My Writers Circle

Writing => All the Write Questions => Topic started by: moojii on August 24, 2013, 06:51:50 AM

Title: laptop or desktop
Post by: moojii on August 24, 2013, 06:51:50 AM
Hi guys

Do you do your writing primarily on a laptop or a desktop.

If a laptop, then what size screen is it?

What, in your opinion would be the smallest size screen on a laptop that would be useable for writing on.

Cheers.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Nick on August 24, 2013, 07:02:58 AM
Desktop for me, with my wonderful wide-screen monitor. I wouldn't feel comfortable working on a laptop for any length of time - it would literally cramp my style! I can see that they are useful if you travel a lot and/or like to work in coffee shops and such like, though.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Don on August 24, 2013, 07:27:15 AM
Quote
it would literally cramp my style!
   ;D

I'm with Nick as far as the desktop is concerned but it's only used for editing. The actual writing is done longhand on yellow legal pads. The problem is that desktops are rapidly becoming a thing of the past as we move into the age of wireless. I should probably go buy a backup or two while they're still available.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: cswillson on August 24, 2013, 08:10:54 AM
Here's a little bit of weirdness for you. I have arthritis in my neck and can't look up, barely horizontal. I struggled for years using a desktop, the struggle being that it just hurt.

I bought a decent laptop, I won't say what, but I am so glad I'm not contributing to Bill Gate's retirement fund, and do all my work with it actually in my lap while sitting in a comfortable overstuffed chair with my feet on the coffee table, looking down at it.

I spend a lot of time on my LT: bookkeeping, correspondence, business management, writing, research, and am so happy I stumbled on this comfortable solution to my peculiar handicap.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: moojii on August 24, 2013, 09:29:35 AM
Here's a little bit of weirdness for you. I have arthritis in my neck and can't look up, barely horizontal. I struggled for years using a desktop, the struggle being that it just hurt.

I bought a decent laptop, I won't say what, but I am so glad I'm not contributing to Bill Gate's retirement fund, and do all my work with it actually in my lap while sitting in a comfortable overstuffed chair with my feet on the coffee table, looking down at it.

I spend a lot of time on my LT: bookkeeping, correspondence, business management, writing, research, and am so happy I stumbled on this comfortable solution to my peculiar handicap.

What size is your screen?
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: wanderer on August 24, 2013, 09:36:40 AM
Laptop with an external large keyboard, 15 inch screen, and an external hard drive. Does everything I need.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: 510bhan on August 24, 2013, 09:38:47 AM
Laptop 15" screen -- that's all. Brilliant. ;)
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Chord on August 24, 2013, 10:50:23 AM
Both, I use an iMac 27" for my main writing. I also use a macbook pro with 15" screen. The bigger ones are a bit unwieldy for lap or chair-arm balancing I find. I tend to do all my organisational stuff on the iMac, as much because it's easier with a mouse than a trackpad. The extra screen real estate is useful though. For just solid writing, the macbook is great. It's got a great battery life and fits perfectly on the tables at Starbucks with space left over for my coffee.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Vel on August 24, 2013, 11:40:47 AM
Device is not so much as important as how you use it. If you have a desktop, but a crappy chair and a badly positioned table, you're going to end up with pains in your head and shoulders from using it. Similarly, if you have a laptop in your lap and sit in an awkward way, you're not going to be able to maintain writing for long.

I use an iMac primarily to write and edit when I'm at home, and love it. It's big, my screen dims with the changing light, I've a wrist rest and a decent chair and a table at just the right height for me. I could while away hours - and do! - on the infernal thing. I find when I use my laptop I tend to pull it onto my lap and end up hunching while I type which results in a very sore Vel the next morning.

In short: It's not what you use, it's how you use it!
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: protekme on August 24, 2013, 11:50:25 AM
I love my big screen desk top.

I hate my laptop. As I am a fast typist, the cursor gets all over the place, and I have to watch constantly where it goes. Sometimes I realize that I am typing in the address bar or in the incoming email below. I have a mini--12" laptop. I use it only on a trip. Also, if I am at a table, I prefer to use the mouse because of the extra sensitivity of the pad. Again, if I'm not careful, my image disappears because I slightly brushed a finger somewhere. 

To send messages, the window is so small, and i only see a couple of lines at a time with all that publicity taking the top and sides. That's what I'm using right now. So I make this message short.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: JewelAS53 on August 24, 2013, 12:43:08 PM
I love my big screen desk top.

I hate my laptop. As I am a fast typist, the cursor gets all over the place, and I have to watch constantly where it goes. Sometimes I realize that I am typing in the address bar or in the incoming email below. I have a mini--12" laptop. I use it only on a trip. Also, if I am at a table, I prefer to use the mouse because of the extra sensitivity of the pad. Again, if I'm not careful, my image disappears because I slightly brushed a finger somewhere. 

To send messages, the window is so small, and i only see a couple of lines at a time with all that publicity taking the top and sides. That's what I'm using right now. So I make this message short.
if your cursor is going all over the place something is running in the background that you don't need. my laptop always start up the samsung campatibility software when it's booted up and my cursor goes everywhere. part of my boot up procedure has become to shut that process down. the first wrong thing that happens reminds me to do that.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: JewelAS53 on August 24, 2013, 12:48:03 PM
The smaller and more mobile the better. 1st prize is it can fit in my handbag. (purse). My hubby calls me gizmo girl. i type notes into the memo software on my phone when we're out on a date. i am using my phone now! Everything must use compatible software then i am the proverbial pig.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: 2par on August 24, 2013, 01:28:49 PM
Wish I had  laptop, but I have the opposite problem with my neck. I must keep my head up and back or the squiggly bones in my neck will cut into certain nerves and I could become paralyzed or even dead. However, I'm really uncomfortable in my chair at the desktop but have to put up with it.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: protekme on August 24, 2013, 01:52:06 PM
if your cursor is going all over the place something is running in the background that you don't need. my laptop always start up the samsung campatibility software when it's booted up and my cursor goes everywhere. part of my boot up procedure has become to shut that process down. the first wrong thing that happens reminds me to do that.

Thanks, Jewel, I'll look into it. I'm no wizard, but I'll find out.

Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: wanderer on August 24, 2013, 01:55:29 PM
protekme, if you are using Windows, type "msconfig" into the search programs box. You will then see options for disabling start up programs.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Gyppo on August 24, 2013, 02:34:58 PM
   ;D

I'm with Nick as far as the desktop is concerned but it's only used for editing. The actual writing is done longhand on yellow legal pads. The problem is that desktops are rapidly becoming a thing of the past as we move into the age of wireless. I should probably go buy a backup or two while they're still available.

The desktop machine will be with us for a long time yet, despite all the hoo-ha about the wonders of portable computing.  You may eventually need to go to somewhere that sells to businesses rather than the fickle fashion led public, but the desktop is still the workhorse of the world.

Some people buy a new computer for the same reason as some people redecorate every third year, even when there is no real need to do so.  Simply because they get bored with it.

The only real reason for a new machine - or a modification to old faithful - is because you now need to do something the old one can't, or because something's broken.

When I visit Darkest Cornwall for a christening in a couple of months time I may take my ancient 8-bit Amstrad Notebook, but I'm more likely to take a pad of paper and cut the cyber-umbilical for a few days.

Gyppo
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Gyppo on August 24, 2013, 02:43:20 PM
protekme, if you are using Windows, type "msconfig" into the search programs box. You will then see options for disabling start up programs.

It's surprising just how many unnecessary programmes you can turn off without any problems.  Laptop or desktop, remember it's just a tool, which is there to serve you.  Rather than you being there to justify all sorts of fiddly stuff which some salesman says you need.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Andrewf on August 24, 2013, 03:44:45 PM
The smallest screen i write regularly on is that of my iPad... roughly 10 inches diagonal. Although the on screen keyboard can take up half the screen, there is still enough space to see a bout a paragraph above where i'm currently writing. :)
And if i use a bluetooth keyboard i see the whole screen.

But i also use a 15" screen laptop on my desk at work and a desktop pc at home.  :D
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: cswillson on August 24, 2013, 10:24:25 PM
What size is your screen?

The big retina display. 15", I think.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: ChrisHarrison on August 25, 2013, 04:34:45 AM
Laptop. Probably 12 or 13" screen. It's just a standard model. I prefer this because I can sit anywhere in the house with it. I also use a 7" tablet when I'm out. It's for rough stuff only because of the size of the keyboard, but I prefer it to writing pads now. I like being able to transfer what I've typed rather than retype what I've written.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Gyppo on August 25, 2013, 12:19:33 PM
...but I prefer it to writing pads now. I like being able to transfer what I've typed rather than retype what I've written.

That wretched retype is your first edit.  Not as precious as a first-born child, but useful nonetheless ;-)
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: ChrisHarrison on August 25, 2013, 01:02:20 PM
The rough draft on the tablet needs rewriting. Copying from a writing pad is physically awkward unless I have some unwieldy Heath Robinson contraption attached to the laptop.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Chord on August 25, 2013, 01:07:15 PM
I had to do that once, transfer a longhand story to my computer after I'd had a few months out in Greece sans computer. What I did, and found really useful, was to use a dictophone thing to record me reading the longhand version, then listen to the recording and type it into the computer. It was bloody tortuous but the writing I ended up with on the computer was fantastic.

I've never done it that way since as I've never needed to. Shame really.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: JewelAS53 on August 25, 2013, 02:46:25 PM
Tablet's back from hospital - good as new ;D

I use retype from longhand to digital as first edit opportunity.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: bri h on August 25, 2013, 04:14:49 PM
Only time I change pc's is when the one I'm using becomes so out-dated it starts to get embarrassing. I feel so pc-inadequate when listening to the young-uns at family functions. I tend to do more watching and taking notes, rather than trying to impress with my 'so-last-year' comments. Btw, I'm still a 15 incher man. Plus, I don't like those new pill-box type screens. If I wanna view things like that, I'll watch a dvd. B
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: The Dude Abides on August 25, 2013, 07:05:29 PM
Desktop exclusively, with a 22" display, usually have two pages of text side-by-side on the screen. I tried taking handwritten notes one time for a spell, but found I could not tell what I had written when I looked back at it. I have a notebook PC with a 15" screen that I carry on trips but it isn't for writing. I am a two-finger typist and need a full size keyboard with full key travel and audible/tactile feedback. Actually a keyboard with keys the size of ice cubes might be better for my easily misdirected fingers ...
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: bri h on August 25, 2013, 07:12:12 PM
Ice-cube-sized-keys . . . ok am drooling now. heh heh. I actually remember keys on the Brother Electric Typrwriter having keys like that. I loved to type on it, but couldn't afford one and had to settle for a Sharps Electric. still a good typewriter, but with teeny tiny keys. B
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: DC on August 25, 2013, 08:27:13 PM
I got a Lap-top, with 15-inch screen, but it sits next to and is plugged in to my 32-inch LCD TV, and I relax on the sofa with a wireless keyboard with built-in touch pad. :D

I do also have my SDDT...Steam Driven Desk Top, but it hasn't been fired up for about three years.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Vienna on August 26, 2013, 04:25:08 AM
me and she who must be obeyed have a laptop each. Simply because we haven't  room for  desktops. With baby number 2 due very soon we will have even less room.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Gyppo on August 26, 2013, 05:19:59 AM
me and she who must be obeyed have a laptop each. Simply because we haven't  room for  desktops. With baby number 2 due very soon we will have even less room.

Self inflicted problems ;-)

Actually a keyboard with keys the size of ice cubes might be better for my easily misdirected fingers ...

Larger keyboards can be bought, but tend to be expensive.  The number pad, all that wasted space at the right hand end, is usually a separate smaller board  which writers don't normally need.

Gyppo
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: wanderer on August 26, 2013, 06:14:14 AM
Here is a solution and it works great for me:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/As-seen-on-TV-EZ-Eyes-Keyboard-and-Mouse-2-pack/23974486?action=product_interest&action_type=title&placement_id=irs_top&strategy=PWVAV&visitor_id=46840810571&category=0%3A3944%3A3951%3A132959%3A1008621%3A4442&client_guid=f753c10d-8d92-428f-afe9-039cb18a925b&customer_id_enc=ca2874b0bb907eb8dc196bba95d7305c&config_id=2&parent_item_id=23974460&guid=36d23438-7c30-46ea-94a7-b58012512da2&bucket_id=000&findingMethod=p13n (http://www.walmart.com/ip/As-seen-on-TV-EZ-Eyes-Keyboard-and-Mouse-2-pack/23974486?action=product_interest&action_type=title&placement_id=irs_top&strategy=PWVAV&visitor_id=46840810571&category=0%3A3944%3A3951%3A132959%3A1008621%3A4442&client_guid=f753c10d-8d92-428f-afe9-039cb18a925b&customer_id_enc=ca2874b0bb907eb8dc196bba95d7305c&config_id=2&parent_item_id=23974460&guid=36d23438-7c30-46ea-94a7-b58012512da2&bucket_id=000&findingMethod=p13n)
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Jo Bannister on August 26, 2013, 10:08:03 AM
Lap-top, but only recently.  I liked the idea of having a fixed work-station.  Now I like the idea of NOT having one.  I don't have any problems with comfort, whether I use it at a table (as now) or on a lap tray with my feet up in the sunroom.  One advantage of that is that I haven't enabled my Wi-Fi, so if I go into another room to write I can't get distracted by the internet (ie, you guys!)  Another is, if I have any problems, I can take it to a more technologically literate friend, or failing that a professional, without needing to hitch up the horsebox.

For the record, it's 15.5 in screen.  But I magnify the page to 120%.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Gyppo on August 26, 2013, 01:46:51 PM
For the record, it's 15.5 in screen.  But I magnify the page to 120%.

Another one who makes the technology work for them instead of blindly accepting the default settings ;-)

From what I hear a lot of people grumble about what Micro or Mac gives them, but never think - or dare - to change it around a bit.

Gyppo
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: JewelAS53 on August 26, 2013, 02:20:53 PM
I got a Lap-top, with 15-inch screen, but it sits next to and is plugged in to my 32-inch LCD TV, and I relax on the sofa with a wireless keyboard with built-in touch pad. :D

I shared this with hubby and he had the same response I did.
You obviously don't share this particular space with anyone  :o
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Dean on August 30, 2013, 05:38:53 PM
Desktop, but that's more to do with the fact that I'm a gamer. The big screen is nice too though  :P.

The cheap laptop will do for when I'm feeling pretentious and want to write in a cafe, or when I'm travelling Europe.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: cswillson on August 30, 2013, 06:04:42 PM
  One advantage of that is that I haven't enabled my Wi-Fi, so if I go into another room to write I can't get distracted by the internet (ie, you guys!).

I agree with your intuitive knack for alleviating distractions. (How's that for a literary sentence?)

But, without the internet you lose the ability to save your work off-site and the ability to access it from other machines. Consider a compromise. Get occasional access to WiFi, or use your WiFi and work offline most of the time.

I'd hate for you to lose your WIP, or past WIPs, because of a faulty $3 piece of electronics.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: DC on August 31, 2013, 01:25:16 PM
I shared this with hubby and he had the same response I did.
You obviously don't share this particular space with anyone  :o

My Cat... ;D
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Jo Bannister on August 31, 2013, 01:52:19 PM
Bless you, CSW, but don't worry, I'm scrupulous about saving my work.  In multiple files on my laptop, on memory sticks, as e-mail attachments and, yes, to my desktop as well.  In fact, for scrupulous read neurotic.

Of course I access the internet - hello, here I am!  I just don't think it's helpful to be doing it 24/7.  So I take the laptop into another room when I want to concentrate, and bring it back to the phone socket when I want to connect.  Not much of an effort, just enough to make me think through my writing problems instead of wandering off to see what the world's up to instead.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: jeff on September 01, 2013, 04:18:45 AM
I do all my writing on my laptop, and play games games and surf the web on my desktop. If I tried writing on a machine that had games on it I'd never get anything written.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Dean on September 01, 2013, 10:24:43 AM
I do all my writing on my laptop, and play games games and surf the web on my desktop. If I tried writing on a machine that had games on it I'd never get anything written.

The amount of writing sessions I've interrupted for Starcraft 2 confirms your theory  ;D!
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Gayle on September 18, 2013, 11:39:12 AM
On a laptop with a 13-inch screen, zoom function, and Scrivener installed.

The first laptop I ever bought had a 15-inch screen, and I found it far too awkward to be truly portable, though that may have more to do with my petite build then the portability of 15-inch laptop. The only way a could carry it comfortably was in a backpack which started at the base of neck and ended at my tailbone. I felt like I was carrying an enormous cinder block everywhere I went. Horrible!

Like Jo, I usually write in a comfy chair or in bed with my feet up. Although, I have used it in cafes (for internet) and libraries as well. That's the benefit of a laptop: you're not tied to one location so you can do your research on the same device that you do your writing.
Title: Re: laptop or desktop
Post by: Onick on September 21, 2013, 10:36:31 AM
The amount of writing sessions I've interrupted for Starcraft 2 confirms your theory  ;D!

Same with me for League of Legends  :D
But I only have a laptop, but I never had any preference as to either desktop or laptop, as long as I can get my work done and without distraction. If I had both, I'd still have games on both so I'd be stuck in that prospective.