How Do You Compute

I TRY NOT TO BE AN APPLE FANBOY. I like the products for what they are, not because they came from the Black Turtleneck, and I am critical when appropriate. For example, I was very critical of the iPad before launch. Having said that, it has quickly become my platform of choice and I find myself turning to my laptop less and less.

In fact, I am writing this post on the iPad, and I just completed my weekly review for the first time without launching OmniFocus on my laptop. Someone came to me and asked me for a recommendation for an RSS reader for OS X earlier, and my response was that I no longer use one as I read feeds on iOS devices. If only iOS 4 for iPad and the Junos Pulse app would be released, I would be able to VPN into work and that would all but seal the laptop’s fate.

Okay, that might be a little fannish. I still like the larger screen and keyboard if I have to do serious coding or work on multiple systems. Even fast app switching, when the iPad gets it, is no match for multiple windows and a mouse. And I don’t see that I will ever stop using it for storing and processing photos. But those are fairly specific tasks for which I want a specific context to work in. For most of my day-to-day, I am now using the iPad. It’s a little odd, because I figured that Marcy would use her iPad much more than I would use mine, and she’s using her laptop more than the iPad at home.

I don’t know that I agree with “magical and revolutionary.” It’s definitely a change, but it’s the logical progression from personal computers. Netbooks were a bit of a misstep; they’re nothing more than underpowered laptops that use the same software. The App Store changed the game, and provided an easy way to get applications to devices, both for the developers and the users. Now we have apps custom designed for the platform with Apple doing what they do best: flexing their control muscle to make sure that everything just works. Like it or not, their control over the delivery system helps to make sure the platform isn’t broken by bad software. Combine it with the move towards cloud services, and the time was right for this type of platform. Apple saw it and got there first.

So what are my top apps? Outside of the standard Safari and Mail, I spend most of my time with:

OmniFocus This is pretty much the core of my life, keeping track of every single thing that I’m working on.
1Password If OmniFocus stores everything I’m working on, this stores everything I need to encrypt
MindNode I love mind maps for brainstorming and planning projects, and this not only provides a clean interface, it also syncs with my laptop when I need it to.
NewsRack This is my favorite RSS reader at the moment.
Twitterific Gotta have a Twitter app, and this one does what I need it to with a minimum of fuss.
The Weather Channel There’s a number of weather apps, but I still use the original most of the time.
UniSudoku My go-to time waster.


I'm a dad, a small business owner, a systems engineer, a developer, and any number of other things.

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