iPad - The Evolution of the Companion Device

There are a number of Apple products that have really transformed personal computing. Top on my list is the Apple Airport, as many may not know Apple was the first company to really bring WiFi to the masses with the original Airport.

There are lots and lots of others though. To me, the iPad was one of those devices as it really wasn’t like anything else. I owned every iPad since the original iPad and have struggled to really figure out “which iPad is the right iPad”. It really comes down to how much of a “companion” it is…. a companion to your PC or Mac or your Phone. 


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Travel Charger “Go” Setup

There are few things more annoying than arriving at a travel destination without the right charger for your device(s). I am in charge of managing the device situation of 3 humans, and like anything I have devised a system of “core” travel go bags for each human. Each bag is packed, ready to go at any moment, and flexible enough for individual or family travel. Cables are color coded, chargers are spec’ed per # of devices per person. My setup is the most complex, and this post only covers "core" devices.

This technique has saved for countless bouts of frustration, angry looks at “daddy” or worse, having to share chargers overnight.

Below is a recipe for simple, reliable, repeatable packing.

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Omar's Finds March 31: 9 Finds

 01 Knives: I want this knife. But since it’s sold out I settled for a replacement to my 10+ year now broken Swiss Army Knife, the Swiss Army EvoWood S557

02 Apple: Small is back. I personally love love love my big, giant, all day battery lasting with every feature turned on and GPS draining the battery iPhone 6s Plus. Many people still love them small phones and Apple now has you covered.

03 Apple: The big news in my opinion is the new USB-C to Lightning Connector cable. Why? Now you can charge your iPad Pro 2x faster. You see today, you are limited to what USB 2.0 can support which is 2.4A @ 5V of power or 12W. USB-C can deliver up to 100W of power, making it a universal replacement for all laptop power adapters, but also a universal docking cable allowing USB or Thunderbolt to travel to a dock or dongle supporting HDMI, USB, Power, SD cards and so on. Anyway, I ordered one so that my Macbook 12 and iPad Pro can share the same charger. The MacBook charger supplies 2A @ 14.5V or 29W

04 Cables: If you want to geek out on USB-C charging, you can read up here. I find this stuff fascinating. Here is the thing. I cannot wait till USB-C replaces all those pesky Micro USB cables. CAN’T HAPPEN SOON ENOUGH.

05 Writing: Ulysses, an incredible app for writing is now available for the Mac.

05 Technology: The Hootoo HT-UC001 is an incredible USB-C Hub. Perfect for travel. Has everything you need to import photos from SD, project and keep power connected.

06 Technology: My new travel charger. 4 USB ports and a single USB-C port. From Anker of course.

07 Apple: Apple announced the iPad Pro version of the medium sized iPad (9.7 inches). Predictible. In case you ddi not get the memo, the iPad Pro is the replacement for PCs and Laptops.

08 Google: Google is making a keyboard for the iPhone

09 Tesla: The last piece in the Tesla chess game was unveiled today. The Model 3 is a $35,000 car with a 215 mi range, auto pilot, seating for 5, super charging and it's beautiful. 115K people pre-ordered. That must be a record for any car company. Simply amazing. I put down a deposit just to keep my options open. When my Model S lease is up in 2018 I might decide the smaller / sportier Model 3 is a good replacement.

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My Turntable Setup

As I watch my children grow, and start to develop their own music taste, I've been thinking a lot about how I experienced music as a kid. 

My music interests developed in the tape cassette world, and quickly shifted to the compact disk. I even toyed around with mini-discs for a number of years in order to make near CD quality mix tapes. I never had a turntable growing up, but at least I grokked the concept of an album and all that went into making it (album art, pamphlet, lyrics etc).

My kids, they just know Spotify and Pandora. I've been reading with interest about how Vinyl is making a huge comeback thanks to Millennials!

"It's definitely a bright spot for the business," said Josh Friedlander, RIAA's senior vice president of strategic data analysis. "In an increasingly digital age, vinyl records can provide a deeper, tactile connection to music that resonates with some of the biggest fans."

I agree wholeheartedly. Seattle has some incredible Vinyl stores, and so we decided to pull the trigger and drag our children back into the past, so that they could develop an appreciation for music that was more connected to the Artist and the Album. 

And hey, another excuse to research the crap out of at least 5 different things to power a turntable :-).

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