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The personal site of Jamie Knight, an autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

Goodbye Macbook, Hello iPad.

I have written about the MacBook Air a number of times in the last 18 months. I first tried an Air in December 2010, but ended up returning it due to performance anxiety. I felt it was two expensive for its ‘limited’ specs.

However, due to increasing demands it became apparent i needed something for studying so i purchased an Air for uni. It also gave me digital separation between work and home.

Yesterday i sold my MacBook Air to my partner so he could use it for studying. I’m sad to see it ‘go’ but its not going far and it’s for a good cause.

Instead of going out and replacing it with a shiny new MacBook Air i decided to have a little experiment. Is it possible for me to live without a laptop? Can the iPad meet my personal computing needs.

I should note, i will still have access to an iMac at home. I share one with my partner, it acts as a media server and my freelance workstation. However, i don’t use it for personal stuff (writing, browsing etc).

What kept me.

You could ask what has stopped me from doing this in the past? Well a few things. As i wrote recently i found a few activities on iPad frustrating or just impossible.

I found instant messages slow and clunky. This is still the case but its getting better as time goes by. Using IM+ i can get the job done but its hardly the best experience possible. I hope to experiment with apps a bit here and to find a better solution.

Some activites seemed impossible. For example managing my finances with “Xero“ It requires me to download a bank statement from my bank and then upload it to Xero. Without a file system i thought this was not possible.

It turns out a third party iPad browser called iCadMobile does the job perfectly. So that problem is solved. Another blocker bits the dust.


I must admit, after 2 years i still hate the term Cloud however service like dropbox are very useful. I am using Dropbox to simulate a basic file system. It provides a place for my documents to live and it syncs between my phone and the iMac.

Where Next.

Its very much early days, rather shamefully i have actually already failed a little. I forgot to bring my keyboard home with me from work this evening so i have instead written this post on another machine. I suppose changing habits will take time, i am excited, and a little nervous, to see where this experiment leads.

Have you swapped out your laptop for an iPad? Do you have any software tips. Feel free to ping me via twitter, i would love to know your thoughts.

Published: 15 June 2012 | Categories: , Permalink

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