jkOnTheRun- a typical day with all my gear

Jk_icon_100pixIt’s time for another "typical day with" post but this one is going to be a little different than most.  Usually I detail how a particular device fits into a typical day’s routine but today I’m going to share how all the gear I use fits into a typical day.  This is mainly in response to those who wonder how I use so many gadgets which I am fortunate (or broke enough) to have.  A lot of people I hear from assume that once I buy gadget A then all the other gadgets go in a drawer somewhere and nothing could be farther from the truth.  Here then is a typical day with all my gear.

Today is Friday and since I am heading downtown to Big Oil Co. myalarm, the traitor, goes off promptly at 4:30.  That’s AM for those ofyou who didn’t know there was more than one 4:30 daily.  I shut off thealarm while thinking of innovative and geeky ways to utterly destroythe alarm clock and head downstairs to get my first coffee of the day.The coffeemaker has done its job perfectly and the brew is just readywith an enticing aroma that begins to wake me up even before I taste adrop.  I fill my cup and go into my office to pick up the first gadgetI will use this fine Friday.

I pick up the Fujitsu P1610 from the dock where it’s been sleepingfitfully and rotate the screen into portrait slate mode.  The two of ushead into the comfy Man Chair in the living room where we can get busywhile getting up to date with the happenings in the world while we weresleeping.  I hit the power slider button on the Fuji and in 3 secondshe’s all awake and ready to reach out and touch the world.  I checkOutlook for any email that has arrived overnight and respond to the fewthat need it using the pen and ink.  I find it gives my email thatpersonal touch when desired.  Done with the email I open up Firefox andhit the Google Reader button in the toolbar.  Only 358 items to be readin my RSS feeds so I’d better get busy as I only have a few minutesbefore it’s time to hit the showers.

I love to check my feeds on the Fuji, Miyagi, as portrait mode isperfect for that and the Fuji is so light and small it’s easy tohandle.  I use it a lot when I am at home and don’t feel like workingat my desk, I especially enjoy taking Miyagi out back and use it whilelooking at the pool.  This morning it’s in the chair however and I getbusy with my feed checking.  The P1610 has those great up/down arrowbuttons on the screen bezel which I have configured to do page up/downwhich works great with Google Reader.  It only takes me ten minutes tospin down through the pertinent items, stopping to tag the items ofinterest for later when I have time to actually read them properly.  Ifinish this promptly at 5:15 and drop Miyagi back in the dock to chargeand head to the shower. 

Ready to leave I grab my Booq Boa bag, throw the HP 2710p Tablet PC into the bag pocket, the ultra-slice battery in the middle pocket and the HTC Advantage into the front pocket.  The BlackBerry 8830 goes into its magic holster on my belt and the Cardo S-800 headset goes into my ear.  At 5:45 I am in the car and on the road to BigOil Co., where I arrive at 6:15 to start the work day.  It’s an ungodlyhour but I do this to beat traffic which is horrific unless I commuteextra early and I find I get a lot of real work done before the massesbegin to arrive in the office.  Even arriving this early I am never thefirst person on my floor so I’m not the only one who does this.

I pull the 2710p out of the bag and set it on my desk in laptop mode, which is how I usually work while at the desk.  I pop the Verizon AirCard v740 ExpressCard modem into the slot, take out the Stowaway Bluetooth Travel Mouse and turn it on for pairing.  In 30 seconds I am connected to the Verizon BroadbandAccess EV-DO (Rev. A) network, which I will stay connected to the entire time in my office.  It gives me all the speed I need and keeps me off the Big Oil Co. network which I prefer.  I work this way for a couple of hours, writing a report, keeping on top of email and other normal office stuff.  I even get to blog a bit when free time presents itself.  This is a very productive way to work and the beauty of it is that I could be virtually anywhere and work the same way.  It’s that virtual cubicle I’ve written about.

The morning rolls on and I need to head upstairs for my 9 o’clock meeting.  I turn off the mouse to save batteries, unplug the 2710p from the A/C adapter that I leave in the office all the time, and rotate the screen to portrait orientation.  Slate mode is the mode for meetings as I write a lot of ink notes in OneNote.  I keep every project on its own OneNote section tab so they are all organized and I use ink in every single meeting I attend.  I miss capturing nothing this way and it’s all fully searchable without having to convert the ink to text.  I’m ready to head to the meeting so I slip the 2710p into a sleeve I am testing that is designed especially for the 2710p.  I can’t say anything about the sleeve yet as it’s not available but the short time I have been using it has gone swimmingly.  I’ll share more when I can about the sleeve.  It’s thin and light but protects the HP when I am carrying it around, something I don’t like doing with the HP naked.

I arrive upstairs for my meeting and pull the 2710p out of the sleeve and get busy taking notes during the meeting.  A couple of times questions were asked about various projects and I jump around in OneNote and refer to past notes and provide the answers quickly.  The meeting lasts a couple of hours and when it’s over I hit the power button which I’ve programmed to make the HP sleep and slide it into the sleeve to head back to my office.  The battery is at 64% after the 2 hour meeting which is common for the battery life I am getting (5.5 hours) out of the internal standard battery.  I am always in Power Saver mode while mobile.  I plug the HP into the charger and finish one report quickly and head down to the food court to get a quick lunch as I need to head across town to arrive at my next meeting at 1 pm.  While I am eating lunch I open the HTC Advantage and read the book I am working on in eReader Pro.  I love the latest version of eReader which is now free.  Reading ebooks on the Advantage in clamshell mode works well while eating as the screen is at the perfect angle and I move from one page to the next simply by pressing an arrow key on the keyboard.  I find I am reading even more books than I used to since I started doing so with the Advantage as it’s such a joy to do, and I can read at times I couldn’t do so before such as while eating.

Lunch time now over I head back to the office, drop the Advantage back into the front pocket of the bag and slide the 2710p into the sleeve which goes into the bag too.  Oh, I popped the AirCard out of the HP first as it won’t fit in the sleeve with it in the slot.  I pop the Cardo headset into my ear and off I go.

I am a littl
e early for the 1 o’clock meeting as traffic was lighter than expected (yay!) so I pull the BlackBerry out and check my email. Eleven of those suckers came in during the commute so I read them all and answer one of them using the keypad.  My two colleagues arrive to join me for the meeting and we are escorted back to the big visualization room.  I pull the 2710p out and after popping the AirCard into the Tablet I get to work taking notes, although  first thing as the meeting gets started I refer in OneNote to the notes from the last project meeting and also an important email that discussed some issues.  I use the "link to OneNote" icon a lot in Outlook to always capture important emails in the appropriate project folder.  When everyone else in the meeting is settled and we begin in earnest I am fully conversant about all the issues at hand.  As our discussion rolls on I pull up a PowerPoint presentation that the contractor we’re meeting with had sent the day before to highlight some of the issues we were now discussing.  It was easy in slate mode to share the PPT with the folks sitting adjacent and they were very impressed that I have virtually everything pertinent to a given project right there in the Tablet.  It’s always cool when that happens.


This meeting drags on for over three hours and when it’s done I am free for the rest of the day!  Woot!  I get in the car and head back to the home office where the day all began.  I pop the 2710p onto the dock for charging and realize that today has been a good day, I haven’t had to pull the slice battery out once since I was able to plug in at the office downtown.  Most days aren’t like this and I really like the ability to just pop the slice battery onto the bottom of the 2710p when the main battery gets too low.  I don’t have to enter sleep mode nor hibernate mode to do so, just pop it on and the HP recognized it immediately.  It’s charging now so I work for a good while at my desk using the 17" MacBook Pro which is my main "desktop" machine.  I work this way until my better half comes home and we head out to eat.  I should point out that the only gadget I take to dinner is my BlackBerry, and it stays in my pocket the entire time.  I just bring it because it’s a phone, you know?

We have a leisurely dinner and then head back to the house as my spouse has a "girls night out" and has to get over to her friend’s house.  Once she’s gone I get the idea to make use of the free time and write this article so I pick up the Crumpler Hymn Pro case that just arrived today, pop the MacBook Pro into it and head out to the local coffee shop.  I work there for over two hours, doing everything I would normally do at home but in a better setting with lots of caffeine to keep me going.  I am impressed with the Crumpler case as it fits the MacBook exactly and is nice and thin and light.  It’s a simple organizer type case that zips open and closed and what’s cool is the Mac can be used in the open case.  The 17" MacBook is pretty big and heavy so not having to take it out of the case is a real benefit.  I’m going to like the Crumpler I am pretty sure.

I head back home, pop the MacBook onto the Lapworks stand where it lives, plug it in and close the lid to let it sleep.  I grab the Fuji again and head onto the back porch as the night is nice and cool and I do a crossword using Ink Crossword, one of my favorite pastimes on both Tablets I used.  Eventually I switched over to the Advantage and my ebook and had an enjoyable evening reading my book until the day was over.

Looking back over this day, which was definitely a typical day in my work life, one thing jumps out at me.  I’ll bet you’ve already noticed it.  I have at various points in my life been called a Microsoft fanboy and even a Windows Mobile fanboy but those don’t apply here.  Today, like every day, I have used Microsoft Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X Leopard, Windows Mobile 6 and the RIM BlackBerry OS.  The right tool for the job, that’s my motto.