Some Additional Thoughts on Using the OG iPad Pro… still.

I was a guest on Tim Chatan’s iPad Pros Podcast last year, talking about still using the 2015 iPad Pro in 2021. Well, it’s 2022 and I am still using the thing.

I’ve mentioned enjoying Patrick Rhone’s enough, and have said for a while the OG iPad Pro is still enough. It’s still enough for me, barely, and on a frugal technicality.

The battery is completely and totally trashed. I might get like 3 hours battery life, and it drains quite a but sleeping. A few years ago, before the pandemic, my battery was just hovering above the 80% health cutoff for Apple to do a $99 repair. Now, it has probably passed that, but I don’t want to spend the money to replace the battery in a 7-year-old device.

Apparently, I don’t want to spend any money to fix the problem. Which has me to contemplating the iPad’s role in my in life these days.

The iPad is mainly the bed time computer for me. It’s what I read Twitter on, RSS, surf web, etc. It’s a complete consumption device for me. Almost any sort of creative work I have moved to my MacBook Air. .

If my iPad died, I’d probably replace it, but I’m not sure with what, and it’s why I keep the kicking the can down the road. With the new iPads, I’d also want a new Apple Pencil so that adds $130 to every price. Matt Birchler’s USB-C is one of the best quality-of-life changes in tech in the past decade prompted me to think about this in greater detail.

I am trying to move everything that has a cable or charger to USB-C. I got the new Kindle Paperwhite mainly for the USB-C cable. I have a charging hub next to the bed, and now it just has Lightning and USB-C.

I likely should just get the iPad Air with USB-C, but until Apple removes the Lightning connector, I am always going to have that cable at hand. Frankly, the base $329 iPad is what I would probably get. I can still use my 1st Generation Pencil.

What I have given a lot of thought to, though, the iPad Mini. The price — including the $130 for the new Pencil — is less than the cost of just the Air. It has the new design, and the USB-C chip. Lee Patterson had some good observations about the Mini. Hopefully, I can continue kicking this can down the road long enough for the M1 chip to migrate to the Mini.

I need to actually spend some time with one in an Apple Store, though. I am concerned going from the 12.9” screen to the 8.7” might be a little too harsh. I’d certainly welcome the lighter weight, though.

A Few Random Thoughts on Intentional Computing

I am not a huge fan of the notion of digital minimalism, or minimalism in general. The slippery slope for either of those ends in a sort of ascetic lifestyle. Especially in digital minimalism, there seems to be a prevailing theory of there must be only work.

That said, I have worked on adopting Intentional Computing. The basis for this is you sit down at the computer and focus on the activity you want. This can be productive or just playing a game.

Shortcuts

Like everyone who tries to be intentional about their computers, I fail a lot. I will look up a reference video and end up watching a video about muskrats or something. To help with this, I have a brute force Shortcut — Apps — I use to help me focus. This shortcut allows me to choose from a list:

  • Quit All Apps: This is a complete system reset and, well, quits every open app. I use this a lot to clear out clutter of open apps and resets my view to allow me to begin an activity I want to focus on. I also use this as part of my nightly shut down routine so I have a clear pallate in the morning.
  • Work Start: This launches the apps I need for the day job: Things, our VDI application, Teams, Webex, and OneNote. It also quits all running applications at the start.
  • Work Quit: This shuts down the work-specific apps. Things will stay open for personal stuff, but the jobby job stuff gets quit.
  • Work Refocus: This to help me recenter if I feel I am drifting to far away from work. Like, if I take a break and Discord and Tweetbot are still running. This one quits all non-work apps except Overcast stays running since I will listen to a podcast while working.

A few Thoughts on Gaming

I likely spend too much non-work time playing games. Some of this related to what Greg Morris wrote about “Making Friends as an Adult Sucks”. My main time wasters are online games like Final Fantasy XIV. A large amount of my friends aren’t physical friends but people I know in these games. Especially during the pandemic when we were really in a lockdown, these relationships were a lifeline. Virtual Worlds let me leave the house when I am unable, or unwilling.

I do often think of just uninstalling all the games, especially online games1, and really having that ascetic, there is nothing but productivity lifestyle. This is fool’s errand. The reasons I’m not creating, and this is the first blog post in over a year, have nothing to do with gaming and more about my own headspace at the time. You could lock me in a cabin in the woods and if I don’t want to create, I won’t.

The thing that does work, and I need to go back to, is the notion of using my leisure activities as more of a reward for good behavior. Did I create something that day? By all means, play a game. Did I bust my ass during the day job and have earned a mental break? Play the game. Creating does a lot of heavy work in that requirement. Working on a model for my model trains for a little bit counts.

  1. I am not even going to mention how often I have uninstalled and reinstalled World of Warcraft this week.