Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Friday, 10 August 2001

I've spent a lot of the past two days dealing with my desktop G4 that had become unstable. I ran a disk test utility yesterday (that took all evening). It found no problems. So, this evening I've been reinstalling the OS and the applications that I use most often. I think that's just about all done now.

Late note: Argh! the text editor I've been using for my fiction (the free version of Nisus Writer, version 4.1.6) doesn't seem to work under MacOS 9.1! (Which I went ahead and upgraded to, as long as I had to reinstall anyway.)

This is not a catastrophe. I have a bunch of other text editors. But I rather liked one thing about Nisus Writer: It saves its files as text files, with the markup in the data fork. That means that I can always get the text for my stories, even if I can't use the program that wrote them. This means that it will be easy to move my stories to other text editors. But, if I do, I lose that great advantage for the next time something breaks. Sigh. It's almost enough to make me just move my fiction writing to my OpenBSD machine.

I hate spending time this way, but at least I can. My last officemate (before they moved us into cubes) was a tech writer. She had a pretty good handle on technical stuff, but she could still be daunted by those things that you just have to know. She'd sometimes have trouble with her Mac at home and ask me about something and I'd be able to say, "Oh, you have to do such-and-such to fix that." And she'd say, "How do you know that?" And I'd think about it and say, "Well, I think Steve (or Quentin or Dale) told me about that," or "I think I saw something on Slashdot (or the Apple web site, or MacWeek)," or "I ran into that problem myself and spent three days trying things until I got it to work the way I wanted." But there'd be no way to keep up with this stuff unless it was either your job, or else something that you found interesting in its own right.

It was a long day at work at the end of a long week at work. But, I was generally successful in accomplishing my tasks, so it wasn't a bad day nor a bad week.


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