I don’t own a laptop anymore

For the first time in twenty-odd years, I don’t own a laptop. This past weekend, I fedex’ed my MacBook Air (With the shitty keyboard. Thanks, Tim Cook) back to apple for trade-in credit on a Mac Mini.

Macbook Air packed up and ready for shipment.

The Mac Mini is great, it’s way more powerful than the MacBook Air, which is a plus, but wasn’t super necessary outside of making video editing and possibly running my upcoming online conferences easier.

I really liked the Air, except for it’s keyboard. I bought it knowing it wasn’t outrageously powerful, which for conference organizing and writing was just fine. Except the keyboard made writing agonizing. keys would repeat, keys would not activate, all randomly and never the same behavior in a row, so my manuscripts would be riddled with repeated words, wrong words that spell check was ok with and outright typos. It was annoying.

Mac migration tool screen.

Writing with the Mac Mini

I had already started moving to my iPad Pro for travel writing; it went to Egypt and Tanzania and was my only device and was just fine. The addition of the Magic Keyboard was the final nail. For a few weeks I’ve been leaving my laptop in my office, docked at the end of the day and just using my iPad around the house (Living room, kitchen island, etc). During the day writing on the Mini vs. the MacBook Air isn’t any different as the Air was docked behind monitors. The Mini is under them.

It’s definitely a little weird, and there are some things that require me getting up and going to the office (Designing book covers, for one) but I think as I get more used to using the Affinity tools on my iPad that might change. Otherwise walking away from my office at the end of the day, leaving the computer there, is kind of nice.

Conferences without a Laptop

This will be the first full week so we’ll see how I feel (not that there’s takebacks, the laptop is enroute to Apple). Right now I’m pretty happy. I think when I get closer to conference time it’ll be a great help running Zoom, and other tools for live streaming.

As I’ve been exploring online conference options I realized that since my MacBook Air would struggle with being a zoom participant (fans roaring, etc) that being host, plus running other tools like Ecamm Live, etc would tax the power little laptop.

Once the world gets back to allowing in-person events, I’ll face the final test of my set up. During the conferences, I do a lot of work at the registration table, or anywhere else, plus at least two times during the event, I am presenting on screen. Thankfully some of my speakers have already blazed the trail on presenting from an iPad.

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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