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I don't know why I'm so worried about taking my laptop on this trip. I've traveled with my laptop before and never had an issue. I suppose I haven't really flown with my main work laptop before, though. All I know is that my work laptop is literally my life line, and if anything were to happen to it, I'd be devastated.
So instead, I decided on a Surface Go 3. The slightly less powerful one (64GB drive with 4GB memory, as opposed to 128GB and 8GB) was under $400, so I picked one up tonight, and I have a keyboard and a case for it on their way. (The case is a protective case like what I had for my Surface Pro that died a few years ago.) I immediately had to turn off "S mode," which prevented me from installing the very software I bought it to run - namely, Scrivener.
It's a little slow compared to my everyday laptop, but that's okay. I don't plan to use it all the time. It'll be a good travel writing machine, though. I've already created a copy of my current draft of Ruby into Dropbox and tested to make sure I could move back and forth between the two computers seamlessly (which I can, but I have to remember to close the file on each computer when I'm done writing, so Dropbox doesn't get confused as to which files are the most recent). Because I'm working in a copy of the current draft, I'll have the original to fall back on if anything gets screwed up, and I'll try to back up my work to my main machine periodically to prevent any major loss of work if anything happens.
So it turns out I might not need to wait until I get back from the trip to get back into the habit of working on my novel, like I'd planned! Now I just need to figure out if I can do the same thing with Plottr so that I can access my series bible on the trip, too.
When I purchased Plottr on my regular computer last December, I didn't think I was ever going to have more than one computer at once, so I just purchased a license for one computer. So I reached out to Plottr about potentially upgrading my license. They wanted me to make sure Plottr would run on the Surface first (it wouldn't have if I hadn't turned off S mode) and once we made sure, they prorated the cost so that I could upgrade my license for just the time I have left on my original one-year term.
Like with the Scrivener project, I loaded my Plottr series bible file into Dropbox, and now I can access the file on either computer! I ended up adding a few more Scrivener projects too, so that if I want to reference or work on anything else, I have it all with me in the cloud. So now I'm all set to be able to work on Ruby - or anything else I please - while traveling.
With the travel time at the airport and in flight, and hopefully some down time in the evenings, I hope it'll be a productive trip!