It didn't come at the most opportune time, as I didn't have a lot of spare cash lying around to go on a spending spree, but I did pick up a couple of things, including a portable 1 TB external hard drive, and a portable charging device that can charge laptops and cell phones.
Though less expensive than the other two things, I also picked up one of those neoprene laptop sleeves.
Why? I'll get to that.
In talking about my plans for the Baltimore Comic-Con, Dan had asked me if I had any sort of portfolio of my work. Seeing as how it's very rare that I do anything with traditional media, I certainly don't have any sort of physical portfolio. I suppose I could print some things out, but ink is pricey. I responded, "Well, there's my phone."
Knowing that I'm not an Apple fanboy, he decided to get in a little jab and said, "An iPad would be perfect for that."
I said, "Well, I suppose I could use my iPod." I didn't really like the idea - it's not that much bigger than my phone, and loading pictures onto it is kind of a hassle. I supposed that I could simply use the free WiFi at the Con - assuming there is free WiFi - and access some of my stuff onlinje via Picasaweb or Photoshop.com, but I'd prefer having local copies on hand.
"Isn't your laptop a tablet? Just bring that."
I was planning to bring the laptop along for the trip, of course, but I didn't really care for the idea of lugging it around the con.
I hated to admit it - and didn't admit it to him - but an iPad would be good for that (though I'd face the same hassles when it comes to loading pictures onto it).
And it was Tax Free weekend...
But no; I couln't bring myself to consider it.
So I did some searching online for iPad alternatives. I found one that would be perfect; a full-on Windows 7 PC in a small slate factor from Archos, the company that made the first (and second) MP3 player I had before I switched to the iPod (not because of any actual superiority - both of the Archos devices I had were great - but simply because I wanted something a little smaller).
Sadly, every review I saw of the device said that it sucked.
They had some other, similar products available - though neither of them was a full-on PC - but they had problems of their own.
Then I found a similar product from another company that looked great, and had gotten glowing reviews.
Unfortunately, it's not actually on the market yet.
I thought about it and realized that my laptop really isn't that heavy - and besides, I have been working out - and that the real problem would be carrying around my laptop bag.
Therefore I decided to just pick up one of those laptop sleeves, which would protect it while I carried it in my tote bag.
With one problem solved, I had to solve another: my laptop's been kind of wonky lately, being in need of a fresh install of Windows 7 to clear out all of the accumulated junk.
So that's what I've spent most of today doing.
It's pretty much back up to speed now, but there a few more adjustments that need to be made and applications that need to be installed.
Early last week I learned that my promotion had finally gone through. It went into effect this past Friday. There's a substantial increase in salary and in my bonus amount - though not as substantial as I'd like as far as the salary portion - and, of course, a change in title.
Now I'm Senior Whatever-The-Hell-My-Job-Is.