My Quest for the 99% Computer

My Quest for the 99% Computer
I have often stated that my iPad is my ‘80% computer’, meaning that I do (or can do) about 80% of my stuff on it. However, my goal has always been to find an ultraportable device to handle 99% of my non-gaming activities. This quest started with the HP200LX, where I could run Lotus 1-2-3, a great HP Calc, word processing, and so on; then the Newton MessagePad (my first was the MP2000); then Psions and HP Jornadas; then on to the Toshiba Libretto and eventually the Sony C1 Picturebook and finally netbooks … but nothing has approached the universal utility of the iPad.

Why 99% rather than 100%? Because I know there are a few web sites that will require a full laptop, a few times I will need to make a full download, and so on. Recently I had attempted to use only the Google Nexus 7 for a week … which I managed ONLY by increasing personal use of my work computer and dramatically increasing use of my laptop at home, leading me to call the Nexus 7 my ‘20% computer’.

So I have set myself a new challenge – use the iPad ONLY with the exception of things that absolutely require a full computer … FOR A MONTH!

Here is the deal:
From September 21st to October 21st I will use my iPad as my primary computer with few exceptions; I will use my PC for gaming (after all, Inquisitor came out recently, Borderlands just launched, and XCOM is around the corner), and Quicken (but nothing else), and I will use my Mac as required for music reviews. I will use the iPad for paying bills and everything else — except where the website doesn’t work, in which case I will make notes.
– During this time I will report weekly on my progress; what is going well and what is NOT going well.
– As I have just gotten the new Kindle Fire HD, I WILL allow myself to use that (and the Nexus 7 and original Kindle Fire) … but ONLY as media consumption devices. My testing of other functionality is already done.

If you have any thoughts, suggestions, restrictions, or other things I should note – let me know! And look for my first report next week!

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!

6 Comments on "My Quest for the 99% Computer"

  1. That is something I would never be able to do….on EITHER Android or iOS. I love tablet computing. I think it’s the near future of things(be it iPad or Android)….but there’s always will be things I can do on a regular laptop that I can’t do on a tablet….with or without a dock. It may get there, but it’s just not enough for me at the present time….even with iOS being so good.

  2. Christopher Gavula | September 21, 2012 at 10:15 am |

    I think I could. The iPad has VNC and RDP support and I could drive work-specific (Windows-centric) apps off my virtual workstation at work (yes, I have a physical work laptop and a virtual one I use to drive administrative functions). The only thing I think I would have to give up to make this leap are games like Word of Warcraft. That doesn’t play nice over a virtual connection! I definitely could NOT do this on my Nexus 7, however. I may just try this myself. Hmmm..

  3. Christopher Gavula | September 21, 2012 at 10:16 am |

    Michael, are you virtualizing for your PC-only functions? What tools are you using to do that (if you are doing that)?

  4. No – I am keeping my work-related stuff separate. I already VPN into work for email on the iPad, but have no plans beyond that.

  5. I think this should make a great series, Mike. Without sounding corny, this should help you be more creative with your tablet, stretching your usage boundaries.

  6. Exactly – it will give me an even broader appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of what is right now the best tablet on the market.

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