First Upgrade + Travel

2 years ago, roughly, I purchased my first non-ipod Apple product; the iPad Gen 1.  I used it everywhere and it replaced my laptop for most things besides photo processing and computer gaming.  Yes, (blush) I still play World of Warcraft now and then.  I used it on the bus to and from work to surf the internet, watch movies, read books and play the occasional game.  It was the iPad Gen 1 w/ 64 GB Wifi + 3G.  Yep, the biggest and most expensive one.  To be honest, I filled the memory and used the 3G to the last MB every month.

Now, however, I hear that the Gen 1 will not receive the latest iOS coming out; 6.0.  Also, I wont be able to play one of my all time favorite games; Baldur’s Gate.  I realized it was time to upgrade.  I sat down and looked at the cost of the 3G and how much memory I was REALLY using to see if I could save some money.  I finally decided on getting the 32 GB Wifi only iPad Gen 3.  I reduced the memory because I just hadn’t been watching as many movies any longer, nor was I storing as many large games anymore.  As for dropping the 3G, well, I would end up breaking even by activating tethering on my iPhone and taking the monthly data limit up from 2GB to 7GB.  That is 3 more GB per month than I had with both devices previously.

Now, the most difficult part was trying to find someone to buy the old iPad so I could afford the new one.  Well, I ended up with a few extra bucks from overtime at work during the big office move.  Nice to have a windfall once in a while.  And, after running into a buddy at a get together for the 48 Hour Film Fest kickoff, I had someone who was interested in buying the old one.  Poor guy stepped on his son’s iPad and busted the screen.  So, for $250 I sold my iPad Gen 1.  That was $50 more than Best Buy was going to give me on a trade-in.  I would rather see someone who needed it get it than some random person out there.  Especially considering it was in flawless condition, thanks to having a screen protector and case on it it’s whole life.

Now, after getting the iPad 3, Marware back case and Apple leather Smart-Cover, I could now do quite a bit more than before.  I could finally get Vimeo, iMovie and a few more apps uploaded on the iPad I could not before due to the lack of cameras.  Excitement aside, I kept it turned off until I got home and could plug it into my MacMini and get it restored using the last backup I took from the Gen 1 before I wiped it.  I plugged it in, launched iTunes, it automatically asked if I wanted to restore or set up as new.  I hit Restore and in about 30 minutes I had a brand new iPad set up with all apps and settings from before.  It even kept the apps in the right locations and folders.  Last thing I did was add the apps I could not load before.  All told, from unboxing to using took 45 minutes.

Now, lets get on with the travel portion of this blog.

Mid August 5 of us go up to Indianapolis for GenCon.  Largest and oldest gaming convention in the US, if not the world.  I never took a laptop, and this would be the first year with a good phone (iPhone 4S with Tethering).  Now, in the last year, our group has added 3 iPhones (not including mine) and 4 iPads.  There is a lot more to say to this than will fit in any one entry.  So, all told, 9 iOS devices between 5 people.  With the brand new 7GB data plan with Tethering, I was able to provide a connection for all the iPads from my iPhone.  This also necessitated that we somehow come up with more than the average hotel room allotted for power: I brought 2 power strips and we had everyone covered with all their devices, which included a number of e-cigs.

The whole trip was a huge success.  I had my Mophie iPhone battery extender case so I was going the whole day (8am to 1am) without having to plug in and that was with having up to 5 devices tethered.  My next trip is planned for around Christmas and I plan on taking only the iPad and iPhone.  As we are headed to California’s wine country, there is a plane ride to contend with.  Should not be a problem with a solar-charged external battery for the iPad (should offer up to 7+ hours on top of the iPad’s own substantial battery) and the Mophie battery for the phone.  Should be a much smaller bag to take than normal.  I am grabbing some extra books for the trip on the iPad.  I think my current Targus case will work fine, nothing is huge.  I just need to take stock of the power adapters needed.  I will be making a list (yes, checking it twice) for all the extra stuff for the devices.

All in all, things went well with the upgrade from the iPad Gen 1 to the iPad Gen 3.  I am almost a month in and have not had space issues.  With tethering I have been able to be connected on the iPad even without it having 3G.  I have the extra power needed for both devices.  The only thing I have found that I would like to have on the iPad is the full GPS radio that is only available with the 3G version.  That’s fine, the iPhone is more than capable of any GPS requirements I need.  Besides, the iPad is a little big to mount in the windshield.

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