living in a science fiction world

July 27, 2012

Last December I did about the uber-geekiest thing I’ve ever done:  I bought a Bluetooth keyboard to use with my iPod touch.  That’s right, I was sitting there with my four inch screen, typing away on a full size keyboard.  The thing is, it worked.  I was traveling, and writing, more than just notes in my journal or revisions on existing manuscripts.  I have a laptop, but I avoid traveling with it because it’s a pain in the ass — it’s heavy, it’s a full-size carry-on all by itself, it’s a hassle taking it out of the bag at security, putting it back in, etc., and I pretty much always need to be near an outlet with it.  After last summer’s traveling shenanigans during which I didn’t write nearly as much as I wanted to, I needed to find an efficient way to write on the road.  The Bluetooth keyboard was it.  I don’t have to take it out of my bag, it and the iPod fit in my small backpack, it’s light, it’s awesome.  (I have the Docs to Go app, which I can use to synch files between the device and my desktop.)

Then I immediately upgraded to an iPad so I could read e-comic books more easily.  (I’m not making this up.)

About the size of a magazine, the iPad also fits, along with the keyboard, into my small backpack.  It isn’t heavy.  I don’t have to take it out at airport security.  And I’m writing on the road now.  Brilliant.

But what’s really gotten to me is what the tablet replaces.  Functionally, it’s my laptop now.  But it’s also my music library, my current comic book collection, my cookbook, a bunch of books, a bunch of movies, my birdwatching guide, and a deck of cards.  All in a device the size and space of a magazine.

Who needs a jetpack?

(A selection of things that I can now bring with me everywhere I go.  Now all I need is that tent from Harry Potter.)


16 Responses to “living in a science fiction world”

  1. Andrew Says:

    I love my ipad, and I’ve done significant writing on it with a bluetooth keyboard, both for my blog and some other projects I’m working on. I’m finding that I’m a little too used to the keyboard/mouse interface,so much so that working with the ipad interface slows me down. So I’m using a PC laptop as well until I can afford a macbook. Of course, that makes a project out of syncing google docs, word files from my home and work computers, the ipad and several notebooks.

  2. Andrew Says:

    For me, the geek out moment comes with video calls. We Skype with a friend in Russia in real time, and that always gives me a “flying car” feel.

  3. WanabePBWriter Says:

    I think I could be talked out of an appendage for that tent. If I could then get my own Millennium Falcon I would be set. Have you seen the JK approved fanfic HP and the Methods of rationality?

  4. Doruk Says:

    I have noted somewhere before that the timeline of the Shadowrun RPG starts this year. And we already have most of the basis of the technology too. By next year, it will no longer be science fiction, it will be alternate history!

  5. Toni Says:

    I’ve been thinking about a keyboard for my iPad as well. Which did you buy / would you recommend? I’ve seen one that is integrated into an iPad cover that looks interesting…

  6. Following up with Toni – do let us know your recommendations!

  7. Carrie V. Says:

    I got a Logitech Tablet Keyboard — not sure which model, it’s the one that comes in a slipcase stand. There are probably better, more compact ones, but this was a basic one that wasn’t outrageously priced. (they can be rather outrageously priced I discovered.)

  8. Andrew Says:

    That sounds like the one I have. It works pretty well. My only criticism is that it’s a little on the small side for me, but I have big hands, so that’s going to be the case for most portable keyboards for me.

  9. David Leonard Says:


  10. How do you manage to bring Blu-rays with you? Do you have something portable you can play them on?

  11. Carrie v. Says:

    The blu rays are standing in for the HD digital versions I’ve gotten and loaded on the device.

  12. Re WIlliams Says:

    I saw the picture and the first thing I thought was “Oh, we have the same birding book” 🙂 Good one, isn’t it?

  13. Griggk the goblin Says:

    It will never replace a hitchhiker’s towel…

  14. Robert Says:

    OH OH … The Last Starship is out in blu-ray? Cool!

    There are ways to move the files from blurays to digital if you are persistent enough.

  15. Robert Says:

    er Last Starfighter.. a great Robert Preston moment is heading to my home =)

  16. Matt Says:

    Looked at the photo and just had a big ole grin -National Geo Bird book, many other similar items. iBird Pro on the phone for me now.
    And just , wow on Shadowrun now becoming alternate history.

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