Once again weeks have passed without a blog post. I can only blame a particularly nasty flu, compounded by travelling while sick. It put me flat on my back for a couple of weeks and I only really started feeling vaguely normal again this week. But enough snivelling, it’s time to thank Father Nurgle for his gifts and move on.
I recently started carrying my Windows laptop into work. There were a number of reasons for this. The trackpad on my MacBook Air has gone on the blink. (I have the ungodly power to ruin trackpads on Apple machines after a year or two. Maybe it’s a mutant ability to sense their weakness and destroy them or perhaps the Machine God picks on me when Nurgle does not—that would make an unpleasant tag team.)
I needed to use Microsoft Word for Windows because, after many happy years of using Word for OSX, I have finally discovered why people hate it—the truth is that it is terrible at handling long, complexly formatted documents. All I get is the spinning beach-ball of doom. I never used to understand why people whined so much about Word on the Mac. I get it now. It’s always done really well for me when writing and editing manuscripts. On the power user stuff, it’s not so good.
Why do I need to format complex documents in Word, I hear you ask? I am laying out the print versions of the Kormak books in it, a process that has proved to be surprisingly easy and which I will post more about at a future date.
In any case, I needed to bring in my Windows machine, an Asus Republic of Gamers behemoth that weighs roughly ten pounds with its power brick. The strangest thing is that in my mind I had convinced myself that carrying this thing to my co-working space would be the equivalent of humping a sack of potatoes along for the twenty minute walk. Ten pounds plus the carrying bag, I thought gloomily, contemplating the enormous difference between that and skipping along toting my svelte MacBook Air.
The truth is that I did not even notice any difference. It may be that carrying the baby on long walks has built up my muscular strength. It seems more likely that a measly six pounds or so weight difference between the two computers makes absolutely no difference to a man of my enormous bulk. I am starting to suspect there is a triumph of marketing over common sense in there somewhere.
So what have I been working on? I have been bouncing the outline for the third Macharius book backwards and forwards with my esteemed editor Nick Kyme. I have been polishing the final draft of the fourth Kormak book City of Strife and I have been amusing myself with aforementioned laying out of print books.
And how have I found working in Windows? Well, Scrivener is neither as pretty nor as powerful as it is on a Mac but it seems to have roughly 99% of the functionality that I use. Office 2010 is a lot better than the Mac equivalent. Windows Live Writer, on which I am writing this blog post, is actually a bit better than Marsedit on the Mac. Everything else I use, such as Firefox, is much the same just not as pretty. What can I say? I happen to really like the OSX interface.
Anyway, I have a lot to catch up on with the blog—some reviews, a guest post or two which has languished while I did and some articles I’ve been meaning to put up for a while. Hopefully it won’t be another few weeks before I make a start.