dumbing down the tech

Part of getting ready is dumbing my tech down so I don’t have to rely upon a constant connection to the Internet. Part of moving to St. Croix is embracing a life where the Internet isn’t that relevant. In many cases, though there are some things that technology make sense.


When I’m not writing I’m reading I’m eating or sleeping or working or walking. Most writers – people who enjoy writing – find little places around their home where writing is easier. Portability is key. For that reason I’m settling on a Samsung Chromebook Pro. I could care less about the touchscreen and pen, but at 2.4 pounds and .5 inch thickness it’s tough to beat. As is the eight-hour battery life I get. With Google Docs in offline mode I can still write and download my writing project, compressed, to a USB drive. This gives me three backups of my writing: USB drive, local computer, and Google.


Music is a little trickier because I won’t be using a smart phone. After a few days on an island you quickly realize they aren’t needed and you don’t really a map. It’s an island: just follow the coast and you’ll never get lost.

Music is best stored for play offline in a small device that can be kept in a plastic bag so beach tunes are available wherever and kept dry and free of sand. Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 with the 128 GB storage card does that nicely. It will run for at least eight hours in airplane mode, ensuring post-sunset music is available for longer than I can stay awake.


I’ve written a prior post about the Kindle Voyage – that gives me more reading time in a day than I can otherwise fill. When I read I do just that – read. Having something that weighs less than a paperback yet arms me with a fine literary canon that reads well in the bright tropical sun is only a beach shy of paradise.


This will be an old school flip phone I pick up just before leaving the U.S.

That’s it. It may seem like a lot – but all my entertainment and writing needs use simple technology and costs less than an iPhone with a six-hour battery life.