…the geeky bit
I didn’t have any preconceptions about how I intended to write the book and I expected to tackle it like other things I had written. It would just be longer.
As it turned out I think the way I wrote the book was partly influenced by the subject matter. It is a new subject which is influenced by technology. I have a small music room in the house with keyboards, and various bits of music kit I have acquired over the years. The small desk and PC on it became the hub for writing the book. The first obstacle was the fact that this was a PC intended to recording music and had no word processor. I already have Microsoft Office on the PC in my bedroom and didn’t want to buy it again. I discovered that Sun Microsystems had released a free Office style suite that was compatible with Word called Open Office.org. I downloaded it and was away.
I kept two copies of the book. One saved on my bedroom PC rather that the PC I was working on (I think because the music room PC had crashed and burned about a month earlier and it was a Dell and writing about Dell Hell made me nervous). I also kept a version of the book on a memory stick so I could work on it when travelling. This I did both at the 2008 Hay Festival and in the final stages when on holiday in France in summer 08 when working on the final edit on a Linux based Eee PC that I bought at the airport – also using Office.org. Whilst I mainly used Office.org I used Word on several occasions too – there were no compatibility issues.
Another important aspect of the writing was that a good proportion of it was dictated into the PC using Windows Speech Recognition. The programme is comes pre-loaded with Vista and whilst it was not immediately obvious that it was there once I had discovered it, it proved easy to use and improved my work rate. I think it also had a positive impact on the language closing the gap between the thought and the words appearing on the page.