Review – writing with word processors

This is going to be more of a commentary than a review, since this one is like cars or food. Everyone has a preference.

Writing can be done with paper and pencil, as mentioned  with my review on pads. Writing with computers allow for more things. Obviously, I’m composing this post on a computer. That allows me to have a spellchecker, reference, my Evernote notebooks, and music playing in the background if I want it.

It also makes for distractions, but that is up to you to control that.

Microsoft Office Logo

As for word processors, there are a ton of them out there. Microsoft Office is the predominant suite out there, and Word is the word processing program that a lot of people think of when they think of something to sling words with. It has features and abilities that allow for many things to be done, along with different functions to fulfill just about anything that requires a digital presence.

LibreOffice Logo

Me, personally, I don’t use Office. What with my Linux experience, and having been exposed to open source technology, I prefer to use LibreOffice. For my writing, it performs just as well as Office. It is a fork of OpenOffice, and many of the themes, and extensions from that work with LibreOffice as well. In fact, I’ve used Microsoft Word themes and items with LibreOffice more than a few times. Plugged right in.

Abiword Logo

If you as a writer want something else, I’ll reach further back. When I was running my music podcast in 2008 or so, I used Abiword. Abiword is a tiny program, in relation to either Word or LibreOffice’s Writer, and it can be installed on a USB drive for use in any Windows computer. It also will run under Linux in WINE, or compiled/packaged for your distribution. I used it to compose my pages for the page, insert hyperlinks, and pretty much all around used it quite a bit.

Also, there are all the Notepad/Wordpad/Edit clones out there for Windows, and the vi/nano/emacs/gedit/geany cornucopia of editors and processors for Linux. These are the ultimate in no distraction computerized writing. Except for the sound of keys, it could be similar to using a typewriter. Remember those? I do.

Then there are the apps.

Polaris Office Logo

I have Polaris Office 5 installed on my phone (yes, my phone) and my tablets. If I should be out and about somewhere, get inspiration for this or that and I don’t have paper or pen, well, I can dash off a quick paragraph or so. Granted, the taptaptaptaptap on a cell phone screen can be a little rough, but it gets the job done. There are quite a few of this variety available for use on your smartphone, either Apple or Android or Windows Phones.

There’s a lot out there. Find one that suits you.

Happy writing!

-JB Steele

Review: Logitech MK270 Wireless Combo

MK270 small

This is a review of the Logitech MK270 wireless combination mouse and keyboard. This review is being typed using this hardware, and it is working quite well. I purchased this unit several months ago, and put it to use in my writing endeavors.

The mouse is a standard two button clickwheel mouse that has a good feel in the hand. For my larger hands, it is a little bit light but with the single AA battery installed, it tends to gain a little more heft. The response and tactile feel of this device is snappy and works well. The battery is rated at 12 months, but I would recommend quality batteries. The ON/OFF switch on the underside of the mouse will aid in the conservation of energy.
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