Using a tablet on the road

If you noticed, my using a tablet for blog posts has been a love-hate affair for some time. Imagery is slow process but I get fairly decent results. Text is a different story. First of all, I'm used to touch typing. This is something I learned in high school (I was the only male in the class) and have not regretted it at all.

The January trip to Israel saw me posting an entry with lots of errors I didn't pick up until later. It was the first time since 2016 that I'd used the thing so was quite rusty. Hunt and peck with a stylus is incredibly slow, while attempting to touch type on the tablet ends up with a complete mess. The possibility of using a separate keyboard might help, as long as it's not too heavy.

There any number of text processing Apps available for Android tablets and most are a pain to use. Saving a text file in the location you want is near on impossible and finding the file again, the same. After trying out about a dozen of these pretensive apparitions, I've finally settled on one named Notepad Free. It keeps all my text files in it's own space and presents me with a list of them when the program is opened. I just pick the one needed and type away.

Writing a blog post online can be a bit of a hit and miss affair. Especially when many Wifi's in locations like bars or cafés often have a 30 minute time limit imposed on users. This is where doing the entire article in Notepad is better. I have all the time in the world to get it right. Even then there are minor offenses, like Android putting in double spaces instead of single ones. To compensate for that I coded a short replacement string in Perl (the programing language I wrote my blog software with) to get rid of them.

Once everything is written down, I can easily select all the text, then copy it to the clipboard. Closing Notepad and going online with the Web browser to my blog Admin. Then opening a new draft file, entering the title and pasting the copy into the editor gets the initial job done. From there it's the usual formatting. The mark up editor is based on one written by some guy named Balakrishnan (who never answers his email) and is a small clean Javascript one, which I made mods to for 3 different types of editor.
uat.jpg
The amount of weight saved by carrying an 8 inch tablet is huge.


But what about other stuff?

I've been very selective in the Apps I use. A firewall for instance. Netguard is installed for protection. It gets updated regularly and does a good job.

For photo processing I use dev.MacGyver Photo Editor. There are a series of tutorials on the Simian Circles site in that regards. I like the App and find it does what I want for my images. It takes a while but over the past year, I've been able to get good images taken on my fone using this.

Not much is kept on my systems (laptop or tablet) whilst away. Photo's which need to be kept are put in a folder and zipped up with ZArchiver, then uploaded to my server for safe keeping with a copy on my SanDisk Ultra flash drive. The same goes for other elements of a blog post.

Email is handled by TypeApp, which does the job (Samsung's email package is useless). Otherwise I can use the webmail directly on the server.
uat1.jpg
Instead of icons all over the place, I've put them in folders.

Tablets, like other computers, get full of stuff which needs cleaning up. For that CCleaner takes care of it and releases memory to be used for important things, like a Scrabble game or solitaire.

Sometimes it's nice to read a book, so ReadEra takes care of that side of things. My Samsung Tab 4 can also act as a phone in an emergency.

A little note about my fone....
My normal smartphone, an old Galaxy sII i9100 and often used as a camera, has terrible charge usage, the battery drains totally in under 2 days—even when turned off (and in Airplane mode). On Android 4.1.2, you can disable a lot of the Apps in the Applications Manager, so I did, nearly all of them. A few tests and I had communication, Wifi and the camera. It will now hold a charge for weeks, unused. I hardly use the fone side of things anyways.

The old standard Android browser does the job well enough (until SRWare get their act together and make Iron work a ton better on tablets). It's not too difficult to book a flight from the machine or using it for working with my blog Admin.

I couldn't use one, you might say

You're all used to laptops, like me, but a tablet can be of value, especially when weight is a problem. Now airlines have lowered the carry on weight to 8 kilos, how much your pack weighs is even more critical.

. . . . . . .

I still have the love-hate relationship with the silly thing, but am getting used to it—and learning some patience too.
Mar 12, 2019


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