Going Without a Laptop

I get a lot of repeat questions on my travels, and I’ve decided to blog about them when I get a bit sick of answering them (although I really do like all of them).

Todays question: Screw the travel, how are you doing sans laptop?

Answer: very well with the ipad. Thanks to a few key things.

Here is my setup:
My workstation

First off: no job or any information that just has to be dealt with right away (data that I can’t do vi iphone at least). What I do on it is a) catch up on news / friends b) blog c) download pictures from my camera and d) post the pictures to flickr and Facebook.

So for a) I use flipboard, the twitter app and safari. The blogging is done via posterous and the wordpress app when I am feeling brave (it crashes a lot). For c I use a connector sold by apple, and they download super fast. I edit through a few apps and publish them through posterous (emailing flickr+Facebook@posterous.com) after copying and pasting the photos.

I’m able to use a bluetooth keyboard (as I am now) for writing longer posts. This is great, but makes me look very odd with a keyboard and iPad in my bag or not right where the screen usually is.

So what makes me hate it? Well, no multitasking. I can’t add a photo to this post without publishing first and going back into it.

The bluetooth keyboard gets turned on in the bag, so I have to take out the batteries after every use.

Google docs, checkout and other properties don’t work. You get directed to a mobile site, and you can’t do anything but view.

I got rid of my computer that it is synced to, so I can’t update it.

I’m used to creating on it, so reading books is hard (oh, I can edit more photos!).

Lack of options with apps, for instance, this isn’t a bulleted list because I can’t figure that out.

So all that said, my ‘laptop’ has a two day battery now, sometimes going a week before I need to charge it. Huge, huge, huge win. If you do the process like apple wants, it goes pretty well. It freezes up a bit and is buggy, but all of that is forgiven, for not being on a laptop exploring sounds a lot better that being on one wasting time.

Not having a laptop makes you realize just how much time you waste.

I’ll shoot a video to document my workflow. This will be funny, because to embed it, I will have to find someone with a real computer to grab the embed code, as the youtube site mobile has no way to get the code.

It is the little things that are still rough.

I’m loving it though.

  • you are absolutely right about the little things. It's also those things that can be the most frustrating since you've been taking them for granted for so long!

    I've found that using the iPad rather than the laptop forces me to focus on a single thing, since there is no multi-tasking. This is great for when I'm catching up on Twitter, for example, as I tend to really discover quite a bit more content and share more high quality links. However, as you mentioned, there are sooo many times when I you *need* multitasking and it's not there.

    As a developer, I haven't given up my laptop completely.. but I'm definitely using it less and less for things other than coding/design.

  • iOS 4.2 … multitasking. Happy to hook you up with a developers copy for development purposes of course.

    And the keyboard … AIDACASE Keyboard Case for iPad – http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=11712

  • I think you could go a lot farther w/ an iPad+virtual assistant than w/ just an iPad. :)

    What about http://pick.im/? What apps might you be using to communicate w/ your dev team? Do you expect to do any high-level design while on the road? Will you use a drawing app for that, or draw on paper & snap a photo?

  • Ah, but I would so miss the keyboard shortcuts that I've come to rely on. If gesture recognition comes out then perhaps it would help sway me to the iPad.

  • LOVE THE COFFEE THE MOST. Or it is a yerba mate concoction… Either way, tt's #1 priority… obviously. Happy and safe and wonderful travels!

  • jealous of you boy.. keep the posts coming.. pretty interesting stuff so far heh

  • I think you can switch to standard view to get the embed code, yeah?

  • yes, switching to “desktop mode” as YouTube calls it will still allow you to grab all the needed embed code from YouTube on your iPad.

    can you connect your iPhone to your iPad via the camera connector/USB port to get pictures off if it or is that a no go?

  • WordPress 2.9+ supports oembed which means you can just paste the URI to the YouTube video in a post and it will create the embed for you. Try it out. :)

  • andrewhyde

    Tried that, but the paste disappears with the light box.

    Found a plugin that works.

  • Decoupled laptop components > laptop

  • Jacob

    I just edited a google doc from my iPhone. You can't do that from your iPad?

  • firewallender

    I totally need to find an adaptor to connect my camera to my iPad – that's bloody genius! I'd love to just take my iPad on my India trip.

    Of course, just stocking up on memory cards and editing when I get home would be a lot lighter and cheaper than breaking an iPad or having it stolen. Hmmmm….

  • I thought you sold your 5D. What camera are you using? Also curious about the camera > iPad connector you mention.

    Looks like you're having fun!

  • A contender for a 16th item… http://i.imgur.com/Y5GXp.jpg .
    No trip to Kathmandu is complete without it.

Commenting Rules