Sunday, March 29, 2009


I totally fell off the reading wagon this month. Part of it was all the deadlines and presentation prep, but another part of it was that I was overcome by Restless Reader Syndrome—no book satisfied the reader in me. Even the ones I eventually managed to finish didn’t ring my chimes. I hate when my inner reader is that fickle.

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Here’s a tip: If you ever do Career Day at the local high school, know ahead of time that the military and beauty school will be the two main draws. Other occupations can’t compete with the testosterone-laden challenge of doing push ups for the military recruiters or the seductive allure of free makeovers.

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I need a laptop for traveling and running PowerPoint presentations. I’m looking at those mini-notebooks, the HP and Dell 10” models. Does anyone have one? Know if they can run PowerPoint? I would love something that small and compact and light!

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Boys headed back to school Sunday after a lovely, quiet Spring Break. I have cooked my fingers to the bone and enjoyed every minute of it. It’s such a mind-boggling thing—to get to where you can enjoy and relate to your kids as fellow adults. Disorienting, but great.

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Once more deadline on Wednesday then I’m free, free, free! At least for a couple of months. I am faced with the delightful quandary of what to work on next. I have two projects calling to me—one a magical realism middle grade and another a dark, YA fantasy. Decisions, decisions! We’ll just have to see which one is screaming loudest come Thursday.

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And yes, I really will get back to the setting discussion, but probably not until after I turn in my revision.


Dave Johnson said...

Hey, Robin. I'll stop lurking here and post to help you with your laptop question.

Most any modern laptop will run powerpoint. I used to do presentations when I taught, and I found that you get the best performance if you use something with at least a 1.8 ghz processor. Anything less than that may lag if you have programs running in the background. The standard ghz is around 2.0ghz now, so just make sure you don't get anything lower than a 1.8ghz (just look for the "ghz" in the specs or ask the salesman).

It also pays to have at least a 16" screen so you can still see it if you tend to lean away from the podium or need to see it at a distance.

You can probably find what you need at Amazon or for under $500. I use an old Acer brand I bought at Tigerdirect that's a 1.8ghz and it works just fine for me, though it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a Sony or HP.

If this is as confusing to you as it sounds to me, let me know and I'll try to clarify.

Dave in Arkansas

Robin L said...

Dave, you're my hero! Thanks so much for all this helpful advice!

I know a bigger screen would be better, but I'm such a disorganized travel disaster that I just can't bear the idea of having one more large thing to carry at the airport. Between my purse, and my boarding pass, ID, carry-on, etc. I feel like I'm all elbows and stumbles at the airport. I would probably just drop a larger laptop. :-/

Dave Johnson said...

They can be a bit cumbersome for sure - maybe you could get one with shock absorbers (haha).

I always liked having the wide screen because I tend to be very animated and move around a lot when I speak. Having that extra bit of screen was nice, though I think it was more of a psychological comfort that anything!

You'll be set as long as you get something with a processor that can handle multiple tasks so it doesn't bog down in the middle of a presentation (especially if you use animations or sounds/music). A 1.8ghz will do the trick without costing too much.