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Old Oct 9, 2010, 09:43 PM   #26
EssentialParado
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Originally Posted by RedTomato View Post
If you want something solely for typing on, with long battery life and a useable keyboard, why not get a netbook?

Less than half the price, batteries that last 2 days, a proper keyboard, smaller than a laptop, lighter than a laptop, can take it out in bed, on the tube, on the bus, light enough to carry everywhere.
Since when did netbooks have 48hr batteries and full size keyboards?
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Old Oct 9, 2010, 10:08 PM   #27
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I have written two theses (MSc and PhD) and in neither case did I worry about formatting until it was close to finished. The main thing is to get the words down so you need something simple with a decent keyboard. A Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad would likely do it fine. In fact I would also recommend against using any word processing tool for writing a thesis. I did my PhD using LaTeX which was great since I could focus on the words and images and it would be decently formatted as I went and I could tweak at the end. My University even provided a thesis style file for LaTeX which meant I could forget about all the issues my friends using Word had to contend with.

Tweaking the formatting of a doc is a great way to feel like you're working when you're actually making little progress. Focus on the text so use a tool that allows you to do that. I actually wrote about 1/3rd of my thesis using a Psion 3a which is about as basic as you can get. The iPad could easily fill the same need but even if you use a laptop just go with something very simple and avoid Word/Pages etc. But what do I know? I wrote up in 6 months and only had a couple of typos.
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Old Oct 9, 2010, 10:26 PM   #28
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I have written two theses (MSc and PhD) and in neither case did I worry about formatting until it was close to finished. The main thing is to get the words down so you need something simple with a decent keyboard. A Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad would likely do it fine. In fact I would also recommend against using any word processing tool for writing a thesis. I did my PhD using LaTeX which was great since I could focus on the words and images and it would be decently formatted as I went and I could tweak at the end. My University even provided a thesis style file for LaTeX which meant I could forget about all the issues my friends using Word had to contend with.

Tweaking the formatting of a doc is a great way to feel like you're working when you're actually making little progress. Focus on the text so use a tool that allows you to do that. I actually wrote about 1/3rd of my thesis using a Psion 3a which is about as basic as you can get. The iPad could easily fill the same need but even if you use a laptop just go with something very simple and avoid Word/Pages etc. But what do I know? I wrote up in 6 months and only had a couple of typos.
Agree 100%

I made the mistake of worrying about formatting, page layout, tabbing the beginning of each paragraph, and so on when I first started writing on the iPad. Since then, I've "wised up" and learned that the best thing to do is simply type things in, and worry about formatting later, since you need to proof it later anyway. So think "rough draft", and get a simple "clean" text input app, such as: iA Writer, or PlainText (free).

It's important to have commonly used "punctuation" available on the keyboard, so keep that in mind if you're going to use the on-screen keyboard, though- I still recommend a dock and bluetooth keyboard. The Apple BT keyboard doesn't add that much bulk, still seems less than a laptop if you ask me. Just remember to turn the keyboard (or bluetooth) off when you want to use screen keyboard input again.
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Old Oct 9, 2010, 10:33 PM   #29
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I think it really depends on the length of the writing that you are doing. I have been writing a little story on an accident that I had a few months ago, and my recovery from it, and outside of a few editing sessions on a desktop computer at work, all of the typing was done on my iPad. I started out typing it all up in the Notes app, then decided I wanted a bit more functionality and paid for the Pages app. Granted my story is 2700 words, and not 30,000 like some dissertations, but I spent a couple of hours typing and editing it on my iPad, no issues whatsoever, even though most of the typing was in my bed with my legs up and the iPad resting in the Apple case.
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Old Oct 9, 2010, 10:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by GreatDrok View Post
I have written two theses (MSc and PhD) and in neither case did I worry about formatting until it was close to finished. The main thing is to get the words down so you need something simple with a decent keyboard. A Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad would likely do it fine. In fact I would also recommend against using any word processing tool for writing a thesis. I did my PhD using LaTeX which was great since I could focus on the words and images and it would be decently formatted as I went and I could tweak at the end. My University even provided a thesis style file for LaTeX which meant I could forget about all the issues my friends using Word had to contend with.

Tweaking the formatting of a doc is a great way to feel like you're working when you're actually making little progress. Focus on the text so use a tool that allows you to do that. I actually wrote about 1/3rd of my thesis using a Psion 3a which is about as basic as you can get. The iPad could easily fill the same need but even if you use a laptop just go with something very simple and avoid Word/Pages etc. But what do I know? I wrote up in 6 months and only had a couple of typos.
Again that will depend on the type of theise you are doing if that idea works.
In someways just throwing down words works great but other times you can get hammered by being able to put the formatting in their or figures as you go. I know my GF on her thesis that she would of been hammer with out being able to do some of the stuff as she goes. If she could not mark her footnote as she went it would of been a pain to go back later and put them in. She would put markers in as she typed it for things to add later and she went over it several times. Even had me go threw it ones making sure she did not miss any. I still found one she missed.

Now I did not read it for subject matter because it was so far over my head. In the future I expect her to site her own thesis as a reference since no one else has done any studies on that subject.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 12:56 AM   #31
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That's an opinion, not a fact. I do most of my writing on an iPad nowadays.
I have both a MBP and an iPad, and I love to type on my iPad. The Apple case makes it more comfortable to type, when set to place the iPad in an angle.
Also, the more you type with it, the better you'll get.

Now, regarding your thesis, you could type on your iPad whenever you need to, and later export into a computer to format and print.
The new Pages has a lot of extra formatting options, will create a PDF file and soon will support printing.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 01:54 AM   #32
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I've typed pretty lengthy consulting reports on mine. I just prop it up using the official case and pair my Bluetooth keyboard. Works great.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 01:56 AM   #33
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Here's the setup I use:

DocsToGo (much better than Pages and allows you to sync with Dropbox)
Dropbox

I pull up docs through Dropbox in DocsToGo, type away and save. Them it automatically syncs to Dropbox. If I want to continue on my desktop, bam, all the changes are already reflected.

I agree with the others on the need for a Bluetooth keyboard. But, that really is all you need. No reason at all why you couldn't do your thesis this way. I don't even necessarily think it's "sub optimal" if the doc will more or less be all text with very little other complex formatting.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 03:09 AM   #34
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Again that will depend on the type of theise you are doing if that idea works.
In someways just throwing down words works great but other times you can get hammered by being able to put the formatting in their or figures as you go. I know my GF on her thesis that she would of been hammer with out being able to do some of the stuff as she goes. If she could not mark her footnote as she went it would of been a pain to go back later and put them in. She would put markers in as she typed it for things to add later and she went over it several times. Even had me go threw it ones making sure she did not miss any. I still found one she missed.

Now I did not read it for subject matter because it was so far over my head. In the future I expect her to site her own thesis as a reference since no one else has done any studies on that subject.
I find that throwing down words as you put it works very well for me. The impoprtant thing is to not get writer's block and stare at a blank page. Write something, just start putting ideas down and then read it back and you'll like some and dislike other parts. You'll get an idea of how to better present things and the end result will be less wordy. Spending too much time on formatting early on will make you less likely to toss the work and the result will be less well thought out. You keep notes, reference lists and so on but it doesn't all need to come together until all the information is gathered and the text well refined. Then, and only then do you actually start piecing it all together into the final form and polish it up. Avoiding fancy word processing tools allow you to focus on content.

It's not the tools, it's the brain behind them.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 03:28 AM   #35
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WOW. Thank you very much everyone, for your input. You have answered all my questions (and even answered ones I had not considered). What a great little community of Mac enthusiasts you have here— I should stop by more often.

I think that since I already have a desktop to fall back on, I may as well go for it. Then, even if I find myself dogging, I can always fall back on my iMac (and/or, if its a real emergency just get a refurb Macbook). I think I'll do all my rough drafting on the Pad then export it regularly to my desktop for formating and backing up.

Speaking of which, that was excellent advice about backing up my work online.

Again, thanks for your advice!

Last edited by ejlorge; Oct 10, 2010 at 03:40 AM.
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Old Oct 10, 2010, 04:13 AM   #36
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WOW. Thank you very much everyone, for your input. You have answered all my questions (and even answered ones I had not considered). What a great little community of Mac enthusiasts you have here— I should stop by more often.

I think that since I already have a desktop to fall back on, I may as well go for it. Then, even if I find myself dogging, I can always fall back on my iMac (and/or, if its a real emergency just get a refurb Macbook). I think I'll do all my rough drafting on the Pad then export it regularly to my desktop for formating and backing up.

Speaking of which, that was excellent advice about backing up my work online.

Again, thanks for your advice!
As I mentioned above, if you use the DocsToGo and Dropbox combo, you won't have to do any "exporting" ... it just all syncs. Pretty nice.

You could also try one of the remote access apps to remote access into your desktop for those times when you need to do something that just can't be done on your iPad. I use LogMeIn.
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 02:35 PM   #37
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I've typed over an over 9000 words paper on my iPad. I can type on it almost as fast as I can on my MacBook; I don't see what everyone's problem is with it.
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 02:56 PM   #38
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I've typed over an over 9000 words paper on my iPad. I can type on it almost as fast as I can on my MacBook; I don't see what everyone's problem is with it.
I can drink my coffee with a teaspoon, but the question is why on earth would you want to? When you can get a decent core i3 laptop capable of so much more for less than an iPad, I fail to see how recommending it to the OP is sound advice.
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 03:29 PM   #39
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Why would one want to do this?

Yes, I understand their are some reasons, but still...
He listed the reasons.
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 03:34 PM   #40
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Thanks to everyone for some very good points.

I should have mentioned that I have a new-ish iMac as my regular desktop. The prob is my wife works from it too so I need a second independent device to keep the peace.

Someone asked, Why? Its a good question. I guess because if an iPad would be even more versatile (i.e. portable) than a Macbook, then I might be more prone to taking more places with me. Plus, of course the fact that it is about half the price as a Macbook. Finally, I don't really need all those extra apps and power for writing a text doc.

And yes, an external keyboard would definitely be needed—(which might negate the portability point).
The Apple wireless keyboard is quite small and portable and easy to use with the iPad. The keyboard dock would not be nearly as portable and not functional with the stand case like the Apple Case or other folio cases.
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Old Oct 11, 2010, 07:59 PM   #41
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Buy a cheap netbook for $400 and use OpenOffice to type it up plus install AVG or some other freeware virus scanner and you don't have any further investment in software to make. If you really want, buy an iPad as well and you'll STILL be under the price of a new low-end Macbook.

Besides...you'll need a real computer to make full use of the iPad's kludgy file system and to back the thing up from time to time.
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Old Nov 11, 2010, 09:24 PM   #42
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May I ask which kind of thesis? I mean, a scientific grade, with many formulas and figures and diagrams, or a literature or similar, mainly text?
If the thesis is similar to a book, 90% text of so, well I could go for iPad. But with many formula et al., well probably Pages won't be enough...
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 11:08 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by ejlorge View Post
WOW. Thank you very much everyone, for your input. You have answered all my questions (and even answered ones I had not considered). What a great little community of Mac enthusiasts you have here— I should stop by more often.

I think that since I already have a desktop to fall back on, I may as well go for it. Then, even if I find myself dogging, I can always fall back on my iMac (and/or, if its a real emergency just get a refurb Macbook). I think I'll do all my rough drafting on the Pad then export it regularly to my desktop for formating and backing up.

Speaking of which, that was excellent advice about backing up my work online.

Again, thanks for your advice!
Hi. It sounds like you found a nice solution. I thought I would just jump in and offer my experience. I wrote most of my dissertation (humanities, so mainly text) on the iPad using an Apple bluetooth external keyboard + Incase Origami Workstation, and I enjoyed the experience a lot. I began drafting chapters in Evernote, then moved to Notesy (synced through Dropbox to Scrivener on my MBA), and finally ended up in Pages. Until October 2012 Pages lacked support for footnotes, so I needed to jump through hoops by doing the footnotes inline with text files. Once Pages got footnotes, I switched completely over to it.

If I were starting my dissertation today I would do the brainstorming, first drafts, and research in Evernote, but do all of the main writing in Pages on the iPad. The only time I have needed to move from the iPad to my MBA is in the final weeks of the process. It is a lot easier to deal with formatting and other nuts and bolts type issues in a full version of the app. If you have Logmein, you can always jump onto your MBA (or desktop, in your case) to do these things, so you can still go all the way to the end working on the iPad.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 11:11 AM   #44
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...The problem of course isn't the iPad's memory, but the typing function. My question is: How difficult is it to type for one or two hours at a time on the iPad? Is the screen to small for text docs?
Buy the cheapest iPad, try typing on it, return it during the 15 day return period Apple gets you and if you like it buy the ipad you want or if you don't the MacBook you want.

it's not that typing is harder to do on the Mini, its all the research, copy & paste, and editing you will be doing that is harder on the iPad than on a regular computer.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 11:15 AM   #45
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I actually like writing papers on my ipad. I will use the bluetooth keyboard most of the time. I use pages and sync to icloud so that way I can add to it anytime with my iPhone or iPad or even download it to word on my work PC... and when it's done I download it, format and print.

I have to write a short paper next weekend and we will be taking a day trip so I will be writing it while he drives, I have always found my laptop a pain to type on in the car, just not comfortable to me I guess. So I'm happy I'll have my ipad with me.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 02:26 PM   #46
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Buy the cheapest iPad, try typing on it, return it during the 15 day return period Apple gets you and if you like it buy the ipad you want or if you don't the MacBook you want.

it's not that typing is harder to do on the Mini, its all the research, copy & paste, and editing you will be doing that is harder on the iPad than on a regular computer.

In this respect, a bluetooth keyboard is wonderful, because it allows you to use keyboard commands like CMD + A, or to navigate around a document easily with the arrow keys, etc. Writing is fine, but editing (part of the writing process), copy/paste, and everything else is a bear with the virtual keyboard. I just don't do it, and in a 300 or 400 page dissertation, it sounds like a nightmare.

As suggested, go to a store and try one, or buy one and try it out. That is the best way to know.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 03:20 PM   #47
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If you're going to type the thesis up, you will need a keyboard. If you are going to format the report I would do it on a mac.

Apple haven't taken work seriously on iOS and have left that to MS to deliver. What a lost opportunity.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 03:29 PM   #48
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I think Macbook is good for entertainment use not for Writing be writing thesis because Macbook is doing irritating to typing many words on small screen is to effecting eyes.
Why would you bump a 2 year old thread for this? It doesn't even make sense
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 04:01 PM   #49
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Why would you bump a 2 year old thread for this? It doesn't even make sense
Maybe he was paid. I heard a rumor that Samsung is paying people to go around saying nasty things about Apple products. Given the broken English and pointless argument this fits that idea.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:55 PM   #50
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Maybe he was paid. I heard a rumor that Samsung is paying people to go around saying nasty things about Apple products. Given the broken English and pointless argument this fits that idea.
You heard a rumor that people were being paid to spread rumors? That's not terribly firm footing

Well, the really funny thing is that the revived thread ended up saying that you could write a thesis on the iPad, and you definitely could on the Macbook, so we just reinforced the image that all anyone needs is iPad stuff. I don't even know what Samsung sells that I could use for my thesis. Do they even bother to give them names, because nothing even comes to mind...
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