Ironies and computing fun

I’m having an oddly ironic set of moments this past week and a half. I’m “happier.” (see the post directly below this one.) I am the new proud owner of an Eee PC.

http://eeepc.asus.com/global/900.htm

The irony is that it hasn’t been everything I had hoped it would be. But it has been one damn cool little piece of equipment, so I’m no longer closely watching the last possible return date to Amazon.

.

The first irony? I love to write…and type said writing. I love to work easily while connected to the internet, spreading my papers and bills all over a spacious table top, vs. the cluttered, cramped room my existing “desktop” currently occupies. I’ve never had a laptop. The siren call of a laptop was beckoning me. But alas, I’m pretty much a cheapskate. I had dreams dancing through my head of this being my dedicated mobile typing machine.

I thought to myself, what a CUTE little machine to type on…anywhere I want. And all for under $400?!?

Well, it can be typed on…tediously. But for websurfing, and brief email responses, it’s awesome. I’m typing this post on it right now. But the hubby has a collection of old parts lying around, including a full-sized keyboard and mouse that I frequently hook up to the USB ports, if I’m staying put. But I CAN move around now, with my computer. Cool!!! Fast bootup time, I even watched it somewhere on YouTube. It doesn’t seem quite as fast for me, but it’s way faster than my old setup.

The Linux version of a personal information manager. I thought to myself, Outlook or Palm functionality offline, and on a bigger screen, and usable at home or anywhere I find myself? Well, that hasn’t panned out the way I want it to. Kontact is no Outlook or Palm Desktop for me. But that didn’t keep me from trying my darndest to make it be one for me.

Another irony? You see, in the first week I got it I was exploring all its features, and deciding how I would exploit them to good use. Trying this, trying that, seeing how this or that printed, or sync’d, or what have you. The irony that I was twittering away a good part of my week off work to “play” with “productivity” tools. (i.e. NOT getting things done.) Currently I have my organizational system in place. Ironically enough, I COULD have done all this with the desktop. I could have done it on a bigger screen, a bigger keyboard, an always connected mouse. But it’s okay. Cuz now I can surf the web while I’m occupying the same physical space as my TV watching family! (what all-American togetherness and quality time we aspire to, eh?) Now, it’s easy to let my kids surf the web and do the parental hover. (there was no room in the “computer room” for meaningful, comfortable hovering. Now I simply have them work wirelessly whereever I’m doing my work.

And, after all, I CAN type on the thing. It’s a mobile blogger. (once I quit toying with the myriad ways I could be “productive” and actually sit down and type something!) A mobile office. My organizational system? I have a bookmark folder with gmail, an online billpayer, tada lists, and Google Calendar. I could carry on and on about why I made the choices I did, but suffice it to say, I explored them from every possible venue, and they were the right choices for me. To heck with so-called “integration.” I have keyboard shortcuts for copy and paste. I’m ready!

(note: new discovery of tada list! LOVE IT. http://www.tadalist.com/ Simple, reorderable. All manual ordering, without “programming” the darned thing with priorities and due dates in specialized fields. Lots of clean visual whitespace in the screens you work with. Organizing with a jampacked cluttered screen messes up my spirit when I’m trying to get organized…I appreciate the clean look as a foil to my messy house and desktops and tabletops and…(well, you get the idea!) One touch email gives me a nice paper list to print out when/if I need one. Oh, I do love that little tool! “Ta-da!”)

Old love, and new increased utilization of Google Calendar. I love how you can “layer” your calendars with Google, and see as many or as few of them as you like. I like to live a balanced, holistic life, but there are times where to zone in on the details, it’s best to be able to isolate one area or aspect of my life. Different calendars, displayed together or separately at will, with a simple touch of a button on the sidebard, allow you to do that.

So now you know a little more about how geeky and lame I am. A high tech way to waste time, and appear to be organized about the whole thing! (ha ha!)

Peace! – Karla

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