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Writing the Book

…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.

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