Incorporating an iPad to My Work Station

It’s always nice to have more screen space. I’ve been considering getting a bigger screen but decided to get an iPad instead (although I’m sure I’ll be tempted to get an iMac 27″ when Apple updates it this summer). The iPad has other equally important use cases for me, but it’s been especially interesting figuring out exactly how I would incorporate it into my desktop as I work. Physically, I bought the Smart Cover and have it standing horizontally. The iPad is also supported by the four books behind it that the MacBook sits on top of (thats to have the MacBook’s screen at eye level). The iPad being below eye level (and dimming on inactivity) has a side benefit of not distracting me as much but being there for quick reference.

More interesting than the physical setup are two ways to incorporate it into your work station software wise. I thought I would outline it here.

Use your iPad as an extra display.

You need some like Air Display for your iPad. It’s $9.99. Then you need to install the Air Display Connect on your Mac. This literally makes it seem to your Mac that the iPad is another screen. You can arrange it in the display settings and just like any other monitor, you mouse just moves to it and you can drag windows into it.

Pros:

  • This allows you to use the keyboard and mouse seamlessly. You can even touch on the iPad to move the mouse or click buttons.
  • Air Display Connect software is also useful if you have another Mac that you want to connect together and use one keyboard and mouse.
  • It supports the retina display iPad using it as a HiDPI display.

Cons:

  • This connection is fragile. Restarting the computer, I had to reconnect. Press the home button and use another app on your iPad, you can lose the connect if you leave the Air Display app for too long.
  • This basically wastes the iPad as a computing entity with it’s own memory, processor, and apps. It’s just a  display.
  • I think because on the iPad retina display the resolution is crazy high, it’s really laggy. Dragging a window into it and positioning it is hard because of the lag. Video is out. On the other hand, my most common use case – tailing a log in a terminal – it seemed to work fine.

Use your Mac’s keyboard as a Bluetooth keyboard for your iPad.

You need iKeyboard for your Mac. It’s also $9.99. Once you’ve made a connection between your Mac and iPad, you can bring up this app and everything you type is relayed to the iPad via the Bluetooth connection.

Pros:

  • You get to utilized the iPad to to it’s fullest. You can have music, email, etc. running on it. For me, I have music playing and either email, reminder app, or a browser open to PivotalTracker.
  • You get to use your keyboard on the iPad. Maybe this item is not necessary as that’s the whole point of the app, but I don’t like having 1 item lists.

Cons:

  • If you don’t have something running that keeps it from locking, the iPad will turn the screen off. Not having it auto lock doesn’t work for me because I don’t want it on all night as I’ll never remember to turn it off as I leave the office. The perfect solution for me is to have the Music app playing during the day which dims the screen but doesn’t lock the device.
  • The mouse doesn’t control anything on the iPad so you still have to touch it.
  • You have to switch over to the iKeyboard app to begin typing. Hmm, wonder if I can setup some sort of keyboard shortcut that brings up a specific app?

Conclusion

After spending $19.98 buying both these apps and trying each for a day each, at this point I feel more comfortable with using iKeyboard and using the iPad as a separate device but be able to type using my keyboard. It also promotes a good behavior, to segregate email as a separate activity set aside for certain times of the day. When I just email using your computer, I slip into it. Emailing on the iPad, at least for now, I notice it conscientiously. I think that should last, but who knows, maybe my brain will adjust and I’ll slip into emailing again.


Korea and IE

I’ve covered this topic before, but not on this blog and there’s some updates.

In a way I’m proud of the story of how IE came to dominate in Korea. Export of the encryption technology strong enough for online commerce was banned in the United States. Korea wasn’t going to just sit around so the Korean Information Security Agency took matter into its own hands and created SEED. I love the initiative and the foresight but horrible implementation of the idea.

Over a decade later, we have 80% of the users in Korea using IE. Hopefully it’ll get better over time. I’m not sure if the dip starting mid-2011 is a trend, but I hope so.

In the meanwhile, some Korean sites that only work in IE. Common dudes, be embarrassed.

This one is especially sad because it’s meant for foreigners to use.

And Wooribank has branches in the US.

 


Can’t Wait Till I Can Install Some Nanobots

Last Updated: 2012/4/6

Well, until some nanobots are available for purchase, I’m probably going to have to buy one of these. I’m still not sure about the science of these devices. I haven’t had the time to really track down real papers on how tracking sleep really works. I’m still doing research so this post is a work in progress.

Sleep Trackers

Zeo Sleep $129.00. A headband that hooks up with iOS. Seems like the most likely to be based on real science but again, I haven’t done enough research to know.
LARK $99.00. Wrist band. iOS only. It’s also an alarm clock. Haven’t heard much about it.
SleepTracker $149.00. Bulky wrist band. No iOS/Android. Dr. Phil endorsed? Ehh.
Sleep Cycle $0.99. It uses the iPhone as a data collector. I’m rather skeptical of this working. Especially if one of the kids or Yuyoun is in the same bed. And even if they weren’t, this can’t be as accurate.

Activity & Sleep Tracker

Fitbit $99.95. Clip that has a wrist band. It also track activity which is a plus. Both iOS and Android.
Jawbone Up $99.99. Wrist band that hooks up with iOS. Also tracks activity.

Activity Tracker

Nike Fuelband $240ish. Seems like it’s sold out in most places. No mention of tracking sleep.


Walky.me

I decided to go with Walky.me for my side iOS project. A few reasons (thanks Jon for highlighting these).

1) It’s a small, well scoped project that is potentially going to have real users.
3) I’m pretty sure I can get my teammates at walky.me to help me test and promote it.
4) Thanks to Bel, I’ve already got pretty UI assets to use.
5) It’s an excuse to play with MapKit and CoreLocation.

If you want to help test this as I build it, let me know and I can add you as a tester and you can my latest development builds on your iPhone (iOS 5.0+ and no iPad support).

If by some chance you want to help or see the code:

https://github.com/jinyk/Walky.me-iOS-Application

Don’t have much yet. The UI is wholesale ripoff of the iOS Maps app. And I will probably continue to copy everything down to how they handle directions and settings.