Hardware and Software

Despite having promised on the landing page that this would be a data-free reading experience, I feel obliged to say a few words about how I am planning to write and post that writing to my web site without using a computer. If you have no interest in the nuts and bolts of this operation, I urge you to stop reading now.

The key piece of technology here is a folding Bluetooth keyboard. I settled on something called the iClever IC-BK05, which, so far, seems to be a solidly built and pleasingly portable piece of work. It is a full-size keyboard, when unfolded, but it weighs less than 10 ounces and collapses down into a metal-sheathed dolmen that is about 4” x 6” by ½” thick. The battery life is advertised at 5 hours, while using the backlight to make the keys more – “pretty” is the word I’m looking for, I suppose – or an incredible 30 hours when I reconcile myself to the old-fashioned, reflected-light keys that I have been using my whole life. There are a few growing pains, as with any new technology, but I have solved most of them by the desperate expedient of reading the part of the slim manual marked “Attention.”

The only other essential hardware I’m using is a stand that props up my phone at a reasonable viewing angle. There are many such devices on the market. This one is a MOKO brand that folds flat, into a slab perhaps twice the thickness and surface area of a credit card.

I have installed an Android version of WordPress on my phone (a Blu Life One X, by the way), which I have not looked at very carefully; if it allows me to make anything like the same number of mistakes as the desktop version, it should be more than dangerous enough for my purposes.

The Android version of Microsoft Word that I am using to write these words is not going to be the right program for me. A Google search implies that the problem I am having with making the menu visible is endemic to Android devices. Although it is true that all I really need is some way to display, edit, and save text – that formatting concerns are not relevant until I move the words to the Web – I need to be able to change the font size, so that the words on the screen remind me less of trying to read the condensed OED after misplacing the magnifying glass. The menu functionality may not be entirely absent – I seem to be able to occasionally bring it up by pressing Alt – but, having revealed it, I cannot dispel it again without pressing Esc, which kicks me back out to the desktop. I may be maligning this program unfairly, but I’m sure that something simpler is likely to be better for me.

My camera is a Sony RX100 IV, which allows me to send selected photos wirelessly to my phone. When the photos are on my phone, I can perform almost all of the editing I can readily imagine using a free Google app named Snapseed.

Finally, I can’t imagine attempting to do this without a reliable source of backup power. I am using an Anker PowerCore 10,000, which has already saved me so often that, in my weaker moments, I am capable of believing that I deserve to be saved.

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  1. I’m quite interested in the hardware and software, having got every aspect of it wrong on my own recent trip. I love your cunning little keyboard.

  2. As, I think it was Guy said, Q branch couldn’t do better for James Bond.

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