Blog Post No. 477
Several years ago, I noticed a dead pixel on my laptop screen. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was there or not, but after some very simple tests, I was certain. Thankfully, my laptop was still under warranty. Since it’s a MacBook, I had to bring it in to an authorized repair place. The closest Apple store (in my country (there’s a closer one over the border) is two hours away, but there was a place in my city that was authorized to make apple repairs. I took my laptop in and they replaced the screen at no cost to me.
I was jazzed. I thought I would have to live with the dead pixel, which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I never be able to not see it. The little things tend to bother me too much. Unfortunately, the screen I got as a replacement was scratched. It looked as though someone had taken steel wool to it. Big patches were permanently marred. At first, I thought that it was just dirty, but no matter what I did, it wouldn’t get ‘clean’.
Unfortunately, I didn’t notice at first. When the screen was on and there was no sunlight reflecting off of it, it just looked smudged. I didn’t realize the extent of the damage until I went out to write with the Wrecking Writing Crew. By then, the repair place had closed down (apparently with people’s laptops locked in the store).
I’m due for a new laptop soon. I tend to get close to a decade out of them and I’m just about at that point now. In the mean time, especially since I’ve done all of my writing at home over the last few years, I’ve looked into getting an external monitor for my desk. I’ve had a really old monitor as a second screen, mostly for editing, but I thought that it was time for something new (and a lot larger).
I like to edit with the reviewed copy and the original on screen so that I can read both and decide what I want to keep or not. The second screen (while significantly lower resolution) was good enough, but it was off to the side. For my new monitor, I wanted something large enough that I could put the two copies side by side. Text being my primary usage, I also wanted to make sure the monitor had a decent resolution, too.
I spent a good year-and-a-half looking for the right monitor for the right price and finally pulled the trigger last month when one that I had been keeping an eye on went on sale. I’ve got it all set up and have already been editing Snow on it. The screen looks great and it’s in a better position ergonomically, too. It’s been strange getting used to working on one larger screen rather than two smaller screens (I’m still working out where to put all the windows) but I think this one was a good purchase.
I try to not spend money frivolously. It’s always nice to get new toys (even toys that will help with your work). The trick has been balancing what to go ahead and buy and when. I’m not getting a new laptop for a couple more years (at least) but I do have a new monitor that has been helpful with writing and editing. I think that’s a good balance. I’m looking forward to getting into edits on the Invasion Novel and writing the next novel on the new screen this year. I doubt that it will improve efficiency or my writing ability, but it should be more enjoyable (and less strain on my neck).