31.10.12. Testing iA Writer and Keyboard

This is something that may or may not get me back into blogging - being able to use my iPad but type at near-full speeds. I've added an Apple Wireless Keyboard to my setup. It's an experiment. A friend challenged me to participate in NaNoWriMo. I have doubts about that, but thought that it might be worth a try. I have characters and places and bits of story that are already lying around and it would be good to challenge myself to do something with it. But my main machine at home is an aging (mid 2007) iMac that is really my music studio machine. Well, it's really a media server that services the iPad and iPhone these days. Occasionally it's used for music, but that's like once per month. The point is, it's not the most comfortable writing environment due to the way the desk and iMac are set up.

Part of me was thinking this would be a good opportunity to buy a MacBook Air, I really can't afford one and don't have a strong need for one (they're not strong enough for music, and I don't move around enough to warrant buying another laptop. Besides, I still have an old white plastic MacBook that is serving its remaining years as a bedside Netflix and DVD viewer (and the DVD portion is important). I haven't found need to use for much else beyond that in the past couple of years, so it's getting a bit crusty.

Still, I was thinking about what would help me try to write from a more comfortable place? Well, there's the iPad, of course! Using its onscreen keyboard for longer pieces, such as the one I'm writing now, is inadequate. So I thought it was time to finally try adding a bluetooth keyboard, and most reports I've read indicate that the Apple aluminum wireless keyboard is generally unbeaten. I don't plan on taking this with me to very many places. I just want to stay on this side of the loft with a smaller, simpler, more focused machine. So far, it seems to be working.

For the start of this experiment, I'm typing this all out in iA Writer, a very clean and simple writing app that is a blank white screen and a nice big font. More importantly, to me, is that it supports iCloud's "documents in the cloud" feature. While I like DropBox and have had some success using text editors in DropBox, iCloud's setup when there's a nice corresponding Mac app seems even simpler. I've been wanting to give iCloud documents a serious try, as there are more and more places where I find myself wanting it.

So, a new experiment begins, starting to use the iPad even more seriously as a productive machine.

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