Tools of the trade

September 21, 2007

From time to time this site – Jeff Cutler dot com – will present writers with some info they might want to be more successful and have more fun in their writing life.

Today, I’m alerting you to a few tools that I find indispensable when I’m writing for fun and for money.

1 – The AlphaSmart line of typing machines. I call them typing machines because that’s what schools use them for – keyboarding. But for the writer – pro or amateur – the AlphaSmart line is a great tool. They run for hundreds of hours on a set of batteries. They’re flash memory based so they don’t lose files. They are rechargeable and LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT. Learn more >

2 – Laptop. When you’re not typing on your AlphaSmart, you’re going to probably want a laptop. I’m a confessed Macintosh fan-boy because it’s what I know and I have found Macs easy to work with for the 17 years+ that I’ve been writing for money. As a writer, you don’t need more than a Macbook. Look here for your model >  A few tips about what to get…. buy lots of space, buy lots of memory (RAM), buy a DVD burner, and don’t be afraid to commit to a model.* Also, buy it as a student if you can and get it shipped to a state with no taxes like NH or FL so you won’t pay sales tax on a $1100+ item.

3 – DSL or WiFi connectivity. I currently have Verizon DSL for my Internet connectivity at home, but when I’m on the road I use the USB720 WiFi modem. It let’s me connect to the Internet anywhere I can get a cell signal. Learn more >   At $60 a month, it’s a little pricey, but think about that the next time you’re at a client’s office (or even at the beach) and you’ve got to send off that one file. It’s great and it uses FAST EVDO technology.

That’s all for now. If you have a topic for jeff cutler dot com, send it in via the comments below.

*SOME people have indicated that Apple is going back to the subnotebook. It will be a sub or a compact compact laptop from Apple. Similar to the 12″ PowerBook, this model should be out in mid-October (according to a source at Apple, Inc.) and will be part of the MacBook Pro line. I think the name will be MacBook Mini. Maybe I’ll go buy the domain name right now. Hmmmm. SO, if you’re ready to buy a laptop and are going with an Apple Macintosh, wait three weeks to see if this subcompact MacBook Pro appears.

Keep writing!