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20 September 2010

So, iPad, huh? Help me make it work (for me).[More:]I managed to convince my boss to let me buy an iPad, so now I need to show (mostly to myself) that it will do what I want it to do.

My main goal in buying one was to be able to use it to carry around documents to read at meetings and while travelling and to be able to make changes to the documents, in addition to using it for 'net/e-mail. I can do both of those with myiPhone of course, but it's not really useful for anything other than a quick message or short-term 'net stuff. But, seeing as work paid for it, mostly I want to make my work-related 'stuff' more accessible when I'm on the road and where a laptop isn't the best option (it's been a long time since a laptop was useable in a plane unless you fly business class and the battery life is always a killer anyway).

We use MS Office at work, so I bought QuickOffice Connect after reading some reviews and it seems like a good start (although it doesn't work with PowerPoint docs, but that's not such a biggie). I'm still getting to grips with how to get documents stored on the device, but I think that's mainly a matter of getting away from the Windows Explorer way of Doing Things.

Most of the documents I need to work with come via e-mail, but there's lots of stuff that I'd like to keep as reference and I think I'm going to get sick of having to e-mail things to myself to 'save' them. Is there a better way? I thought about the camera adaptor, but wasn't sure if that would allow me to transfer things like .pdf files from a USB drive.

I did buy the keyboard dock, which makes it a delight to use when actually typing (although touch-typing on the screen keyboard is not as bad as I feared) and an Elano case, which means I can sit it at an angle on a desk or table for working without the keyboard. Something I didn't realise before unpacking the keyboard was that it's not flat (has a little thingie sticking up at the back to support the iPad), so it's somewhat cumbersome to carry in a backpack, although I could carry it in my luggage for use in hotel rooms etc. But then, it also works with my iPhone as well, which I didn't expect.

Something that I would dearly love to do, without having any expectation that it's possible, is to connect to work via Terminal Services so I can access our (Windows-based) database and electronic records management systems. I know that's a reach, but a person can dream, right?

Any and all suggestions considered gratefully.
post by: dg at: 00:47 | 11 comments
I have no suggestions, only seething jealousy.
posted by richat 20 September | 07:58
Does that help? Likely not eh? Thank god this isn't askme.
posted by richat 20 September | 07:59
Yes, I stalled at "my work bought me an iPad." Wiping up drool now.

posted by typewriter 20 September | 08:39
All of these comments have been flagged as non-helpful.

Including this one.
posted by iconomy 20 September | 09:34
Let's see. I've been setting up my mom's ipad, and these apps might be of help

iSSH ($10) - lets you use telnet/ssh to connect to servers. Very feature rich. VNC and RHUB produced programs that are more focused on connecting to windows machines than traditional *nix servers.

The iPad reads .pdfs naturally, but Goodreader will also open Office docs (read only, I think), plus standard mac formats for files. I think it's 1-2 dollars.

I know friends track expenses, time spent on different tasks, and inventories on their ipads, although those things might not match your needs.

posted by julen 20 September | 11:50
My strongest recommendation is to put up an AskMeFi.
posted by bearwife 20 September | 16:57
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking.
posted by dg 20 September | 18:06
...and that's what I did.
posted by dg 20 September | 18:38
My work bought me an ipad and it's a little silly for me. I jailbroke it which didn't really lead me to a bunch of awesome apps, but it was incredibly simple to do in case that's something you're curious about. I thing dropbox and the keyboard stand are good. I also liked this post about how to hang it on a wall and am trying it this week.

I use it a lot just for staying up with news feeds [I like the netnewswire app myself] which is the thing I get most behind on. I'm curious to read this and your AskMe question to see if people really do have things they use them for in a work setting.
posted by jessamyn 20 September | 22:17
I guess I must be missing something, but I don't really see the benefit of jailbreaking. Is it really that crippled that losing any capacity to update software etc is worth the trouble?
posted by dg 21 September | 01:04
I figure you can always update software and re-jailbreak. I don't use a lot of the Apple apps on the thing so ability to sync with my desktop is less important than it is for other people, and I was hoping there might be more interesting apps than were available in the Apple store, but too bad it seemed to be not the case.
posted by jessamyn 21 September | 17:27
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