the writings of

A day with an iPhone

October 26, 2011

I attended BarCamp Philly 2011, which was absolutely awesome, packing nothing but an iPhone. It's amazing how much productivity can be squeezed out of the thing.

On my way out the door

The wife asks, "aren't you bringing anything?"

"I prefer to travel light."

In truth, I like to scope things out before bringing a bunch of crap along. I find it easier to be somewhere and remember to bring something for next time than to be bogged down with all kinds of stuff, wishing I didn't have it on me the first time.

Of course, I really should know better when the destination in question is a geeky, web/tech conference. The moment we walked in the entrance, I was surrounded by the familiar sea of glowing apple logos of Mac Book such-and-suches.

I also realized very quickly that I wanted to do some live-ish blogging during the event. So, two weeks into owning my very first iPhone, it was time to give the magic little device a run for its money.

BarCamp Philly

BarCamps are conferences comprised of attendee-generated content. This past weekend, one was held in Philadelphia. Last year, it was recommended that I make sure to get there this year. It's hard for me to explain exactly how happy I am that I did.

At some point during the day, I tweeted that these [the other attendees] were the types of people I had been looking to surround myself with for some time. And I meant it. This was a group of self-motivated, passionate, inspired, and inspiring people from all sorts of different areas of specialization. And, by and large, they were fairly close-by.

Seize the day

I wanted to capture at least bits of the day. It seemed like the thing to do, considering how excited I was to be there. But all I had was an iPhone. Seemed like a challenge to me. It quickly became clear that I wanted to see just how much I could capture armed with just the phone.

Tools of the trade

Here's what I used to stay productive through the day.

Watch that battery drain!

I was recently talking to someone and I mentioned how the thing I was least impressed with on my new iPhone was the battery life. However, my real point in that conversation was that the only reason I wasn't impressed with the battery life was because I was holding to a ridiculous standard - that of the iPad (which clearly has more space to pack a tremendously larger battery).

At any rate, during the first talk, I noticed my battery tanking at an alarming rate. So, I needed to go into my settings and do things like turn the brightness way down and turn off location services. Additionally, I killed off any extra apps running in the background.

Part of me wanted to really push the limits and try to actually go all day without a charge. During the lunch break though, I ran into an open charger. My paranoia got the better of me and I took 20-25 minutes to give the phone about a 16% boost.

It should be mentioned that my brother's phone died before we even made it to the lunchbreak. As I said, when I say I'm not impressed with the iPhone's battery, it's because I'm holding it to an impossible standard. Clearly it's far better than most.

The fruits of my labor

I took notes during each of the presentations I attended. Here's the links.

I took a little extra time on a desktop to clean up a few formatting things and add a couple links. By and large though, these posts are all straight from my phone, typed during the presentations.

All and all

The iPhone is nothing short of impressive. After further reflection, I think I actually accmomplished more with the iPhone than I would have with a laptop. There were less distractions than I normally face using a traditional computer, the need to conserve battery meant that I only flipped it on when I actually had something in particular to do, and it has a camera.

And as for BarCamp Philly, well, it was absolutely amazing and I can't wait for next year.

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