Our friend Mr. Google

Google is our friend – so the saying goes. In my own experience of writing I found free Google services far better than their paid counterparts, including the offline professional ones and the emerging plethora of online subscription services for dictionary and thesaurus. Just type in ‘synonym’ or ‘definition’ followed by the word in standard Google search box and you will find everything you need without any need to click on links following Google’s define box.
my writing area after repaintingA lot of the time I work on my desktop but often I use an old Acer laptop still running Windows XP. Yes, I know Microsoft has stopped all support for XP since last year but it suits me just fine and nothing in my work requires anything above it. As a matter of fact, my old laptop still uses MS Word 2003 (another product MS has stopped support for) but for simple typing, I think it’s still a great option.
The laptop uses the free MS anti-virus/firewall combination and though they do not fall in the heavy-weight category, I’m okay with their performance. I don’t visit any site except Google and I don’t click on any links. Once a month MS sends me updates for the AV definitions despite no official product support. I suppose its all that is needed if what you primarily do is type blogs and fiction stuff.
my writing area before repaintingGiven that, seldom do I ever go beyond the definitions or synonyms Google provides except maybe Wikipedia for details or clarifications once in a while, and I’m pretty sure both these are virus free. While working on my desktop I have taken trial memberships of many ‘pro’ level linguistic websites and their offerings of words or their meanings/relationships are no better than the instantaneous Google box. As a matter of fact, often I find Google giving more flavoring choices of words than many branded sites.
I write a lot of copy during the course of my workday and sometimes I’m totally out of steam by the time I get around to focusing on my blog or fiction. With the six day work-week system where I live, weekends offer no more time to relax and work on either of these. Sundays go by so fast usually that I can’t figure out where the day went. So I try and steal away a few hours working on the laptop instead and allow myself to slip away to a quieter corner of the house. It gives a change and feels less like work.
This is where Google comes shining through for me. I often get just a single bar on my laptop’s wi-fi connection where I hide and type so things work out better if I don’t have to load whole pages with banner ads and animations to see the results of a few words. There are no pictorial ads on Google’s index page – a few text ads that don’t load up my wi-fi – and I get the words or meanings I’m looking for with minimum hassles.
Call me old fashioned but MS Word 2003 is the best software I found to do my writing. Nothing else comes close. I have used MS Word 2007-2013 but they have so many bells and whistles that it’s difficult to wade through all the distractions. MS Word 2003 is the last clean word-processor from MS Office Suites meant for simple writing – for just the joy of writing. I will try and cover some writing software next time. Till then, take care.

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