Chaos Manor View, Thursday, June 9, 2016
Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.
Under Capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under Socialism, the powerful become rich.
Under Socialism, government employees become powerful.
I have enough experience with the 15” ASUS ZenBook to recommend it, but of course in my case its real importance is that the keyboard is the best I have found for me: a touch typist who lost that ability to a stroke, and must now look at the keyboard as I do two-finger typing. The ZenBook 15” is really god for that; the keys are chicklet keys, widely separated, so that may most common error, hitting two keys at once, is made less often. The screen is big enough that my ancient eyes can see details, and its screen resolution is good enough to show them. For on the road convenience the Microsoft Surface Pro is great, but for production work it is too small. Not just the screen, but the keyboard itself. I make fewer errors than I do with conventional keyboards, but I make too many; and the screen is annoyingly small for editing work.
My setup in the Monk’s Cell where I do most of my fiction writing consists of the 15” ASUS ZenBook, a powered USB hub extender that may eventually be replaced with a docking station, and a 2’’ 4K monitor connected to the ZenBook with a standard HDMI cable. I can sort of see the 15” screen while staring at the keyboard – not well, but enough to let me catch some errors as I make them – and then I use an external Microsoft redeye mouse and the big screen to edit. When I am writing I am not constantly shifting my gaze from the keyboard to the monitor; when I edit I can look at the big monitor only.
While setting this up I discovered, thanks to some experienced readers as well as my long suffering advisors, that Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection actually works. I told my main machine that he was now to accept remote logins, and saved that; then went upstairs, opened a file explorer, Network/ZEN, and right-clicked on Zen. After a bit of reasonably rational foofaraw, I was looking at my main machine, and could do anything with it that I can do from his own keyboard.
Now it’s physically difficult for me to carry a 15” laptop up and down stairs, and sufficiently dangerous that it’s not a serious option; but typing with the ZenBook and editing with a big monitor attached to the ZenBook is so much more pleasant than using the best keyboard I have found so far, the Logitech K360, on my main machine that I am seriously contemplating getting another ZenBook, whose sole job in life will be to operate my main machine through Remote Desktop Connection. That sound a bit absurd and certainly is not a cheap solution, but it is so much more pleasant and productive than what I now have that I am seriously contemplating it.
There are some advantages, including allowing me to work from the breakfast table, but actually the Surface Pro is good enough for that since I don’t do creative writing in a distractive environment, and while Precious, the Surface Pro, is too small for production, it’s fine for taking notes – particularly now that she can operate my main machine from anywhere in the house. But to do productive work, the best thing I have found – remember I am a formerctouch typist reduced to two finger andcmust stare at the keyboard – for getting work done.
So I’ll get someone to take me to Fry’s and other stores and look at all the keyboards they have, but vI suspect I am about to buy a new 15” ZenBook whose most important function will be to be the entry device for a big desktop.
As to why bother with a desktop at all, the major reason is reliability over time. Laptops tend to be reliable but fail suddenly and without warning, and nearly impossible to repair; I build, or Eric builds for me, the desktops we use, and we put in redundant components if that’s appropriate; and short of utter catastrophic hard disk failure, there’s littlecin a big cooled desktop that we can’t fix in an couple of hours.
So that’s the probable future of computing at Chaos Manor. Two ZenBooks, operating a big fast modern system with both SSD and spinning metal drives (for redundancy).
I’ve already done some good work on the Avalon interstellar colony book Niven and Barnes and I are working on, and I’m looking forward to getting going again on both Mamelukes and LisaBetta (a near future novel in which we have some interplanetary commerce; it has a lot on AI).
Time for dinner. More on this later, as well as education and some military observations.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.