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A year without a laptop: A creative awakening

A year without a laptop
A year without a laptop
Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

It has been a year since my long-enduring personal laptop finally died. At the time, my iPad was fairly new, so I thought that I should try to live without a laptop for a while. I haven't missed it much.

Full disclosure: My employer supplies me with a laptop that is ultra-secure, blocks social media, prohibits cleaning shortcuts off the desktop (I hate desktop clutter), and has been gradually limiting access to anything resembling a cloud. No fun stuff done here.

My tablet has had to serve as a personal laptop. Although I can email my work address to print .pdf formatted attachments, I must do everything else using the tablet. Once I sourced apps to create, save, and scan documents, graphs, and other images, I didn't feel limited.

I did have to borrow my wife's laptop to do our taxes. Since I hack our vehicles, I was worried that the incompatible software might necessitate a laptop, but the code behaved. Knock wood. Considering the "cascade" of other purchases that accompany a new laptop, I cannot justify the expense. My tablet soldiers on.

One thing that has become quite evident is that my use of a tablet is accompanied by smiles, laughs, and creativity, while my laptop stimulates the more guttural sounds that come with one's day-to-day work. My family says that I am happier on my tablet. That is reason enough to keep on tableting.

On a lark, I decided to write this using the free Hanx Writer app. The retro typewriter imaging, experience, and sounds (of which the family do not complain) made it fun. I think I found my new writing tool.

Since my creative existence lives in the world of cloud and USB drive storage, and my employer frowns on both, I expect that I will eventually be forced to buy a personal laptop. It will be for the need to be "off the grid" of my employer - while actually doing my job - not any lack of tablet function.

Should your personal laptop suddenly become a paperweight, try life with a tablet. You may find you like it better.