Working on an iPad

I recently picked up an iPad Pro (9.7″), along with the Apple Pencil and a Logitech keyboard/case. I’m trying the package out as an alternate work configuration, and so far am quite enjoying it. It’s also good to force me to test more of our software from a mobile perspective.

The screen on the iPad Pro is gorgeous, so it’s pretty similar to using a MacBook Pro. Being completely touch-based makes it feel much more interactive and “engaging”, which is weird. I also find myself using the Apple Pencil quite often, just because it’s so precise, and is surprisingly pleasant to use for interacting with even very finger-touch optimized UIs. I’ve been doing some diagraming and “visual” type work lately as well, so it’s refreshing to be able to do that digitally and feel like it’s not a huge compromise over just doing it with paper/pencil/post-its.

Logitech’s keyboard case packs a surprisingly “real” keyboard into a relatively small pacakage, although it still feels pretty hefty and clunky when compared to the Apple Smart Keyboard. The backlighting on the Logitech one is really nice though, and again, makes it feel like you’re using a laptop rather than a tablet. The OCD side of me is really twitchy though, because when you have the Apple Pencil in the case as well, it folds up so that that pencil rests against the screen of the iPad. Literally 1 centimeter to the side and it could have snuggled up against the side edge of the iPad and 1. not rested on the screen, 2. allowed the whole package to close flatter.

Split-screen mode on the iPad is a surprisingly effective approach to multi-tasking/multiple windows, and I find myself using it quite often to bring something up in a side panel, so that I can refer to it while working in a main window. I’ve also discovered that a lot of the expected shortcuts (like cmd-tab, cmd-t, cmd-l, cut, copy, paste) work when you have an external keyboard in operation, again making things feel like a laptop/full experience.

I’ve locked down my notifications on the iPad more aggressively than elsewhere, so I get interrupted less when I’m using it. That makes it a great device to sit in the morning and get some “isolated” work down, without distraction. We’ll see how it goes as I attempt to make this a more permanent part of my workflow.

Of course, this post was written on the iPad. I used the web UI of WordPress.com to post via Jetpack to this self-hosted site.

First 14er – Mt. Bierstadt

Last weekend, Erika and I (along with friends, Kelly and Emi) climbed our first 14er! We picked Bierstadt since it’s in the Front Range (easy to get to from Denver), is supposed to be relatively easy, and trail reports/weather indicated it should be pretty clear. We weren’t alone; there were a ton of people up there with us.

Erika and I had to get up at 3:45 so that we could get out of here in time to get to the trail for a 5:45 start. We got there, but hadn’t banked on no cell reception (duh), and so we didn’t find Kelly and Emi, and get on the trail until more like 6am (in the complete dark, so yay for headlamps). On the way up, we were treated to a crazy multi-color sunrise, blasted against the surrounding peaks and clouds.

The hike was actually not as bad as I thought it was going to be, but Bierstadt is a very well maintained trail, and I had been doing a lot of backpacking and hiking and stuff at pretty decent elevation in the weeks leading up, so that definitely helped. The views all the way up were amazing… enough to make you jump around like a nutter.

The scene at the top was pretty bizarre. It felt like a bit of a party up there, with everyone celebrating their summit, grabbing photos, and stopping for some food. We took a bunch of pictures of course, using one of the signs that were up there already. We also had a small flask of Stranahan’s Snowflake (special distillation) whiskey, from the “Mt. Bierstadt” batch, so that felt über-appropriate.

Once we had our photos, and had recovered a bit, it was time to head back down again. We got ourselves together, and then hustled down. A highlight of the hike back down was definitely the random Coors-dude, who was wearing a cape, and basically running up the mountain with a backpack full of Coors (which we scored one of). By the time we got to the bottom it had been just over 6 hours round-trip, which is OK for our first one I think.

Since it didn’t completely kill us, we’re now both keen to try out some more; Grays and Torreys are next (this weekend)!