WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TOOL? – Marilyn Armstrong

Blogging Insights # 36 — Devices

And the question is:

You could probably take an educated guess from the picture containing the question, but in case you aren’t sure, it’s a laptop. It’s a hunky laptop with 16-gigs of memory and almost 2-TB of memory — SSD plus standard (fast) HD. I don’t need this machine for blogging, but I do need it for photographs. Not only do I need the power (because Adobe is a real memory hog), but because I need the real estate. It’s difficult to edit a photograph on a tiny screen. Actually, it’s impossible. You simply can’t see enough of the graphic to do the job.

Text doesn’t take up much space in computer memory, but photographs do. Videos are even bigger. I have more than 100,000 photographs on this machine and probably another 50,000 only on backup drives. But those aren’t the only reasons.

I’m a 10-fingered touch typist because I went to a New York city high school. For anyone on a college track, you had to learn typing, both boys and girls. They theorized — correctly — that once you got into college, you would probably be writing paper for your course and good handwriting notwithstanding, your professors were going to want your paper typed. In one of their more remarkable — and valuable judgments, they made everyone learn touch typing. It was the one really useful class I took in high school, along with swimming lessons (we had an Olympic-sized pool, probably the last high school in the city that still had one). So, whatever else I learned, I could swim — which saved my life at least once and probably more than that — and I could type. Who knew I was going to spend half my life working on a typewriter or computer keyboard?

And finally? Laptops have a full-size keyboard. I can poke around the iPhone for short texts, but by the time I get to a full paragraph, I’m too tired to bother with more. That’s why kids don’t know how to use English as a language. In an attempt to make their texts shorter, they’ve invented a whole sub-language consisting of common computer expressions. I don’t understand more than a quarter of them — maybe even less. Then they get to college and they really think LOL is a real word and try to use it on compositions for English classes (I know a couple of English professors). They don’t learn spelling or punctuation, either. It’s all Emojis and contractions.

I really love my computers. Both of them. I even love my Kindles. I’m also getting quite fond of the iPhone because it has good sound levels and Garry can actually hear it. I can Facetime friends with a lot less complexity than Zooming or Skyping. That being said, the iPhone is pretty much a communications device for me. It has a couple of other uses, especially in an emergency, but it’s too small for me to use for blogging. Also, I do a lot of rewriting … and that too requires real estate. I used to have a desktop Mac that had a huge and wonderful screen, but it finally got old and died.

I use my iPhone to take pictures if I don’t have a camera and I really want it, but it isn’t going to replace my cameras. The pictures are good, as long as you don’t try to enlarge them. That’s when you can see the difference. Fine for snap shooting cute dogs, family, the friends — but the lens has significant limitations. It’s definitely better than not taking the picture at all, but if I have a choice, I’d rather use a better camera.

So there you have it. As for all the places you can blog, I’m not a toilet writer, I never take buses because we don’t have any, and I get seasick trying to read or write in a car … and anyway, we never go anywhere these days. We didn’t go a lot of places before, so the fact that I could blog from my treehouse is entertaining, but not especially practical.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all plus a big helping of cynicism.

13 thoughts on “WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TOOL? – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. Of course, I don’t blog (by far!) as much as you do, so my favorite tool is an iPad Pro with a protective case that triples as external keyboard and stand. Additionally, it is more than enough for my daily activities/needs: email, music, news, crossword puzzles, reading Kindle and iBooks, Zoom and other communication platforms, etc…


  2. laptop for me, too. so much easier than the smaller devices. Although, after shoulder surgery a few years back, I did figure out how to dictate things on my iPhone. Okay for text messages, but not longer stuff. I took typing in high school also, and its served me well, even as it did provide the only C on my transcript. Good I had other abilities that provided a decent living. And of course, now with all the correction and editing functions on the computer, I am much faster than I was way back then. Just realized that I finished my typing course 50 years ago. Oh dear.


  3. I took a typing class in high school, but never took to the standard way they try to teach how to type. Years of typing on keyboards, particularly once I finally got the internet in 2000, taught my brain where all the keys are, and my fingers just somehow find their way reasonably swiftly… and maybe even keep up with my brain as the words I want to say go through my mind. I still wear out the Backspace key, though…


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