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Autumnal Equinox 2021

Flying Fingers

I’ve spent the past few weeks in a frustrated search for a better system by which to digitally input and store my writer-thoughts. (My personal ones I keep in a journal.) The Computer never was, and never will be — the catalyst of my creativity, so the PR/Image/Sales Hype Wizards can simply agree to not exist where I — and my flying fingers — are concerned.

In 2008, I started my digital-novelist trek with a Dell. It was lemon yellow, and it came to be known as The Lemon. Clunky but solid, the thing wore out before I’d finished composing THE DAWN. Dear Husband had procured for me a plug-in separate keyboard for typing, but the set-up was inconvenient for this writer. Lugging the equipment, along with the paper research files, around the house, in search of a quiet place to write, that activity became too active, too onerous and too stressful.

In 2011, I bought the HP. A wide-screen Hewlett Packard Pavilion helped me to feel the Zen with the San Jose Sharks in their HP Pavilion Arena. I composed NOCTURNE on the HP; but by the end of 2013, the HP Pavilion, and the Sharks, had run out of their ether-sphere-gas. I then began my own trek toward the Apple, but was not quite ready to bite by October 2013.  (See Columbus Day 2013 Essay.)

That same year of 2013, the naming rights of the Shark Tank went to a German computer company called SAP. Symbolism can so very cruel!

I composed THE GHOST on that HP, and then that small novel was e-published during the summer of 2014. The bridge to the Apple future loomed before me, and I could not avoid it, because the Apple core was now Intel-inside. (Apple had been Intel’d Inside sometime around 2006 but my focus during that era was on home-schooling.)

That Christmas in 2014, I joyously received the MacBook Pro as a gift, in spite of the fact that I disdain giving or receiving technology devices for any holiday, but especially a spiritual one. That restriction is consistent with my much-stated practical and categorical determination:

“This is something I/We should already have.”

My need for a decently working laptop had become grotesque!

That MacBook Pro laptop, most unfortunately, experienced a head-crash in July 2014. That device was replaced with a newer model since my unit was the last of its kind here on Apple-earth. (I’ve described the rocky non-love affair with the Apple herein: The Shut Your Mouth Event.)

My very personal gift thus went the way of the digital recycling bin, perhaps to be refurbished and handed over to a government school for the almighty tax deduction that, for Apple Inc., has got to be All-Mighty.

That autumn of 2015 (well in advance of Christmas) I donated my HP laptop to a friend of Dear Daughter, a guy who was not quite a Luddite, but headed directly toward that non-Apple nirvana! I’ve no idea what he gleaned from the memories of my memory on that thing, but I was boldly advancing on my way to creative endeavours through Apple-World and Pages — and Dear Daughter was in a state of transport.

I’d finally committed my writing talents to fiction and had left the tech-writer life behind me, maybe even for good! I’d ditched Word and Microsoft and the HP, those non-intuitive tools used by those engineers, including her Dear Brother.

Scorrrrre! One for Daughter-sibling and the motherboard-brain-trust rivalry.

I am now on my 3rd MacBook Pro, and I feel a profound need to find a means by which to free my flying fingers to even greater flights, to even higher heights within the imagination nation. Those Westerns, and my Muse, command me:

Get your aesthetic act together! Buy a professional keyboard!! And a softer screen, one that does not require night-vision goggles during the day!

That aesthetic act consists of a wider screen with a separate typing console that emulates my beloved IBM Selectric-2. The rows of keys on any laptop, regardless of the manufacturer, all look the same. None can keep up with my flying fingers. The keys freeze up. I have to wait for the computer to catch up with me!

Any PC keyboard is basically a rectangular touch-pad, covered with a plastic membrane. I therefore have to pound the letters, rather than tickle the ivories on a literary piano. The paint on each key wears off fairly fast that way.

I’d been very enthused by the WhiteFox mechanical keyboard, in the NightFox configuration. But then Dear Husband explained to me that this typing console is a kit, a build-it-yourself project that requires a soldering iron!

I haven’t seen one of those for decades! The curling-iron is a rip-off of that design.

I chose to purchase a wireless mechanical keyboard called Keychron, the K-8. Now all I need is a screen that is not wafer-thin, glaringly annoying, and needs to be cleaned at least twice daily. It’s almost like tending to a colicky infant.

The craze these daze for the laptop is to approach a disk-skinny existence, while, at the same time, offering a fat Dagwood sandwich of functions. Methinks the waveform, and non-repairable, circuit-board programming of the TVs, a lucrative Asian design-mindset that began in the late 1970s (just as the PC was being hatched in Mountain View) is starting to control the computer. Or at least the computer-makers.

Repairing one of these electronic devices is like trying to de-construct a grilled-cheese sandwich, hot off the grill. It’s a hot mess that cannot be trouble-shot — just shot!

The functional trouble is too much trouble to detect, amongst the board that’s gone bad, the chip that has burned out, or the hair-strand-thick connector that has fizzed — to infinity and beyond. The replacement part + the labour to install the part = too much $$$$. Buying a new device is the only factor to be priced into that swindle-decision.

The Shyster Marketers kept touting the bridge as the end point, which, I guess, works if it’s a bridge to nowhere. The computer was never the end-game; it’s a process, a tool used to further the needs of already existing industries and professions. What was so foolishly feared as an industry that would imperil your profession, and replace your job, has, in itself, become a replacement part.

How very sad that members of at least one generation mistook a road for a destination — all while the digital inventors and marketers deemed themselves ethically aloft the rest of us. Those innovators were not immaculate and they were not altruists, inhabiting a world of super-intelligence. Their highly vaunted paradise-cloud, floating high above the misanthropic garden walls of Apple and Google, turned out to be the mechanism by which the most basic and cherished of human rights could be, and were, exploited.

And now we, in the USA, have the latest rush of hucksters from the Cynic’s Land of Silicon, hawking a freedom gadget before it’s all gone! The gadget, not the freedom (although the freedom is sure getting pinched by the thugs and thieves of Guvmint). I suggest installing the Brave browser on your phone, if you must use a cellular calling gizmo as a computer.

After an increasingly early point in the laptop lifetime, the entire micro-circuitry is hanging by a thread. Over-heating is more a certainty with each passing month of use. The genius-heads who arrogantly believed the Computer would liberate an entire planet from the evils of the past, they’ve created the Frankenstein-monster of a machine whose manufacturing spews pollution and entices deviant thralldom to cheap labour, on a scale even the Third Reich could not have envisioned.

Ideally, I’d like to purchase a computer that lasts for up to 10 years, and is not made Over There by sweatshop labor.

Clearly, the only ethical choice for me is the Apple super high-end Mac Pro, made in the great state of Texas, as of 2019. But I do not need a custom-built mega-thousand $$$ office configuration, one that powers 5+ work-stations. I just want an efficient personal computer. For little ole me.

Maybe there are a lot of little ole me’s in America, who want to work with a morally-made laptop, instead of merely Having the Conversation about Equity and Rage, and whatever else is plastered on the front-media page of today. We’d like to walk the walk, not talk the talk.

The tech titans are now all in, thick as thieves, with underage, coolie wages for electronic toys and work tools that last, optimally, a few years. Their morally superior wave of the future head-crash-landed in Communist China. How those parasitic anti-social personalities get themselves out of that hell-hole is anyone’s guess.

It’s no wonder the egomaniacal politicians and the egomaniacal masters-of-the-internet built up their legacies — and their stock values — through the fraudulent selling of the Internet as The Universe, a world only They would control.

We, the pawns, the peons, the People, shall prove reality to be otherwise, and other-worldly, where their artificial, contrived, manipulated, distorted, contorted, fabricated, false and deluded intelligence is concerned. We’ve got REAL smarts.

Those tinpot tech giants have served to prove, on their very own servers, one undeniable truth of life: If you torture the data long enough, they will confess to anything.

The heads of these globalist corporations already treat the worker and the customer as disposable. Soon enough, their products will be that way too. That concept is not my idea of getting my aesthetic act together.

Somewhere, dreaming in a basement, someone brave is creating the Next Generation of Digital Computing. That basement is not located in the Beltway, or within the Northeast Corridor, or in California. It’s somewhere out there — in a home, home on the range.

Not the Disney mal-adaptation, but the real-life way of life.