Right now I'm holed up in an air-conditioned hotel room, huddled away from the scalding inferno that is Boston in a heat wave (it's due to hit 33 degrees tomorrow). I'm flying home overnight on Friday, so liable to be in a zombie-like stupor through Saturday and Sunday. Can not haz final beer tonight: I managed to twist my ankle while out walking this afternoon, and while it's not a bad sprain (I can walk on it) I don't want to risk provoking it before I lug self plus luggage through the limbo of Logan Airport.
One noteworthy point that has emerged from this trip is that I am, indeed, capable of spending ten days away from home with an iPad instead of a laptop. The day before we left, my desktop machine ate its hard drive. (Do not worry: there is an up-to-date backup, and a replacement drive in my hand luggage waiting to be installed when I get home.) And my iTunes library is too big to live on my Macbook Air. So I figured I'd give the iPad an extended test, and it's come through fine.
As you can see, I can blog from it. (The keyboard dock helps, though.) I can do regular email chores, too. I haven't been using it for serious writing work, but I managed to get down the outline of a short story that I'll probably write when I get home. All in all, it's nicer than any netbook I've travelled with. While there are rumours circulating that Apple are going to release a new, smaller Macbook Air this autumn, I think the iPad is still likely to occupy the sweet spot for Apple portability. However, I think I will chicken out and take a laptop as well when I head for worldcon this August/September — I'll be gone for over three weeks, and I reckon two weeks is probably the pain threshold for not having a real computer on tap.
(Stuff I can't do with the iPad? Buy DVDs and rip them. Research-driven writing that requires me to have a multi-tabbed browser and a word processing app open simultaneously (although iOS 4 should go most of the way towards fixing that). Carry around my entire 70Gb iTunes library. Browse the really annoying websites that throw up so many ads that I need AdBlock Plus or NoScript to read them. Manage the Airport Express wifi router I keep in my travel kit. Plus some other stuff that, on average, I do less than once every two weeks — write code, play desktop games, that sort of thing.)
Final note: I've been doing so much R&R style tourism stuff that I haven't been soaking up enough crazy ideas to blog substantively about anything. So it may take a few days before normal service is resumed. Feel free to talk among yourselves in the meantime ...