I like to use my computer for as long as possible, but as 2018 drew to a close, Apple discontinued support for my aged 2011 MacBook Air, and I knew it was time to start shopping for a new machine. Picking up a new Mac Mini, I was really blown away by the increase in speed, but I had lived with a laptop for a long time and struggled with not being able to work at the dining table or in bed or a café… So I picked up an iPad.
I’ve been stunned by how robust the iOS platform has become.
I know, I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “Dude! Welcome to the 21st century!” And I do admit to feeling a little slow on the uptake, but I have used iPads before and have never been happy with them as content-creation devices. Sure, they’ve always been lovely for reading an email and watching videos on YouTube, but I wanted to do more than just consuming content. So. Much. More…
I had been tethered to using Atom for a text editor for years, and tend to spend a lot of time in terminal, and anticipated having to connect remotely to my Mini with the iPad to actually get anything done. I just knew I would be unable to run code snippets on my iPad. Yet over the past few weeks, I’ve been stunned by how robust the iOS platform has become. I have spent what some would consider a fortune on apps, but at this point I do nothing on my Mini but rip the periodic DVD for transfer to my NAS. It has literally become an over-priced DVD ripper.
Content creation doesn’t happen in a cockpit of flashing lights and levers.
Ironically, I have found that I seem to get more done working on iPad than I did in OS X. Maybe it’s an effect of having less to customize, or perhaps even less to manage overall—or maybe it’s having less to look at—but I find that my focus is much sharper in iOS. I’m actually able to focus on writing. Granted, I had focus mode in Atom, but for some reason I would still get constantly side-railed into minutiae. Content creation doesn’t happen in a cockpit of flashing lights and levers, it happens in a quiet soft focus. There’s something about being able to reach out and touch your content, almost a neurological slight-of-hand. I would spend a lot of time memorizing keyboard commands on OS X, and on iOS they all just pop up when I hold the command key. And I don’t need as many because I can use my hands. The feeling is so different.
So, as an extension of my explorations, I wanted to make this blog entirely from iOS. Not a single piece of content or structure, from hosting to continuous integration, has required me to log into my DVD ripper. Hopefully these posts will empower you to live a more capable, mobile lifestyle, or at least be able to lay comfortably on the sofa while you rule the world.