One Device To Rule Them All: Part 3, Tools of the Trade

“Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS) or Compulsive Tool Acquisition Syndrome (CTAS) [1] has been defined as “the all-consuming desire to expand your collection of gear …”  Wikipedia

After deciding to buy a tablet computer, based on real need and not GAS, I calculated that an iPad Pro, with 256 gigabytes of storage capacity, would be plenty for my needs. I’m not a big music listener or video watcher but I do have a large podcast library. I’ll write about the value of podcasts in a later post.

The only accessories I bought with the device were the optional stylus, the Apple Pencil (gives a little more precise control when editing photos and writing) and a protective case. I’ve used Otterboxes on every tablet and phone I’ve ever owned so I bought an Otterbox DEFENDER SERIES case.  The case comes with a cover that doubles as an adjustable viewing stand and pencil holder. No external keyboard, batteries, earphones, speakers or other stands are necessary. I’ve owned all these accessories before and it’s more pieces to keep up with…more distractions.

“App” wise, I use an internet browser, Firefox, that syncs across all devices (laptop and phone), as my main app, especially since the device is internet connected. Chrome and Safari web browsers also work. I’ve bookmarked the web applications of many of the apps and only use apps as back-ups in case the browser doesn’t work. The browser provides a familiar, stable, and minimalist interface on the tablet. I can switch between applications on the browser quicker than switching apps even though the iPad Pro now does faster multitasking and split screen viewing. The goal is to keep as many those accumulated and distracting apps out of sight.

If you have a smartphone, you can identify with being overwhelmed keeping up with apps. It’s the same with a tablet. The key is to use only the apps that you have a real need for. Those are below on the first screen of my iPad.


You may also notice that utility apps, that allow me to maintain the functions of the device, are located on the bottom of the screen allowing quick access.

What you don’t see are all the entertainment apps and lesser used apps in folders that are out-of-sight on the second page.


Sure, I’d like to access my flight simulator (I missed that part while I was in the Air Force), but having it tucked away until I get my work done lessens the temptation to fly. 🙂

Now that we’ve covered the physical setup of the device and app organization, in the next post of this series, I will write about how I generally basically organize my life on my tablet. Windows and Android users, it’s all the same principle.  Stay tuned.


20 Shots


‘You can get killed just for living in your American skin.”
Bruce Springsteen, ”AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) ”

Back in 1999, I wrote a commentary on the New York City Police Department’s execution of Amadou Diallo. Officers fired 41 bullets at Diallo outside his apartment when he reached for his wallet. Of course, the officers were all acquitted of all charges. Outraged by the circumstances of the case, I titled the article “41 Shots.” Bruce Springsteen composed a song with the same title. Little did we know that the future would bring hundreds of more casualties, citizens of all colors, killed by a “professional” police force. Stephon Clark, recently executed by the Sacramento police, was fired at 20 times and he only had a cell phone.

Black people, whether they have criminal intent or not, seem to immediately die while proven fiends like Dylann Roof, the white supremacist, mass-murdering thug convicted in the 2015 Charleston, South Carolina church massacre, gets the police to take him to Burger King. He got a Whopper with fries while Black people better not even eat in the presence of the police. Farfetched? Go look at the circumstances of many of the more publicized shootings and you will see a pattern. You better not:

lay down
hold objects
wear certain clothes
have a certain haircut
or breathe…

in the presence of the police. The penalty is immediate death. No due process for life and that is why America continues to be a failure as an advanced civilization. We can do better, we just don’t want to.

I may be going to Sacramento this weekend. Pray that wearing a camera doesn’t get me shot.