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Serend iPad ously, Better Late Than Never

I have some advice for myself, or for you if you have my character flaws: “Use things for what they’re good for.”

With every other (computing) device I’ve acquired in the last 15 years, I’ve tried to make it capable of being my primary platform in its domain.

So I’ve spent days trying to make my laptop do absolutely everything my desktop does, everything I needed to do anywhere, from running Windows in emulation mode to syncing with my cellphone to running Matlab and Mathematica. I have the excuse that it needs to replace my desktop wherever I’m using it.

Similarly I’ve spent weeks forcing my cellphone to be a complete calendar and note taker, with similar excuse.

Maybe out of exhaustion, I haven’t tried to tame the iPad. I don’t have to read every book I own on it. I don’t have to have my calendar on it, since I carry my phone. I don’t have to run Parallel Systems on it, even though I’m sure it wouldn’t be that hard for them to make it possible. I can carry a laptop when I really need all that. As a result I’ve found it’s fun rather than an obligation.

An example: I wanted to read something by GK Chesterton, and found that, for 99c on Amazon or for nothing on iBooks, I could download a 600 page book by him onto my iPad and read it with great ease and clarity. I would NOT have bought a physical 600 page Chesterton, even for 99c, because it’d be too big to carry anywhere with me. But as a virtual book, it’s great to have it. I can pull it out any time and browse a little, without feeling acquisitive. The same will no doubt apply to videos and movies.

Probably I need this advice more than you do.

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