iPad adventures, days 2-3

Had to do a bunch of work on my laptop the past couple of days, because I needed a program (FileMaker) that there's no app version of. But I did manage to take the iPad out for a spin at a local coffee shop to do some grading; I simply love reading and grading on this thing, since it's so much more flexible than using a laptop for the purpose! And for some bizarre reason, even though I was only in the coffee shop working for an hour or so, and I could have brought my laptop and done this almost any time, it never really occurred to me to try it. My laptop has become almost like a "portable desktop," if that makes any sense, and packing it up to take it someplace strikes me as too much trouble. Now the iPad, even though I have to sync pdf files to it before I go out to work someplace, just feels so much more portable it's not funny. I think it's the battery life -- even though my MacBook Pro can get 3.5-4 hours pretty consistently, the fact that the iPad gets like 12, and the fact that I have only now plugged it in for the first time since Monday (which was two days ago), gives a little psychological boost: this thing runs forever, or at least for the practical equivalent of forever, so one need not think about running out of juice. That's nice.

Not so nice was something I discovered when trying to show someone a web page I'd been browsing before: I'd thought that the page would be cached, and would continue to be available even though I was now in a place without wi-fi connectivity (I haven't purchased the 3G data plan yet, still resisting that temptation). Apparently not. After I got over the mild embarrassment of the situation and made it back to someplace with wi-fi, I discovered a lovely little free app called Offline Pages, which does what the name implies: allows you to grab web pages (and even pdf files that you download from the web, since the iPad doesn't stick those in a folder that you can subsequently access with a pdf reader like GoodReader) and view them when offline. Problem solved, at no cost.

I'm also discovering first-hand the perils of autocorrect, and the need to proofread carefully before hitting the send button on an e-mail. The autocorrect engine sometimes guesses right, but sometimes it guesses bizarrely, and I can't tell if it's learning from my activity or not. Time will tell, I suppose, and in the meantime there's nothing to do but to check carefully before sending things out. Probably good practice anyway, but I hope that the autocorrect system's accuracy improves as it gets my input to chew on.

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