A “Real” Computer

One of the many benefits to having an iPad, an iPhone 4, and 11 inch MacBook Air is the swiss army knife of portability options at your disposal. Before leaving the house, I take inventory of my day and decide which of these tools I might need. Because of the extreme ease of portability of the options at hand, making the choice for any combination or all does not mean too much extra burden. That said, why take anything with me I don’t absolutely need?

I often leave the house with nothing but my iPhone, this is not abnormal. What is unusual is that, when taking inventory of my needs, I determined that all I really needed was a keyboard. I was going to a quick lunch meeting and then to do some writing. Sure I could bring my iPad or MacBook Air but, the only thing I really needed to get the writing done was a keyboard. So, I threw one in my bag and here I am.

Between the iPhone, the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, and Hog Bay Software’s PlainText I have all the tools I need today. I have this little plastic card stand I got somewhere (don’t remember where) that just happens to hold the iPhone in landscape at the perfect viewing angle. I’ve got the headphone plugged in to listen to some ambient music while I type. Outside of one of those folding Bluetooth keyboards I have seen, I can’t think of a more perfect fast and light computing solution.

I think it is easy to think of the iPhone (or iPod Touch for that matter) as something less that a “real” computer. That, somehow, one can’t get real work done or that it could never be a true replacement for a full size machine. I, personally, don’t believe that and often seek ways to see exactly how much I can get away with just using the iPhone. In fact, I have even written the first draft of one of the chapters in my book on the iPhone using the onscreen keyboard. Was it the perfect solution? Maybe not but it was the resource I had at hand so that made it the perfect one for me at the time.

I have heard tales that, for some households in other countries, the smartphone is the only “computer” they own. They are inexpensive, portable, easily sharable with other members of the family and perfectly capable for many tasks. While some may scoff at such a challenge, I feel it is really no challenge at all. The real challenge is overcoming our comfort, convenience, limits and pre-conceived notions.

Just more food for thought.

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