Working Wednesday

Heads get heavy in the sun

This is the first day which I’ve been able to sit outside. The sun is beaming down, and sitting indoors in my office is freezing, so instead I am sitting in the back yard, typing on my Astrohaus Freewrite.

Many people have said to me that the Freewrite is a ludicrous extravagance, that it’s a ridiculous amount of money to pay for a computer that will not allow you to edit, will not allow you to use the internet for emails or surfing – that doesn’t even have a colour screen, only a Kindle-esque e-ink screen in black on white. What possible reason would persuade anyone to buy a machine like a Freewrite?

My answer is, those people are absolutely right. If they want a computer to edit on, or a system to surf the web, or something with advances graphics and colour, they would be mad to buy a Freewrite.

God knows, there are enough machines out there to do those jobs. Personally I would recommend Apple devices, just because of their looks, but my daughter, who’s studying Architecture at university, bought herself a Hewlett Packard, with a touch screen, that was astonishingly powerful, and ideal for her needs. A Freewrite would not have suited her at all.

In my own case, I have bought several Apple laptops. The last one was a MacBook Air, which is a fabulously powerful device, with wonderful colour resolution, marvellous software that allows me to integrate it with my iMac in my office, and which looks divine.

I love the iMac looks – but it is nothing like so comfortable, effective or relaxing to type on.

And yes, looks matter. I am currently in the interesting position of needing a second camera. There’s nothing wrong with my Nikon D7100 (apart from the auto focus when recording video), but it’s just so big! When I’m out and about I really want a camera I can stick in my pocket. Fuji has a delightful range of cameras, but the ones I really like the look of are the X100 range. The latest, the X100F, is way out of my price range, but a second hand X100, which is now quite an old device, would serve me very well, I think. Yes, it’s only some 12 MPixels, rather than my Nikon’s 24, but it is much more convenient to carry. I’d be more likely to have it with me. And the best camera you can have is the one you have with you.

But there is more to the X100. It looks beautiful. It’s got the range finder appearance that people used to love in the 1960s and 70s. It has actual dials on top, so I can set shutter speed and aperture with knobs, rather than scrolling down some menu or other. And it does what I would want: take beautiful photos. No need for video, I want something that will do good pictures. Plus, it’s a device I will enjoy using.

The Freewrite is pretty much the same. It has lots of things missing that are there on my MacBook Air: the web browsing ability, twitter, colour screen, email – but that is exactly why I bought it: because it is designed to do one thing exceptionally well: it is designed to help me write without distractions. And that is why I’ve taken only fifteen minutes to type 514 words.

Yes, I could have walked out here with the MacBook Air. I could have set it on my lap – although not easily. It never seems to balance. But then I would have quickly glanced at emails, perhaps nipped over to check on a website or two, or …

And I would not have got this much typed.

This is why I bought my Freewrite: for days like today, when I just wanted to sit outside while typing. It’s better for me than a MacBook Air or Hewlett Packard. It does the job I need it to.

Oh, and it may sound like a lot of money (about £500 now, I think), but let’s put it into perspective: that’s only a quarter of the sum you would spend on an iMac. And it does my job far better. That, I think, is pretty good value.

The dogs think so too.

7 Responses to “Working Wednesday”
  1. I am so jealousMichael! …lol still not parted with the cash! Cheers


    • It’s a fair few pounds, but I can only say, it’s a brilliant tool. I have never been able to use my MacBook Air in the garden – it’s too badly balanced, the screen reflects so much I can’t read it, and the keys feel horrible in comparison to a real keyboard like the Freewrite’s!


  2. This is very interesting. Thank you for sharing!


  3. Gary Harrison says:

    Sometimes you just want to write! I have an ancient Tandy Model 100. 40 character LCD screen, super keyboard, runs a month on 4 AA batteries. I understand completely.


    • It makes life so much more pleasant when you can just leave your desk and take a better writing tool with you to a different place, doesn’t it? Happy writing, my friend.


  4. Jack Eason says:

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Something from Michael in Devon…

    Liked by 1 person

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