Sometimes needs dictate choices. Like when your car becomes more expensive to maintain than a new car payment or when you switch careers and suddenly need a collection of suits.
In my most recent case, it came down to Markdown editors and noise. I was (and still am) very fond of my Power Mac G4 computer. OS X 10.4 was a joy to use and was not particularly capable when it came to internet-related activities — which was one of the main points. I used this machine primarily for writing, which meant distractions (like social media and web browsing) were detrimental to my use case.
However, I also found that many of the post-writing tasks (e.g. formatting and publishing) are much better with a bit of automation. And my use of Nisus Writer for my rough drafts was not suitable for that purpose. So I switched back to Markdown for my raw writing format. Unfortunately, the availability of Markdown-aware editors for OS X Tiger are less than desirable.
Enter the original Mac Pro from 2006. 2 generations newer than the G4, it can run a newer version of OS X (Snow Leopard), which gives me a much nicer collection of software to pick from. I still have an earlier version of iA Writer, which provides me an excellent writing experience.
Despite the newer machine and newer OS, I still get a distraction-free environment. An interesting tidbit about the Mac Pro model I bought is that it was a special order version. You had to special-order the less powerful model, which made me laugh. Usually you special-order the upgrades. But in this case, I managed to acquire a newer machine that is still not very capable when it comes to distracting activities like social media and web browsing.
An added bonus is the Mac Pro is much quieter than the Power Mac G4, making my writing experience even better.
Which brings me to the need that spurred this entire post. Now my automations work flawlessly. When I copy my Markdown files to the right place, they get converted to the appropriate ebook formats for my various publishers.
And yes, I’m a geek. And probably a bit of a nerd too.