PyCon 2011 is coming soon, and as it does, I find myself facing the question "do I bring my Macbook this year or not?"
My Macbook has spent most of the past couple of years serving as a vehicle for viewing DVDs, Hulu, or Netflix streaming from bed. It does get used occasionally as a home / travel development machine, but that use has declined significantly over the past year. I'm fortunate to be at the place in my life where I can leave work at work; but I also have been rather uninspired to do personal development work. Hence, the laptop is basically a DVD viewer.
And for DVDs, it's quite nice to watch TV series DVDs from bed. I only watch about 20-30 minutes a night before tiring out. It's a fun way to revisit personal favorites like HBO's The Wire and Deadwood. I'm currently watching Twin Peaks, seeing season 2 for the first time.
But for DVDs, it's also starting to become a liability, as I own more and more blu-ray. As soon as I decide to get a blu-ray player for upstairs (either a portable one or getting a second television), the laptop's uses will be near zero.
One potential use is for travel, at least for technical conferences. I brought the Macbook along to PyCon last year. I did the whole trip out of my day-to-day backpack, which accommodates the Macbook just fine. While at the airport and in flight, the extra weight and space did stand out, but that was only a fraction of the trip. I'm trying to remember now just how much I used it once there. I took far less notes on the device than I expected, and have done little with the notes I did take. They still sit in a folder on the Macbook's desktop.
I know I did some coding while there, but not much. I don't believe I made any major commits or pushes while at the conference. I wasn't involved in tutorials or sprints last year and won't be this year either, so there's little need to code while at the conference.
Finally, my co-worker had brought his laptop and while he did use it to maintain some situations back at the office, he told me he never used it on the conference floor. I think the most use we got out of our laptops was for watching movies on the plane. And hey, I've got an iPad for that.