When you write for a living, the tools you use matter. But ever since I’ve been a freelancer, I’ve skimped a bit on laptops. In part, this is because I have been a desktop guy, and so the laptop has just been for use on the road. So I’ve bought cheap netbooks, and the odd second hand machine off eBay. You can get good cheap machines second hand, but there’s a risk that their best years are already behind them, and today my trusty Thinkpad X201 died in San Francisco airport. It only cost £157 though, so it’s not a huge deal (though it would have been had this happened at the beginning of a trip).
This left me with a problem. I have less than 24 h at home before leaving for ProWein in Dusseldorf, and I can’t survive four days without a laptop. So my hand was forced: not enough time to get a second hand laptop off eBay, so a new purchase is required. And I have made the plunge: after a few hours’ of considerations, I’ve gone Mac.
I’ve always been a PC guy. I was android for my phones, too, but a few years ago went iPhone and have never looked back. I even recently got an iPad mini, which is lovely (although I don’t seem to use it much). So now: the Macbook Air. The 13.3″ version. It’s so beautiful, but it feels so unfamiliar. It is going to take a while to get used to, but I’m sure in a few weeks time I’ll wonder why I didn’t make the jump sooner.
I’m spending more time on the road, so I need a better machine. I’m fed up with mediocre battery life: this has a stunning battery life of around 10 hours. And it’s light. And the screen is amazing.
It’s a strange relationship we have with our technology. I’m beginning to think that it makes a difference to our work if we create it on beautiful devices. I certainly love my Olympus EP-5, which is a beautiful piece of kit (a retro-looking digital camera), and I think it helps me take better photos just because it is so lovely, aside from the sharpness of the prime lenses and the resolution of the sensor.
I like this idea: tools shape our creative work. It’s as if the decisions we make about what we work with, where we work, and how we do it all feed into the activity itself. So, this is the first blog post typed on my new machine. It’s the first of many, and I hope that I’ll soon be up to speed.