Thursday, 24 February 2011

Something to desire

Decision made, bargain found, HTC Desire Z ordered from Handtec at a bargain price. The great service has to be mentioned. It is easy to complain about many things in this world but it is important to also point out when things go well. The Handtec postage was only £3.99, yet the item arrived the next day, and the package included a free official bluetooth headset that hadn't even been mentioned in the description. I was impressed by Handtec.

It got better. Even full time writers leave the house sometimes. When you order items online you should count yourself lucky if you are told the day of delivery by the courier: even more lucky if you are given an indication of AM or PM. The reality for many people who work is then having to attempt redelivery at a later date, possibly using annual leave to be in the house all day. However, Handtec used a courier called DPD. Not only did they deliver the item the very next day, before 1pm, but they actually sent an email in advance and gave a very specific one hour slot when it would be delivered, making it easy to pop home, take the delivery, and get back to work. Amazing service.

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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Writing on the move

What are the best tools for writing when away from the comfort of your perfectly laid out office and powerful PC? I have to travel occasionally for work or pleasure, and always do so on public transport. It should be an ideal opportunity to catch up on reading and to do some creative work. What are the best tools for the job?
  • Laptops and netbooks enable power-creation but can be overkill for the bus, and the battery life of these early 21st century devices leaves a lot to be desired.
  • The classic of pen and paper can be used anywhere, and is the ultimate in low-power versatility. The downside is having to type everything up afterwards. I once handwrote a whole novel in a week: it took almost six months to type the thing up. My writing is not very neat, and a jolting bus renders it almost illegible. Trains work better for handwriting.
  • Now we face a new generation of smartphones, devices that are portable but with the ability to do limited typing. The notes can then be downloaded to a PC later. Their small screens are not much good for editing projects but for straight outpourings of imagination they can be good capture devices, and have the added advantage of being with you already.
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