion.

enTourage eDGe eReader rEview

enTourage eDGe eReader rEview

One of the eReaders I talked about a few weeks ago in my long post (which you need to read if you’re a writer, editor, or publisher) is now out. The enTourage eDGe dual screen eReader/Tablet has been extensively reviewed over at Laptop Magazine. Check itout, especially if you’re a student. It’s pretty cool, though needs some updates before it’s as useful as the company intends.

By the way, that title is not a typo. Random capitalization seems to be the norm in tech these days.

Soon The Ultimate Media Center Will Be Mine

I’m in a tech upgrading frenzy!

Last week I ordered some RAM for my laptop because I realized that my poor Sarah only had 512MB of RAM.  I know!  Not enough.  This machine is 3 years old, plus I couldn’t get the one with bigger RAM originally as it was more than I had to spend.  Now that memory is cheap I can soup her up a bit.  The laptop can take up to 2GB, so that’s what I put in it.

Fiddling around with it made me realize that, since I have a proper day job now, my laptop is no longer really my “work” computer.  I use it far more than my desktop since I like hanging out in the living room with my roommates.  Before I was confined to my bedroom a lot, so I used them both.

My desktop has a few issues, including a slowly dying DVD-RW drive.  (I’ve been trying to fix that problem for a year and finally figured out that it can’t read CDs but can read DVDs — I also discovered that it had no drive letter assigned… gah.)  But I solved most of those yesterday by assigning a drive letter, finally ditching MusicMatch Jukebox (I hate how Yahoo ruins everything), uninstalling a bunch of programs and running the defrag.

I decided that I’m going to turn my desktop into an entertainment center.  Since it has a bigger hard drive, lives in my bedroom, and has the potential for a stationary setup, it’s a much better computer to use for watching TV and movies, listening to music, and playing games.  Now I just need to trick it out a bit.

I already have a good set of speakers.  A great set, actually.  I also have a card that will take a coaxial cable input so I can watch basic cable (I’m pretty sure it’ll convert stuff, but I should check).  Of course it has wireless so I can stream Hulu and whatnot.  I wish my wireless was better/faster, but I don’t know if the card is crappy or our router just can’t get a strong signal through the walls.  (Old buildings and all that.)  Thus I am reluctant to replace it.  If I were a true gamer I would upgrade the graphics card, but really I just want to run over old ladies in GTA, so I’ll keep what I have (which is pretty good, anyway).

The desktop also only has 512MB of RAM, but has run all of my games fine so far.  Still, an upgrade to 2 gigs wouldn’t cost much and would probably improve GTA if nothing else. NewEgg has Crucial brand 1GB for $23, so less than $50 for two.

I’ll need a new second DVD drive because partially functioning hardware shouldn’t be left in for too long, lest it cause other problems.  Though Byron suggested I get a Blu-ray burner, I am happy to just get a drive that does dual-layer discs as well as all the plus and minus R RW etc.  This drive got some good reviews and is $25.  Woot!

The biggest and most important new part I’ll need is a new LCD monitor.  The one I have now is 15 inches, but if I’m going to watch video on it, I’ll need something bigger.  I’m going for 22″, but I dream of 24″.  This 22″ from Acer seems to be a really good value and has good ratings everywhere I’ve looked.  At $167 it’ll be another paycheck or two before I can afford it, but it’s not a bad price at all.  Ooo, and it’s slightly less refurbished.  Ooo, I can get it in town and not have to wait for shipping.

I suppose a 28″ would be overkill… but it’s 43% off!  (…$463…)

This brings the total to: $242

Soon I shall have the ultimate media center!  I will watch Sarah Connor on glorious widescreen… mmm widescreen.

The last thing I need to do is call and find out if Time Warner will run another coaxial cable into my bedroom.  Then I can get basic cable through my DVR card.  It’s not really great video, but it’s preferable to putting in a TV.

What else should I add to my computer to make it an amazing media monstrosity?