I program for a living, creating interfaces for metal cutting machines, and at home I am a computer hobbyist in addition to my tabletop roleplaying. In the 25 odd years since my family got a Radio Shack Model I, my main interest with computer has been how to make a better machine for tabletop roleplaying.
From my first word proccessor, CorelDRAW for mapping, to writing utilities to cranks Traveller Sectors I fiddle with my machines to make running my campaign easier. I never liked using a computer at the table as it was too clunky and in the way. Instead I tried to figure out how to produce really good play aids for myself and my player keeping to paper on the table. Heck when somebody tried to use a iPad for dice rolling, I told him to put it away and gave him one of my spare sets to use in it's place.
I am not against the use of computers at the table. It great to have DM Genie and Nbos' the Keep running while I am using Fantasy Grounds., but it has to be the right setup before I starting using at a normal tabletop session.
For two years I finally found it and it was the iPad and similar tablets. The reason is not in using a utility but rather as a means of organizing the books and reams of notes I use during the game. Lying flat with a touch interface with well bookmarked PDFs would be exactly what I need. While I appreciate the open Android platform, I learned with my experience with the Kindle is that it is really worth the extra money to get the best when things are so unsettled. For now, the best in tablets means the iPad.
And I got one for Christmas. It was my one and only Christmas present this year given to me by my entire family. My wife Kelly Anne organized the effort and I can't thank her enough. Tomorrow I will post some details on how I am going to set it up and what I am going to use the other computers I have for.
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