I was lucky enough to be able to crash a local, scholarly SF Convention, its first ever but hopefully the first of many. It was one of those weird things where life just makes it available to you and you don’t dare miss it. A convention that takes place during the week, hell during my days off! How do I not go to that? How does anyone?
So for two days I was privileged enough to listen to some fascinating papers that covered topics from Philip K Dick’s views on reality, on the stereotype of the Evil Genius and Absent-Minded professor, on embodiment in Anime, on cyclical verses progressive history — consider the mind BLOWN!
I have much, much to say about it, thoughts for which are still formulating, percolating. But there will be bloggage. I’m also going to prepare my notes and pass them out to the group (if they are so inclined).
But two things:
For Tuesday, I took notes exclusively on the iPad and its virtual keyboard. And I did all right, even impressed myself with how much I managed. My notes are about a page each for each presentation, covering the major points and a few of my own sidebars.
For Wednesday, I decided to mix it up and brought my Bluetooth keyboard. I’ve been meaning to try it out but a recent thread in the OWW mailing list mentioned it again and I thought why not? I had wanted the ease-of-use that my laptop would offer so I could get down as much of Sawyer’s talk as possible. But boy, that laptop is heavy and with the bussing routes interrupted from the strike, I’d have had a very long haul. And if it didn’t work, I could just go back to the iPad alone. So I dug out the stand I had purchased, and thought useless, and took it with me.
And boy HOWDY did it work out! I easily managed three times the amount of notes, at times even able to keep up with the presenter and write more of my own asides. The Bluetooth did heavily drain the battery, as expected, but it is a very viable way of taking notes for class. The battery life would be more than adequate. The only thing I couldn’t do effectively was reposition the cursor (and I wonder if my Bluetooth mouse would work with the iPad?) or draw diagrams. Not that the later proved much of an issue, but it could be. Overall, I was dead impressed.
The other thing? I didn’t realize how much I missed Laurentian. It was two days of challenging material, something meaty, something large enough that you can’t just skim it, and toss it aside. Just like the science or social-based panels at a regular Con, these lectures gave more information than you can safely hold in your palm. I wish I’d taken the keyboard with me yesterday, though there is value in just listening, without the pen scratchings or the keys tapping alongside each spoken word.
So like I said, I’m brain-full! Happily stuffed, ideas and perspectives crammed in there, leaking out my ears. It was like I’ve gotten a taste of something I used to eat a long time ago, familiar and alien all at once, that I’d forgotten I’d even missed.