by Joe Wallace
I’ve been trying an experiment in the last eight weeks as I work on my book manuscript for WTF Records: The Turntabling.net Guide To Weird and Wonderful Vinyl.
Instead of doing what I used to do, which was writing and editing directly in Word, I’ve been using Google Docs to do first drafts, then save them to the hard drive at the end of the session using the Download As feature.
I’ve got several chapters I’m working on at once because the book, which is a collection of reviews of bizarre and strange vinyl records, has a variety of categories. I put on the records and re-orient myself with them as I’m writing and the pile always crosses several categories, so it’s not quite a linear book writing experience–definitely one that is assembled from its various components.
In other words, FRANKENBOOK!
The experiment is going well–the most valuable thing in Google Docs when working this way is the ability to download several documents all at once as a zipped file. I find that when I’m off in a coffee shop somewhere or on the road and want to do a quick revision on a section I wrote earlier, having it all in Google Docs is a major convenience. Also, it eliminates the worries about hard drive crashes and the like since I always have a copy backed up online.
Of course, if Google Docs crashes AND my hard drive dies, I’m stuck–but that’s a good argument for using a zip drive to backup the backup.
So far, so good.
by Catherine L. Tully
Is everything we know about computer operating systems about to change? If Google has its way–it is. Google Chrome is making a big splash, and people are saying that things like virus software and computer updates may well be a thing of the past if it catches on. The key will be having a notebook computer that has Chrome installed on it. Flash-based memory will replace hard drives and online storage will allow faster, more efficient booting and saving. While the manufacturers that Google will be pairing with are still a mystery, it is interesting to think about what may be down the road for us all…
Check out some of the FAQs from PC World and let me know if you’re excited.
The external hard drive pictured here is the Lacie One Terrabyte Big Disk Extreme. It’s what’s known as a RAID drive, which means nothing to those who use their computers only for word processing and games; for those who edit images, audio and video it means a great deal. RAID drives are optimized for high-performance multimedia work, and freelancers who don’t limit themselves to the printed page should seriously consider switching to a RAID drive instead of simply using any old external drive.
Still scratching your head as to why you should spend $224.99 on one of these? Again, if you aren’t a multimedia freelancer you probably don’t need a RAID, but if you are tempted to move into audio, digital photography and video to enhance your paychecks, here are some compelling reasons:
1. Auto-backup. This particular RAID drive is configured to be redundant in case of data loss. For some freelancers, this is a good argument for investing the bucks even if you don’t do anything but write. If you write large volumes–such as a novel or textbook–the redundancy could save you in case the worst happens. Continue reading External Hard Drives: The Freelancer’s Friend →