⚡ November 11, 2017
My Computer, My Friend 👯
About a month or so ago, I dropped one of my beloveds and went running off into text heaven with a new best, best friend. Goodby Sublime; hello (cough) Visual Studio Code. By Microsoft, no less. As an almost lifetime Apple fan, voluntarily working with something from Microsoft is ironic and funny since I run from their programs and machines any chance I get. But software evolves like the living thing it is, and suddenly a freebie from Microsoft is more fun and rewarding to use than the pricy text editor Sublime. But that’s not the topic of today’s piece because I just don’t know enough programming to really say anything of value.
Rather, I play with the pretty colors when typing in Markdown, HTML, or CSS. Those are the ways I frame my writing, whether it’s for this blog, the One Stitch blog, or various fictional excitements. Writers become thrilled with anything that helps thoughts flow smooth and swift from me to you. When I felt my first gold nib ice skate over the paper, I was in ecstasy. Hammering manual typewriters were replaced by singing electric typewriters … until the first time I sat in front of the new machine Bill had researched and purchased and learned how to put together in 1981, just after I had corrected the galleys on my first novel.
I sat down in a folding chair and typed and watched a darkened tubular screen come to life with my words. From that day to this, from Word Pro to Nisus to Omm to Scrivener, I’ve tried to pledge my troth to various programs, only to end in failure and locked-away projects. HyperCard remains my first love, the one that got away. I do think that talking about it eases the pain, and one day someone will read these words, scroll down to the Disqus discussion under each post, and tell me how I can get my old text out of the poor dead HyperCard embrace.
Around 2012, when my businesses were crashing and I was feeling increasingly powerless in the face of Adobe and it’s cloud-based excesses, I said Enough! and learned how to communicate with the screen in its own language, and I haven’t regretted that leap of faith one bit. Taking back your words and working in plain text is much more revolutionary than you would think, and learning about the entire world of Open Source and free-as-in-freedom-not-lunch software has been very empowering. I am trying to future-proof the entire output of my writing life, because that’s what growing older does to you. It makes you notice the message of the seasons, passing as they do and returning as they do. Only, we don’t.
Listen to the siren call of the computer. Immortality is here, with the push of a button! Press any combination of keys and live forever in the thoughts and minds of your friends and neighbors and unborn fans, hive mind a-hummin’, hearts all beating as one. 🐔