Outboard Brain

21 February 2004

I’m beginning to discover the usefulness of the portable computer. I’ve already been introduced to the joys of Wifi inernet access; but now I’m discovering where the laptop really makes a difference to me.

Essentially, it makes good use of downtime. Every day, I have an hour long commute, and it’s usually about half an hour before I hit the underground. So I get 30 minutes of good, unbroken time. Now, I’m often not very awake in this hour. Sometimes I’m able to read – usually because my brain only knows it’s tired when it’s not got anything to divert it. Recently, though, I’ve had odds and ends to work on – site layouts, email, documents to read, articles to write – and have discovered this unbroken 30 minutes to be invaluable admin-time. I don’t have any net access for the laptop until I get home at night, either, so it’s a good time to work on things entirely unrelated to the internet (yes, there are several). For half an hour, I can’t check facts online, or grab my email, or open a chat client. I can look out the window, true; but basically, it’s half an hour of work. And it’s proving really productive; it’s a great time to do all the little things before I get to a net connection and need to be a reader, not a writer, again. Odd bits of image editing; covering letters; CSS jiggery-pokery. All these things are getting done, and it’s not taking up extra time; I’m just using my time differently.