Skip to content

Update: A couple of people have asked if me not having an iPad means the end of A Slab of Glass, it is not. Christopher and I both have talked about the podcast being more than just about the iPad, and we have been making strides to do that over the past few months. So no, A Slab of Glass isn't going anywhere.


After about 2 months of it collecting dust, I decided it was time to say goodbye to my iPad Pro and consequently the iPad Lifestyle. There are a couple of reasons for this, but I will stick with the one that is worth talking about: I simply don't use an iPad anymore for my work.

No, this isn't a "you can't get real work done on an iPad" article. I have gotten real work done on an iPad for years and loved it, but due to some changes in my life the iPad isn't the best tool for the job anymore.

The big one for me is editing and processing audio. I use iZotope RX 7 for cleaning up both of my own podcasts and the podcasts I edit in my freelance work. There isn't a great alternative on iOS that compares to iZotope RX 7, which leaves me to crack open my laptop whenever I need to edit podcasts. Because of this I have moved all of my podcast editing to my MacBook Pro. A lot of my time is spent editing podcasts nowadays it makes little sense to me to move from a MacBook to an iPad for the minority of the work I have left.

If I am being totally honest, it isn't just the editing that makes me want to use my Mac over the iPad. I'm not sure if it is me not always happy with certain limitations on iOS or if I am just used to the Mac, but something about the Mac allows me to work with less friction. I am almost positive this is a mental thing with me and not the limitation of the iPad that is causing this, the MacBook just seems much more appealing to me when I want to get to work on something involving a computer. Whether it's writing, editing podcasts, editing photos, managing email, or simply browsing online, the Mac just fits to me more than the iPad.

I loved my iPad and it wasn't easy for me to come to terms that I simply am not using it, but I needed the extra cash and I would rather sell it than have it collect dust on my desk.

It will be a significant transition to only have an iPhone and MacBook Pro but I think it was still the right choice for me in my life today. Maybe one day I will decide that is no longer the case and move back to the iPad more, but for now it is just me and my MacBook Pro, and I am happy with that.

It's no secret that I write a lot about blogging on Rocket Panda. I have a thing with going meta, I even used to host a podcast about podcasting before Rocket Panda even existed. That said, sometimes it can be fun to go down memory lane.

Yesterday I was migrating my website over to micro.blog1 and I noticed something about my writing style over the last two years. There's been a stark contrast in my older posts and the ones I write now, and I wanted to talk about it.

My older posts were me trying to imitate and mimic tech journalists like that of 9to5Mac and TechCrunch. I was trying to be more journalistic and matter-of-fact without adding anything personal to them. I even tried to make myself sound like and Apple expert, but if I am being honest with myself I know little about the history of Apple and the impact they made before 2008, which was when I jumped into the Apple ecosystem.

Once I realized that wasn't working out for me, I moved to doing things like listicles and have my Top 10 iPad Life Hacks and The 9 Things I Learned Going iPad Only. I look back at both of these kinds of writing and cringe, because desperation has a foul and pungent scent and I reeked of it. After I got over how much of a try-hard I must have looked like I realized that had I not done those things and looked in the mirror afterwards I wouldn't have come to the conclusion I have today about what it is I want to write about the things that I'm passionate about.

If you look at my more recent pieces, I am writing more personal pieces about the things that I can add personal input on. I have written things like Why iOS 13 Made the iPad Home Screen Fun Again and my TouchType Pro Review2. These things are comments on the news from Apple and the companies that cater to those users, but I center it on myself and my feelings on it instead of trying to make this an article for TechCrunch or something similar.

It is much more satisfying for me to comment on the smaller things that I'm comfortable speaking on instead of trying to get my share of the pie with what the rest of the big Apple blogs are commenting on. There are times where I may add my feelings and opinions on something but only when it is something that I am comfortable with. Gone are the days where I try and do some quick research and reading up on something that I know nothing about just so that I can be with the rest of the Apple News cycle. It is great if you enjoy that but I found it to be extraordinarily draining both mentally and emotionally. Chasing that forever-spinning wheel of tech news is not something for me.

If I am still staying honest, it's hard to make a blog about the Apple news as a single independent writer. That faucet is broken and it is just a firehose of information shooting out at you with an unlimited supply of water. I have tried being a part of the firehose and it's simply not for me. I would rather be a trickle of water by myself for a small amount of people to drink from. Which brings me to why I have moved my site to micro.blog.

Why I Moved to Micro.blog 3

The reason for this is two-fold:

  1. I am not a Pro Blogger, and I need to stop acting like one
  2. The atmosphere at micro.blog isn't as formal as something like WordPress for me, and I like that

When I say I am not a Pro Blogger I mean that I don't have hundreds of thousands of readers, and I don't think I necessarily want that. It isn't a goal in my life to make Rocket Panda anything other than a way for me to express myself creatively. I don't look at stats, I don't see what posts are getting the most clicks, and I definitely don't want to make my site a digital billboard with ads everywhere and videos playing automatically. That wasn't the case when I first started though, I wanted to make Rocket Panda my full time job so badly. So much so I was willing to throw a piece together I thought would get lots of clicks and subscribers instead of writing something that I was happy with.

What I want when it comes to this blog is that I own every pixel top to bottom and that I can say what I want, when I want without worrying about upsetting anyone that has control over my livelihood.

As for the second point, micro.blog is a place for me I consider a much friendlier atmosphere than that of Twitter or Instagram. There's nothing about this service that makes me upset or feel inadequate about myself. It is just writers and bloggers sharing their lives, thoughts, ideas, and photos with others. As someone that doesn't have a staff of writers it can be lonely at times writing, and having the ability to be a part of a community that isn't culturally toxic and genuinely delightful helps fill that void for me.

I could have kept my blog on WordPress and linked it to micro.blog, but for me it made more sense to just put all of my chips in this service and embrace the limitations it comes with. I am happy with my setup and I hope to see it stick, and I think that this time it will.

After some tinkering and playing around I finally figure out how to fix my biggest gripe with the service, which was differentiating the micro posts (the things I would post on Twitter) to the articles (like this one). Because of the addition to categories and the support for Hugo I managed to figure out how to add parameters to my site to hide my micro posts from the website but still have them post to micro.blog for those who follow me there. For those interested, I found the answer to that from the Hugo Discourse which is a group of helpful individuals4.

This isn't me saying that you should move to micro.blog, that is for you to decide. That said, I do think that more bloggers should look I the mirror and answer the tough questions about what they are writing about and what they want to share, because it took me way longer than it should have to listen to the people who told me to write more personal posts over the bland lists and news articles I was writing.


  1. More on that in a bit 
  2. Sorry Salman if you're reading this, I still haven't sent the review unit back to him. 
  3. I have since moved back to WordPress because of wanting to have link posts work the way I want, as well as having more granular abilities with the way my site looks. That said, the sentiment of being more informal is sticking with me. 
  4. I have bookmarked this site for future browsing as well if I ever decide to tinker with my website again 

Something about this video makes me realize the real reason I am blogging on Rocket Panda instead of something like SquareSpace or Tumblr. It isn't because I think WordPress is a better platform, that is debatable on many different levels. The reason is because it’s my platform. I own every pixel of this website and I can control what goes on here and what doesn't.

This isn't about WordPress though, it is about the open web. If you are unsure what the open web is, I will let Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, explain.

Mark Surman writing on Year of Open:

What is Open Web?

“Open web” is a sweeping term — it encompasses technical concepts like open-source code and open standards. It also encompasses democratic concepts like free expression and digital inclusion.

But there’s a single underlying principle connecting all these ideas: An open web is a web by and for all its users, not select gatekeepers or governments.

At Mozilla, we compare the open web to a global public resource, like clean water or the environment. The open web is something we all depend on: to communicate and create, to work and play, to buy and sell. And like any other natural resource, it’s fragile. It needs care, because it can be polluted: by harassment and abuse, by misinformation, by bad public policy.

Why is it important?

The web doesn’t exist in a vacuum, or apart from society. The two are deeply entwined. The web is where we engage with journalism, form opinions and share knowledge. It’s an arena for politics, education, culture and science.

An open web means positive progress for all these things. A more informed public; more civic participation; more opportunities to learn and connect with each other.

An unhealthy web has an opposite effect. When misinformation, harassment or surveillance proliferate online, we lose trust in our institutions and in each other. Fewer people engage. And when closed, proprietary technology proliferates, innovation and competition are stifled. The web is no longer a level playing field — it’s a platform controlled by a select few.

While the main issue is governments seeking control of the internet, another entity is at work to wall up our content and lives: social media. I read somewhere a long time ago that you can't be playing in someone else's yard and then get upset when they kick you off it.

If Facebook one day decides that they want to close up shop all of the photos, posts, videos, status updates, and events you have put there are susceptible of going away forever. While losing a large part of your digital life can be catastrophic the thing that I think is much more dangerous is the freedoms you are giving up as a cost of entry into Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

These social media giants aren't making these social networks just so you can stay in touch with friends and family, it is to get data and demographic information for marketing and advertisers. You are the product, and the more information these companies can get on you the better.

That said, Apple is planning to launch Sign In with Apple soon and that is a game changer in my opinion. You no longer have to use your personal information to log in to a service. You can now use great services online and in the App Store without having to worry about privacy concerns. This is the digital version of having your cake and eating it too.

I plan to remove every piece of my Facebook the moment I get married this summer. I no longer want to be a part of a company I deem to be evil, and I don’t want to keep feeding them my personal data for a myriad of reasons.

I guess what I am trying to say is when I want to share something on the internet I am going to do it on Rocket Panda, and I hope that you consider doing the same for your stuff.

I have been thinking a lot about habits lately and I think that one of my biggest flaws, as many others also have, is that we suffer from 3 Stooges Syndrome.

One thing, I constantly deal with is new interests and goals I set for myself when I want to make a positive change in my life. The issue is when I have so many things that it all seems to be too much.

I can’t lose weight, eat healthier, plan my mornings, read more, learn something new everyday, save more money, and do one nice thing a day all the time.

One thing I have learned over the years about myself is that I plan and set all of these things I want to accomplish and hit the ground running with every single one of them simultaneously.

Doing this seems plausible and honestly really exciting when I get started. But by day 5 I’m questioning whether I really need to go to the gym again, or I tell myself I am “too busy” writing a blog post to make a healthy lunch so I get McDonald’s again. “It’s fine,” I say to myself shoveling fries in my face, “I can afford one bad meal this week.” I am sure I am not the only one. You have probably done something similar, right?

I’d like to take a page out of The Simpsons when I talk about these kinds of things, and call it the 3 Stooges Syndrome.

As you can see in the video, Mr. Burns is in for a doctors exam. Turns out he has so many illnesses his immune system won’t let any of them through the door because they are all prevent the other from getting in (cue noises from Curly).

If we dissect this a bit and spin it to make these illnesses into goals and resolutions you make foryourself, it’s obvious that having all of these grand plans you set means nothing was going to get through that door.

I’m not saying goals and resolutions are illnesses, but I am saying that if you have too many you won’t be able to accomplish any of them. So what do you do?

For me, I had close to 10 different things I wanted to accomplish this year and I have slogged through them making zero progress on them. I wrote out all of these things on a piece of paper and really took a hard look at them. I asked myself why I want to accomplish this, what the outcome I wanted was, and what it will take to make this happen. I took an honest look at all of these things and then took an honest look at myself. What could I truly make happen this year? How many of these could I really get done? The answers for these questions made me look at these goals, resolutions, and plans and consider which are worth doing now and which are worth doing later. I decided I am going to do just one of these at a time, and move on to the next one after completing the first.

If I can get just one of these goals accomplished that’s still more than the 10 that were stuck in the proverbial door. One success is better that ten failures.

So if you are like me, and you can’t seem to make much progress on any of the myriad of goals you set yourself, take a long hard look at what you actually want to accomplish and keep the rest in your pocket until you get that first thing done.

Lee Paterson on LJPUK:

Something changed for me in the last year with my writing and based on feedback I’m getting it’s for the better. When I started blogging back in 2008 I stuck to a niche (at the time it was guitars) then I moved into technology a little while later based off the back of my freelance stuff.

What I’ve found though in the last year is that I’m writing more personal (posts like this one) and not worrying about sticking to any sort of niche, just writing about what I’m passionate about or is on my mind.

[...]

I guess what I’m trying to say as I’m starting to ramble is if you have a personal blog just BE YOU. Write about your passions be it the latest gadget you love or the most recent movie you’ve enjoyed.

Like so many things Lee writes, this post spoke to me at my core. Recently, I spent time on Twitter contemplating the name of my site. While doing so, I forgot that the name of my site doesn't matter if I don't know what I want to say on it.

My answer to that is this, Rocket Panda was created because I wanted to have a name outside the box Tablet Habit was putting me in, and I have slowly done so. I plan to continue to do so, and write about the things I want to write and not worry about my "niche" as much.