I put out this website for free, but it is far from free to create or host. It takes a tremendous amount of time to write a book, and even more to organize and design a website to let you read a book for free. If you enjoy the content I create, please consider helping me continue by supporting the site. I have limits to what I can do without some amount of monetary reward for the time invested, and time I don’t spend here I must spend doing other work to support myself and my family. This site contains ads which help, but by no means cover the costs of the site. I’m working on setting up a direct donation system with some rewards (namely ad-free ebook versions of the content here), but in the mean time, you can buy stuff from Amazon using these links.
Everything I list here is something I personally enjoy, use, and wholeheartedly recommend. I have never, even when I was in sales, represented a product with anything other my true opinion. Some of the products here I have reviewed, either here, on Amazon, or some other retailer. Some of them are just things I use on a daily basis, or art that I really thought was great. Please also keep in mind that you have to buy the product through one of the links below; if you come back to Amazon later and buy it, I won’t receive a commission. You’ll have a great product, but I won’t get any benefit.
These are the things I use to write the content you see every day. Nothing on here is an occasional use item.
I spent most of the 90s and 2000s wondering why keyboards felt squishy and odd. Nothing ever lived up to the crisp, positive feel of the keyboard on the Apple IIe, the computer I used to type my first story decades ago. I found out that the components used on older keyboards, specifically the mechanical keys, had been replaced at some point by silicone dome switches which, though much cheaper to produce, felt much worse under the hands. Das Keyboard uses Cherry MX brand mechanical keys, designed to replicate the best aspects of the mechanical keys of yore. The increased positive feedback under my fingers has done wonders for improving my accuracy and speed, both very important factors in making the transition from thought to written word happen smoothly.
There are lots of keyboard brands you could buy that use Cherry MX switches, but I prefer Das Keyboard because of its simple, rugged design that allows me to travel with it. It comes with a USB hub as well, which is very convenient. I don’t really care for back-lit keyboards, as I don’t look at my hands and the light distracts me, but if back-lighting is a must for you, then I recommend the Corsair K70, it possesses the same mechanical keys, is similarly rugged, and is from a company that I absolutely trust with other computer hardware. I use exclusively keyboards with Cherry MX blue switches, which have a positive pressure point and an audible “click.” My Das Keyboard has lettering on it, mainly so my wife can use it, but if you feel extra confident you can get it without any printing whatsoever.
If you invest in a single piece of equipment for writing, make it your keyboard – just about any computer can run a word processor.
I need a lot of work space to do what I do. I usually have several documents open at one time, including my primary story, the organized notes that go with it, plot outlines, and brainstorming notes. Additionally, I usually have to have browser windows open for research or for updating my website. Being able to see all these things at once is huge convenience. When it comes to screen real estate less is most definitely not more.
ASUS 29″ ultra-wide – This thing is a beast, and is almost as good as two monitors all on its own. Makes gaming great as well, but I wouldn’t rely on its tiny speakers to power anything substantial. If you want a high-quality panel, this is it. (note: I had trim piece fall off the front fairly early-on in the ownership of this monitor, but that can be solved with a bit of glue. I’m also not crazy about the buttons, but otherwise, the screen itself is amazing).
ACER Widescreen Monitor – This is the newest version of a monitor I have been using every day, usually for many, many hours, for over 8 years. Acer has made some of my favorite pieces of hardware, and it started with a projector I bought back in 2006. It hasn’t died, and neither has this monitor. The color and brightness hasn’t faded either. Reliable, and the price is usually right.
Mouse (or mice)
Your mouse is another important input device; it’s not as important as your keyboard, but when you are spending real time selecting and editing text, gaming, editing audio files, or working on images, a good mouse is absolutely critical. I carry one with me at all times when I travel, and avoid touch pads when trying to actually be productive on the go. You should always try to use a mouse with thumb buttons to increase your speed when browsing files or web-pages. I haven’t clicked on arrows in years, and don’t really want to start. Touchscreens and touchpads will never be a replacement for the ease, accuracy, and speed of a mouse.
My primary mouse is the Logitech G500s, which is actually gaming mouse. The variable, on-the-go dpi switch makes editing images a lot easier, and the plug-and-play nature of logitech devices has always been a plus. I also have an M500, which is the basically the same mouse minus the dpi switch, and that one has been running for more than 5 years. Both mice feature a switch to turn off clicking on the scrollwheel – very useful for big documents.
Art that I like
Shores of Null, “Quiescence” – I reviewed this album here. This band was one of the best surprises in music I came across in 2014.
Some of My Favorite Metal Albums
That’s it! More to come when I think of more things that I think are awesome!