Christmas in August

I’ve been eagerly anticipating for weeks now the arrival of a couple of work-related items. The first was a Timbuktu bag for my laptop. I had one of these years ago that Flock gave staff members, but it was entirely too small. It wouldn’t hold the oversize laptops I tended to get, and even if I had had a smaller laptop the thing could contain, there was precious little room for anything else in it. When I travel, I tend to have an assortment of books, cables, often a portable keyboard and stand for my laptop, etc. So the Flock bag never worked out for me.

The new bag, embroidered with the WordPress logo, could just about carry my whole trip’s worth of belongings. I requested a large backpack because I’ve been sporting a 17″ MacBook Pro for a couple of years now, and boy would this thing hold it. It’s more like the backpack wears me than like I wear it. My sense of this is exaggerated, of course, because I haven’t yet put anything in the bag, and it’s not at all broken in. I think it’ll be a great bag. (It was also stuffed with a couple of WordPress shirts and a mug.)

What makes the size all the more comical is that I have economized what I’ll be carrying around with me when I use the bag. Along with the bag, I also took delivery yesterday of a new 13″ MacBook Air, which is a good deal smaller than the 17″ MBP I’ve been lugging around. I feel like I’m working on an iPhone by comparison, and I feel as if I could tuck the thing inside one of the smaller pockets of my new bag (and lose it in there). I’ve also recently gotten a small Kindle, so that rather than porting around a behemoth laptop and several thick books, I’ve now got two slim devices and a whole bunch of empty space to carry around.

So far, I’m digging the laptop, though since I connect a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to it and use it on a stand as if it were a desktop machine, I’ve hardly taken advantage yet of its compactness. The thing is super fast, though, and so far it stays pretty cool (my other was a scorcher) and makes none of the worrisome sounds I had grown accustomed to. One of my favorite things is the MagicPad trackpad I got to go along with it. I’m still getting used to the various gestures for doing things, but once I get the appropriate muscle memory for them, I’m really going to like the way the trackpad changes my workflow. I may actually use some of the workflowy features of the new Lion OS whose cousins I’ve always dispensed with in earlier OSes. This already beats using the little bluetooth mouse I had been using, with its scroll ball that was perpetually broken for me.

Last, I recently got new business cards, which give me an odd sense of belonging (by which I mean that I feel a little out of my league here at Automattic, and having business cards and company equipment reassures me that there aren’t imminent plans to fire me). The business cards are nifty, turned sideways and featuring my ubiquitous snarly avatar and a QR code going to my gravatar profile on the back.

And that’s that. Christmas in August. Now back to work!

2 thoughts on “Christmas in August

  1. I have mixed feelings. For reading things quickly that I’m not terribly engaged in, it works pretty well. And to some degree, it’s even ok for taking notes, though it’s a somewhat tedious process. I find that it really stinks when you’re reading something you’d like to flip around in — a long collection of short stories, for example. I wish there were more metadata available from any given screen (e.g. what page would this correspond to in a given edition of the printed book, what is the name of the sub-section or chapter I’m in, and probably others). To be terribly useful to me, a reading device would really need better note-taking, perhaps the ability to add hand-written notes via stylus or finger, maybe the ability to add audio notes, and tagging of passages with a handy way of viewing the tagged sections together, which I do when reading print books by just keeping hand-written indices. It’s really kind of a clumsy reading gadget right now. I do like it, but it has also helped me to value more dearly some of what I like about reading printed books. My daughter loves reading on it, and it is handy for travel; I just have to make sure I’m not reading anything I want to engage with too seriously when traveling.

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