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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:04 PM   #51
spork183
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Originally Posted by ejlorge View Post
Hello all, I have been writing my thesis on an Macbook Air which got dropped and is too expensive to fix. So I am debating between getting a regular MacBook and an iPad as a replacement.

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?

Also, I read somewhere that typing on the same plane as the screen feels unnatural. Do you find this to be the case?

Thanks for your advice.
You could write a thesis on yellow pads, in block letters, or on grains of rice. You could write a thesis on anything. Doesn't mean you should. Borrow someone's ipad and try knocking out a page or two. I'm betting you'll opt to stock up on legal pads...
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:16 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by spork183 View Post
You could write a thesis on yellow pads, in block letters, or on grains of rice. You could write a thesis on anything. Doesn't mean you should. Borrow someone's ipad and try knocking out a page or two. I'm betting you'll opt to stock up on legal pads...
I'm betting given that this thread is 3 years old, that his thesis is already done.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:19 PM   #53
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I'm betting given that this thread is 3 years old, that his thesis is already done.
If he's doing it on a 3 y/o ipad, he still working on it. Guaranteed.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:23 PM   #54
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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...
You mean you couldn't write a thesis on a Galaxy Tab? Or how about a Galaxy Note 2?
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:28 PM   #55
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If he's doing it on a 3 y/o ipad, he still working on it. Guaranteed.
Bazinga!
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 09:44 PM   #56
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hope your thesis is more original than this tired thread idea....My motto, "find the the wrong tool for the job"
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 10:29 PM   #57
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Store your work in the cloud (iWork.com, or MobileMe, or Dropbox) just in case your iPad gets broken, stolen, or lost.
This is the most important advice. For all my grad school work, I keep everything on a Dropbox folder. This way, if my laptop gets stolen, lost, broken, I can at the very least if I'm desperate, go buy another computer and get back to work. I can deal with the temporary debt, I can't deal with a bad grade going on my transcript. The good thing about dropbox is you can have a local copy sync with the service, so even if i'm not connected, I at least still have access to a reasonably up to date copy of my work and even if I lose some work, I only lose incremental changes and not the whole piece.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 11:02 PM   #58
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I'm betting given that this thread is 3 years old, that his thesis is already done.
Not if he used an iPad.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 11:46 PM   #59
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You mean you couldn't write a thesis on a Galaxy Tab? Or how about a Galaxy Note 2?
Technically speaking, with a remote login app and a desktop you could, but not on the device alone. To the best of my knowledge, there is not a single app in the android playstore that allows you to make footnotes, and in iOS I think there is only one: Pages. This is one of the reasons I have an iPad and not a Nexus 10.

As for writing your dissertation on the iPad, you certainly can, and I have (the vast majority of it anyhow). With a bluetooth keyboard, it's easy, and quite a bit more powerful than the computers I started out with just a few years ago!
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:26 AM   #60
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Technically speaking, with a remote login app and a desktop you could, but not on the device alone. To the best of my knowledge, there is not a single app in the android playstore that allows you to make footnotes, and in iOS I think there is only one: Pages. This is one of the reasons I have an iPad and not a Nexus 10.

As for writing your dissertation on the iPad, you certainly can, and I have (the vast majority of it anyhow). With a bluetooth keyboard, it's easy, and quite a bit more powerful than the computers I started out with just a few years ago!
But if my memory is correct, you were using the iPad to write your thesis even before Pages had footnote function, right? So Android tablrts may be a step behind, but I'm not sure why you are ruling them out so completely.

Reading these older threads make me appreciate how far the iPad and iOS have come since they were first introduced. Like Pages gaining footnote function, for instance, but so many features have been added, that a lot of things that couldn't be done back then can't be done now. People not realizing they are responding to old threads would often be like, "Well, of course you can do X!" but it couldn't be done back then. Yes, the iPad is definitely more powerful than my first computers, lol.

That said, I know I've said this before, but i don't think I'd like to work on a dissertation on an iPad. I don't write anything long right now, but to me, editing a long document on a small screen is a pain. I don't like doing that even on my 13 inch Air. I can see myself hammering out a first draft on my iPad, and I think the iPad would be invaluable as a note-taking and record-keeping device -- I realy wish I had had an iPad when I was doing library research! But once the research and the first rough ideas have been written out, I think the iMac would be my device of choice for editing and fine tuning my paper. I love how I can actually see and read a whole page of text on the 27-inch screen. It's so much easier to keep my place in the flow of ideas that way.

Overall, the iPad is a very welcome addition to my electronic tools, and is easily my most frequently used device, but the desktop computer and laptop haven't lost their importance in my life, either, because I'll always need a larger screen device in order to work efficiently.

Last edited by Night Spring; Jan 25, 2013 at 02:32 AM.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:19 AM   #61
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But if my memory is correct, you were using the iPad to write your thesis even before Pages had footnote function, right? So Android tablrts may be a step behind, but I'm not sure why you are ruling them out so completely.
I tried to use Android for a while (Prime + ICS), and did exactly that with the text. It works, but you won't be able to get as far that way. I had other issues with the Prime (I wrote about it somewhere on these forums).

Pages getting footnotes made a huge difference, because it basically enabled me to go up to the final stage on the iPad. Someone probably could even finish it on the iPad, but there are some formatting changes I want to make, so I have had to add the computer into the mix. I still do a lot of writing on my dissertation using the iPad, though. It's just that I cannot rely exclusively on it anymore.

As for Android, I still use it. At the moment I have the Nexus 7 displaying my notes, the iPad displaying source texts, and the Macbook Air shows my dissertation on one half of the screen and some other sources in Adobe on the other half. It is a really nice setup. Some days, though, I just take the Nexus 7 with me for notetaking and the like (in Evernote). Pages is just so well-suited for academic writing that there is nothing specific to my dissertation that I would want to do on Android at the moment. As soon as someone comes out with footnotes, though, I will re-evaluate things.

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Reading these older threads make me appreciate how far the iPad and iOS have come since they were first introduced. Like Pages gaining footnote function, for instance, but so many features have been added, that a lot of things that couldn't be done back then can't be done now. People not realizing they are responding to old threads would often be like, "Well, of course you can do X!" but it couldn't be done back then. Yes, the iPad is definitely more powerful than my first computers, lol.
Yep. My point was just to say that people complaining about how under-powered the iPad is forget sometimes that people wrote out their dissertations not so long ago with typewriters and very basic word processors.

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That said, I know I've said this before, but i don't think I'd like to work on a dissertation on an iPad. I don't write anything long right now, but to me, editing a long document on a small screen is a pain.... I'll always need a larger screen device in order to work efficiently.
Not me, but that's cool. We all work differently. I actually did a lot of my research (notetaking and rough drafts in Evernote) with a bluetooth keyboard paired to an iPod Touch
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:48 AM   #62
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As for Android, I still use it. At the moment I have the Nexus 7 displaying my notes, the iPad displaying source texts, and the Macbook Air shows my dissertation on one half of the screen and some other sources in Adobe on the other half. It is a really nice setup. Some days, though, I just take the Nexus 7 with me for notetaking and the like (in Evernote). Pages is just so well-suited for academic writing that there is nothing specific to my dissertation that I would want to do on Android at the moment. As soon as someone comes out with footnotes, though, I will re-evaluate things.

Yep. My point was just to say that people complaining about how under-powered the iPad is forget sometimes that people wrote out their dissertations not so long ago with typewriters and very basic word processors.
Your setup sounds pretty cool. And I totally agree about people complaining the iPad is underpowered -- you drill down into what they mean, and it often turns out they are complaining about no user-facing file system. The lack of file system is a design choice based on Apple's philosophy, but it in no way makes the iPad less powerful -- just different. So many people just don't grasp this.

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Not me, but that's cool. We all work differently. I actually did a lot of my research (notetaking and rough drafts in Evernote) with a bluetooth keyboard paired to an iPod Touch
Oh, dear. The very thought of doing serious work on such a small screen makes me shudder! But as you say, we all work differently. While I'd never be able to do that myself, I'm glad it works for you. Being able to work on smaller screen devices does mean you can take everything with you, so in that way, you have an advantage over me!
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:56 AM   #63
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Oh, dear. The very thought of doing serious work on such a small screen makes me shudder!
One of my colleagues does a lot of his work with his iPhone and a collapsible bluetooth keyboard. He barely carries anything around at all! He just opens up this tiny notebook that has paper on one side and the keyboard on the other. Sometimes he takes notes by hand, photographs them, and puts them into Evernote. Other times he just types everything up directly on the iPhone.

For me, I prefer the iPad's larger screen, but I do sometimes go out with the iPad for reading (perfect for academic PDFs) and take notes on the iPhone (you can only have one window open at a time on the iPad). It actually works quite nicely, and means that I don't have to carry anything extra around
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 11:52 PM   #64
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iPad Mini would work fine. It is easy to hold and type.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 02:05 AM   #65
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Not only do I think it's possible, ten bucks says it's been down already by more than one person.

The iPad is quite the versatile little workhorse.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 02:18 AM   #66
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And in worst case there is even TeX/LaTeX for iPad around ... In case you want to "program" a longer text with complicated layout.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:01 AM   #67
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I like typing on the iPad just as much as on a physical keyboard. You should really try it out at the store because everyone is different. There are also other factors in the choice besides the keyboard. I always do papers on my mac because the iPad is just not sufficient enough at multi-tasking; however, I am an engineer so I tend to have several PDF sources open while writing. If all that you need open is a word processor and you don't mind the on screen keyboard then the iPad will work for you. That being said, you can get a pretty good deal on a mac if you look around. A couple days ago best buy had $200 off MacBook Airs, and from what I hear Apple refurbished macs are great deals. Another option is to pair a bluetooth keyboard with the iPad, but if you're going to need to carry it around that probably isn't the best solution.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:35 AM   #68
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I wouldn't try to type a thesis on an iPad.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:37 AM   #69
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I like typing on the iPad just as much as on a physical keyboard. You should really try it out at the store because everyone is different. There are also other factors in the choice besides the keyboard. I always do papers on my mac because the iPad is just not sufficient enough at multi-tasking; however, I am an engineer so I tend to have several PDF sources open while writing. If all that you need open is a word processor and you don't mind the on screen keyboard then the iPad will work for you. That being said, you can get a pretty good deal on a mac if you look around. A couple days ago best buy had $200 off MacBook Airs, and from what I hear Apple refurbished macs are great deals. Another option is to pair a bluetooth keyboard with the iPad, but if you're going to need to carry it around that probably isn't the best solution.
Typing on the virtual keyboard is OK, though about half my normal speed with many more errors. Editing hundreds of pages with the virtual keyboard would be kind of absurd in my opinion, because you lack basic navigability. The external keyboard gives you tremendous power in terms of editing, and it fits comfortably into a tiny man purse along with the iPad at about the same weight as the Macbook Air 11", twice the battery, the ability to use in portrait (like using a 17" screen for writing purposes -- you'd need that now-non-existant size to display as much of the document), the ability to read in portrait, and the ability to take handwritten notes for 3/4 the price of an on-sale Mac.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:47 AM   #70
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Having written two of these in the past, there's no way I would do it on an iPad and, honestly, I wouldn't even want to do it in Pages.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:50 AM   #71
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Do-Able ... Absolutely.

But would I want to, absolutely _Not!

For that type of task nothing is better than a MBA OR MBP
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:45 PM   #72
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For that type of task nothing is better than a MBA OR MBP
Except that they are not (for some of us). Speaking from experience here: iPad + Incase Origami Workstation + Apple Bluetooth keyboard = enjoyable dissertation / thesis writing.

I'm not knocking the MBA or MBP. I've owned both, and loved them dearly. However, for writing, whenever possible, I turn to the iPad.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 02:04 PM   #73
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Except that they are not (for some of us). Speaking from experience here: iPad + Incase Origami Workstation + Apple Bluetooth keyboard = enjoyable dissertation / thesis writing.

I'm not knocking the MBA or MBP. I've owned both, and loved them dearly. However, for writing, whenever possible, I turn to the iPad.
I respect you're preferences & embrace choices.

Just out of curiosity. And as one that owns & enjoys an iPad 4, MBA & MBP, what about assembling three components to replicate the form factor of a laptop appeals to you?

Open minded & a frequent annual upgrader to the latest Apple offerings, I always enjoy hearing others talk about what they use & why.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 04:26 PM   #74
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A short essay... sure. A thesis... sounds very tough on the iPad. It is definitely do-able but you might save some headache using your PC/Mac. Mouse support is crucial for me when doing word processing, spreadsheets, etc... that's one thing I like about Android.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 05:43 PM   #75
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......

Also, I read somewhere that typing on the same plane as the screen feels unnatural. Do you find this to be the case?

Thanks for your advice.
Typing on the iPad 1 hurt the top of my hands. The mini allows me to comfortably type with my thumbs in either portrait or landscape.

An hour at a time? Yeah it would be okay. Hope you're done by now lol.

Pages for iOS makes typing something a fair bit better than 'bearable'
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