Posted in Writing Life

Low Tech and High Tech

Today there was construction on my street and I have a cold. The combination of noise and brain fog meant no work. Instead I listened to music and sewed in the most low tech way, with a needle and thread. I am not a great sewer but I enjoy it greatly. There is something peaceful in the movement of the needle with classical music to accompany it. I was finishing off a netbook cover to go with my new netbook.

I bought the netbook, an HP mini 210 for several reasons. I work on a laptop but it’s my main computer and not to be risked traveling. It’s new, fast and wonderful. But I did want something that I could take with me to readings, cafes, library, and on trips. For less than half the price of an IPad or smartphone, I got a netbook that can surf the internet as well as function as a second computer. At home, it provides access to the internet for my younger daughter when needed for school.

(A tip: to speed up your netbook, just put a 2g or 4g SD card in it. You can also use a USB stick but the card is unobtrusive. When you get the menu on your screen asking you what you want to do with it, click on the down arrow until you get to “ready-boost.” Click on that and a dialogue box comes up. Click on use this always and your netbook has extra RAM available to speed it up.)

I got the netbook because, for the price, as it had the best specs, but it didn’t hurt that it’s a lovely shade of blue. I took it with me when I went to Oshawa. I had a couple of books loaded on it for the train ride as well as the notes for my talk and reading. (I also put great music on it but forgot to take headphones.) I found it worked well on the podium. I was slightly awkward getting from place to place in my notes, but that will change with practice, and it took no more time, really, than turning a page.

The morning of the festival, after skating and before my train, I used one of my sewing machines to whip up a cover to give the netbook some added protection in my bag. I didn’t have time to do it properly and so I had to be inventive in adding the lining, cardboard and decoration after the fact.

I wouldn’t qualify as a real sewing enthusiast because I don’t have a stash of fabric. (Truth? I am an enthusiast but I am more enthusiastic about putting spare change toward my mortgage or taking everyone out for ice cream.) Instead I cut up my family’s old clothes for the fabric.

Here’s the finished cover for my netbook, made from A’s, M’s and H’s old shirts, with cardboard between the lining and the shell for added support. By the way, the cardboard came from the box that delivered the printer toner.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

3 thoughts on “Low Tech and High Tech

    1. Litlove, I like that word “swish”–make me feel like the sort of person who hails cabs. 🙂

      Sheree, thanks! The trick for me (with my very basic sewing ability!) is to use the part of a shirt or vest that you button for the flap. That way I don’t have to cope with a zipper or velcro or making my own buttonholes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s