Computers are a writer's best friend, and will leave you frantically looking for someone else, who owns a computer loaded with the same software that you have installed on your computer, when you count on them the most.
Cynthia Willerth wrote about her experiences with our first computer.
Safe browsing is so important that this topic sits on the top of the page. Take care of protecting your system the first time you connect to the Internet. Read this section even if the only thing you ever write is an e-mail.
Freeware computer protection programs, (better known as freeware anti-virus, adware or spyware programs) popup stoppers, firewalls and cookie control to make your time on the Internet a pleasant experience.
Kidtastic The City Computer Center Help in using Windows and Macs like How do I turn it off?
Still struggling with your mouse? Get a friend to help you download Mouse Trainer to become a pro at clicking, double-clicking and dragging, without paying someone to teach you.
WebWise Ask Bruc! Help from BBC for Internet newbies. Covers downloading, browsing the web, E-Mail, Chat, Message Boards... You'll soon be an expert on the Net.
Smatterings On-Line Communities: A guide to places to meet others with common interests- social sites for authors and readers.
Making Technology Work for You
You invested in a computer so you could spend less time with white out, and rearranging your masterpiece with scissors and scotch tape.
Solve your computer woes, and return to more interesting challenges, like writing a story.
The Right Software for the Job
Freeware for Writers
If you spend time writing short stories, poetry, articles, one act stage plays, or web pages, and you are reading this, you already own everything you may ever need to write. However, if you write novels, three act plays, screenplays, or newsletters, then you may be experiencing technical difficulties.
Smatterings: Word Processing How-To Page covers tips you may need when using Microsoft Word, Word Perfect or Open Office. Reviews and links for freeware and free Open Source word processing alternatives.
If you had trouble finding a reasonable answer to your situation in Smatterings: Word Processing How-To section, perhaps you do not have the right tool for the job.
This page helps with format solutions for writing movies, stage plays, templates for submissions to editors, posters and brochures, newsletters, poetry books, print ready novels and nonfiction books. Includes free software that works with your word processors; free Word and Open Office add-ons, and templates, scriptwriting freeware, desktop publishing, and LaTeX.
Read Smatterings Freeware links. Some of the best collections of freeware found on the Internet are listed on this web page.
Smatterings: Writer Block? page contains links and programs to relieve authors from the dreaded writers block. Poetry, pose and writing exercises. Journals and note organization freeware to sort it all out afterwards.
Research Using Searchable Documents
A guide on getting results; plus Biblical researching links, freeware bible study tools and freeware to help cite your sources.
Once you master a concept, you can apply it anywhere. Try what you learned here, on something written by Shakespeare. Bartleby.com Here are some more searchable references; including the Bible, Shakespeare, quotations, dictionaries, and poetry.
Writing Web Pages
Smatterings Web Page Authoring section gives a step by step approach. This is the story of how this website was created.
It contains: the best how-to links, the free software I used to make this web page, free background music, free clipart and links to websites I've created. I like when a story has a happy ending.
Search the Web
The truth is out there. Pulling info off the web, a directory of webrings, Christian and General directories and related freeware utilities.
Pages that contain a long list of links to other sites on the web often have exactly the information you are interested in.
Often the link page has what you wanted, if the page the search engine directed you to did not. This page features online dictionaries, libraries, newspapers, encyclopedias, general writing research links and educational freeware.
Oh, No! Something's Wrong with the Computer.
Here is a quick check list to see if your problem is computer related:
Memory: Be sure you have enough.
Hard Drives: Answer this question: Did I use up all that space already?
Maintenance Have you cleaned your registry lately? How about defragging or cleaning the page file?
Software Tools: Are you using the right one?
To see all of the answers to the problems I have encountered take a gander at my Aaaagh It's Not Working page. Includes cats, keyboards and printing.
Computer Hope free online computer support and computer related information.
Microsoft Fixit Microsoft help for setting up everything from printers to network connections to Media Player. Require Java Script to be on to use site.
Like many other computer users, your first computer might not be the computer you really wanted. The computer you really desire in the advertisement promises everything you dreamed.
Now you have a choice: Do I upgrade the computer I own, or do I save my money and invest in a new one? Can I fix my problem by simply upgrading a driver or two?
Your computer works. You mastered your word processor. The tricks and tips change to a demanding market; including on-line links to teach and polish writing, word choice spelling, grammar and structure, freeware dictionaries and thesaurus.
Anything I've written for my site is rewritten and tailored differently, and read by friends and rewritten before I send it to a publisher in another market like a magazine.
The best jewel you ever wrote has been, rewritten, read by friends, line edited and rewritten. You are ready to start looking for a publisher. Free data based programs to keep track of where you sent what, queries, proposals, writer markets and self-publishing.