The Transition

The Transition

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.


About Will Puckett

A 20 year veteran of the San Francisco Bay Area, Will Puckett is an author, artist, and guide. He enjoys styling CSS, and helping friends move furniture. When not parked in front of his iPad, he rescues, restores and rides bikes. Will has been lucky enough to take long rides on both coasts of the United States, and encourages people to explore the world by bike. He tries to lay in his hammock as much as possible reading and planning his future container home, but does enjoy periodically escaping to skate. And of course ice cream.