Built to last

Many of you have read me talk about my laptop before. It’s definitely got that “Road Warrior” look to it – dented, bent, scratched, paint peeling off the titanium. It’s in a sweet spot where the processor is fast enough for me but it doesn’t eat up batteries. It is slender and lightweight.

I added a character count feature to Jer’s Novel Writer recently (my faithful Swedish users were pinin’ for it), and one of the documents I have done a character count on was a slimmed down (and still fat) version of The Test. Almost a million characters. Combine that with all the other stuff I have typed, and it’s no stretch to imagine that there are individual keys on this keyboard I have pressed well over a million times. Space bar, slam dunk. Backspace, probably approaching a billion by now.

Sure, sure, there are plenty of people who have pressed their keys far more than that, but still it’s mind-boggling to consider. How can anything (fingers included) continue to work so well after that much use? What happened to all those e’s? Where are they now?

4 thoughts on “Built to last

  1. I actually wore the letters off of the computer keyboard I used at the Journal, but it otherwise kept on working. When smoking was allowed in the newsroom, equipment failures were frequent, but once the newsroom went smoke-free, all of those problems disappeared. The first year, the company saved more on equipment maintenance than it expected to save on health-related costs for the first five years. Such a bargain.

  2. The Test is still a big untamed beast, but the big challenge with it is to find a point somewhere around page 500 and give the reader a satisfying ending before moving on to book 2. I hate series that don’t give a satisfying read between the covers of each volume.

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