My 17″ MacBook is too big and valuable to carry around all the time, and it’s too uncomfortable to use sitting up in bed. So I started looking for a small, lightweight notebook computer for use as a typewriter. I wanted good battery life and a nice keyboard for as little money as possible–the usual nirvana of most computer users.
I settled on the Asus 200E. It was the right price and is capable of running Linux, this being important because, as a long time Mac user, my favourite operating system is Linux Mint.
I’m using Haroopad to write this post. Haroopad is a Markdown document processor that I’m a huge fan of – it looks good, works well, and has all the functions a casual writer with a blog could possibly need, and much more beside.
For longer writing I use Lyx; for organisation I like Kabikaboo; notes and links I keep in Simplenote which I access with nvPY, and I sometimes go back to using Scrivener for organising research. (I have a Mac licence but the official/unnofficial Linux version works well in Mint).
The final piece of software I rely on is a pomodoro timer that sits in the computer toolbar, ticking away and helping me write. This applet version by Greg Freeman is excellent.
I can’t sing the praises of either the Asus, or Linux Mint too highly. As a team they work together as if they came out of a factory as a Minty Asus Typewriter.
Comment if you have any questions about setting your Asus up like this, or writing on a Mint flavoured typewriter.