iPad as a writing/research tool

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Jaysen
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Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:30 pm Post

mwagner wrote:I find Dropbox to be great for transferring files among my iPad, iPhone, and iMac, much preferable to hardware-based storage. However, if hardware intermediary storage is a requirement, then the iPad isn't right for you.


I would suggest that this actually makes my point. It share a file with a co-worker you have to provide them access to your DB folder or have a common folder. But you can't really have separate folders on an iPad. And what if you have multiple coworkers who should not see the same set of files?

In my house there are 4 people. We share one desktop and have privacy for our mails. You can't do this on an iPad. The same problem, no segregation of data from device.

For the record, computers are utility devices in my world. Multi-user, shared data. The iPad is a fancy photo frame, mp3 player and web browser. I am in the minority, but my reasons are stated above.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:34 pm Post

KB:

My point was that if the trackpad was something that worked with the iPad and was an extra thing to carry around, that would be three items instead of one, and I don't see how that makes the iPad advantageous over a netbook.


Form factor. A tablet is more comfortable to use than a netbook.

But hey, I just bought myself an AlphaSmart for my own portable writing needs, so I'm going pretty low-tech and old-school.


Whatever works. Joe Haldeman, one of my favorite writers, who is very tech-savvy, writes first draft in fountain pen by the light of a kerosene lantern, before dawn.

I saw someone started a topic about the AlphaSmart. I'll have to check it out. Does this mean Scrivener for AlphaSmart is on its way? Heh.

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KB
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Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:20 pm Post

That was me who started that topic. :) The AlphaSmart weighs less than a pound, the batteries last for an hour, and it is really the opposite of the iPad - all keyboard and no screen. It's just about hammering out words. And then I can send the words straight into Scrivener via USB - any words I've typed in the AlphaSmart just get sent directly into a Scrivener document, as though typed out.

Form factor. A tablet is more comfortable to use than a netbook.


We'll certainly have to agree to disagree there, at least for writing. I agree that a tablet is more comfortable for reading and browsing, but for writing? No way.

All the best,
Keith

P.S. I'm a Haldeman fan myself! I've only read Forever War and Old Twentieth, but I intend to read Forever Peace soon.

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AmberV
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Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:39 pm Post

KB wrote:The AlphaSmart weighs less than a pound, the batteries last for an hour...


Really? I thought one of the main draws of the AlphaSmart was its otherworldly battery life. The AA model Neo, for instance, has people using the device for a year without changing batteries and is reportedly ranked at 500--700 hours. The rechargeable model is less, but still I thought it was in the 200 hour range.
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Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:39 pm Post

"Forever Peace" is a good one -- particularly timely in light of the Gulf War II and the use of robot drones there. I also recommend "The Hemingway Hoax," "Tool of the Trade" and "Buying Time." Also, everything else he's written.

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Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:40 pm Post

KB wrote:That was me who started that topic. :) The AlphaSmart weighs less than a pound, the batteries last for an hour, and it is really the opposite of the iPad


With a battery life of one hour it would be an opposite along the lines of crap <-> at least usable for some things.
I think you mean months or even years :wink: I hear it has a fantastic keyboard, too. Too bad the current models are QWERTY only.

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Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:41 pm Post

AmberV wrote:
KB wrote:The AlphaSmart weighs less than a pound, the batteries last for an hour...


Really? I thought one of the main draws of the AlphaSmart was its otherworldly battery life.


I really am a retard after a day of coding - every other word comes out wrong. Yes, I meant a year, not an hour. D'oh! They say 700 hours, which equates to about a year of regular use, and all the reviews I've read by writers who like it have said they haven't had to change the batteries in over a year.

Mitch - thanks for the recommendations, I'll check those out. Old Twentieth was among the best books I read last year, so I'm looking forward to reading more.

All the best,
Keith

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Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:01 am Post

KB wrote:Hopefully you bought it for use with your desktop and are just speculating!


Yes, since the iPad already has multi-touch. I'll use the MT Pad and wireless keyboard with my desktop. If if works OK, I will free up two USB ports.

I'd love to own a netbook, if Apple would build one. Rather avoid any Windows or Linux machines. Think one running Chrome will ever appear?

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Jaysen
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Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:41 am Post

druid wrote: Think one running Chrome will ever appear?

Not if we are lucky. Look at the number of professional IT folks (meaning folks that are paid to use computers, not play with computers) that use chrome. I have yet to find ONE. Keep in mind that IT writers play with computers more than they use them.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:49 am Post

wrITers, bah. I've never stripped a computer down to screws for fun and put it back together. Not when there is work to be done!
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Jaysen
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Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:57 am Post

Me either. But it kept happening to get the right video or SATA card for the OSS driver update from last nights update. haven't had to open the case of the mac except when I wanted too. Oh the sweet joy of USING a system instead of managing it.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:05 am Post

True, though I have to admit there is a great deal of enjoyment to be had in cracking open a Mac Pro, just for the sheer pleasure of gawking at its BMW level of precision tooling. For something never meant to be looked at, they sure did put a lot of effort into turning it into functional artwork.
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Jaysen
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Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:36 pm Post

I did have to crack my MBP open. If there is "functional system art awards" I would nominate the 1.1 model MBP 17.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:19 pm Post

druid wrote:Just ordered the new Magic Trackpad for $69. Paired with the Wireless Keyboard (same price), that combination "could turn the iPad into an almost fully-functional notebook replacement for many users."

Not my words...


Why would anyone would prefer a trackpad over a multitouch screen? To avoid fingerprints?

druid wrote:I also put in a pre-order for the new, small, Wi-Fi only Kindle, available in late August. All of these pieces will fit into a lightweight travel case.


Me too! I spend a lot of time reading in the sun on an iPod Touch, where visibility (and battery life) aren't ideal. So I thought I'd test out the new Kindle. I'm thrilled that the prices of eReaders are coming down so rapidly, and I attribute it mainly to Amazon (and now Apple) that eBooks are truly becoming mainstream.

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Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:58 pm Post

Synchronicity, and off-topic: I wrote Joe Haldeman an e-mail this morning pointing him to his conversation. I think he's a Scrivener user, and figured he'd get a kick out of it.

Then I checked his LiveJournal this morning and found this post about typewriters:

http://joe-haldeman.livejournal.com/181996.html

If Joe does use Scrivener, it's for revision after he's already done a first draft. I know at least one other novelist who uses Scrivener that way (Charles Stross) and loves it.