My iPad Setup
The setup in the home office of Beardy McWriterbeard

This is something that’s been in the back of my mind for some time now. You can blame three people for it spilling over into my blog. Or you can just blame me for having nothing interesting to say at the moment that I feel you’ve either already heard or don’t give a crap about. And it’s possible you don’t give a crap about the iPad either, in which case you’d be best tuning in tomorrow instead since there’ll be a new & exciting ICFN for you to enjoy.

In the meantime… yeah. I kinda want an iPad.

Now, I’m not going to impoverish myself to own one. I don’t feel there’s a void in my life that only leased hardware from Steve Jobs can fill. And I feel odd talking about a device that costs hundreds of dollars that does little on its own and that I wouldn’t be able to troubleshoot myself. Last night’s Internet outage reminded me that skills for a job I held many years ago still apply despite advances in technology, i.e. my knack for understanding and working with computer hardware that isn’t printers. I hate dealing with problematic printers. After all, they were sent from Hell to make us miserable.

More and more, however, I’m starting to see the merits of it. First and foremost, of course, is the convenience it’d offer my writing efforts. A few steps could be eliminated in the process of crafting words. The last few chapters of Citizen in the Wilds were written by hand and then transcribed into the electronic manuscript via PC keyboard. And for the first round of edits I printed out the entire thing and went over it in pen. Now, I’d be the first to say that nothing will ever replace the feel of printed pages in your hand, be it a book or a manuscript full of darlings to be put to the sword, but there’s a nagging feeling I have that I’m not helping the environment as much as I could by using 300+ sheets of paper to print out a document I already have several means of manipulating, editing and presenting. The iPad would be another, highly portable option.

Speaking of books, I mentioned Barnes & Noble’s PubIt earlier this week and noted that its content would be available for the Nook, which just happens to have an app. As much as I love pulling out a book on the train or sitting down with one at home, my bookshelves are already glutted with tomes I may never read again. I’ve been somewhat fascinated with the concept of eReaders in general, and while it might be reducing the amount of information we leave future generations when our computer systems crash, it’s another argument for convenience. They generate less waste, weigh less and one can carry the contents of an entire library. Couple that with the ability to write or take notes as well as read, and to me that spells win/win.

Beyond that, I’ve started running D&D for friends & co-workers, and having the latest issue of Dungeon, a compendium of rules and a dice-roller all at my fingertips and out of sight of the players appeals very much to my Dungeon Master sensibilities. This is in addition to the aforementioned convenience of carrying one device into a session instead of a stack of hardcover gaming books. Don’t get me wrong, I love my hardcover gaming books, even my copies of Alternity, but it goes back to my observation that I already have a lot of books to haul around when I move from place to place. I’d like to make our next move less weight-intensive, not moreso. Means I might have to do a used book sale at some point.

It is very expensive, though. Most of a month’s rent expensive. “I could pay our utilities with that money” expensive. So I’m not going to get one any time soon. And then there are horror stories I’ve heard about what happens when you drop it, get it wet, feed it after midnight or look at it the wrong way. Back to the iStore to pick up a completely new one for you, buddy! Oh, and don’t mind the staff while they try to stuff a dozen new iToys down your throat while you’re there.

But hey, it’s available on Amazon. And they have gift cards. December’s coming soon, now that I think of it… …Actually, that was my sister’s suggestion. She’s pretty smart.

Give me more pros. Give me some cons. Tell me funny or cool iPad stories. I want to know more. I want to justify this subtle and somewhat unsettling craving.

EDIT: And then there’s this.