Things For Geeks To Do On a Plane

I recently had a flight with a single layover and thought to myself what can I do on each leg that is both productive and interesting while my wife reads her kindle and my son plays his 3DS. I had to keep in mind that the second leg of the flight (or the first on the trip home) was substantially shorter than the first. I decided not to pull the laptop out for any of the flights but rather just stick with mobile devices and my Field Notes notebooks. The devices I had out were my iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy Tablet and a pair of Skull Candy Holua Earbuds. Flight 1 - Leg 1: Brushed up on some advanced OOP design methods and sketched out new models, database tables and classes for the location template in Twinkle Trail.

Flight 1 - Leg 2: Played with Garageband on my iPhone, creating samples of my voice, speeding them up and slowing them down, then mixing them with some drum beats I made earlier on the same flight. Ultimately I created an 8 bar sample called "I'm On a Plane" -- Click here to download in .m4a format.

Garageband - I'm On a Plane

Flight 2 - Leg 1: Wrote my acceptance speech for winning The Desert Research Institute's Technologist of the Year award and practiced it several times in my head.

Flight 2 - Leg 2: Read about 80 (iPhone) pages of Maziar Bahari's "Then They Came For Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival" and wrapped up the flight with some Plants Vs Zombies on the iPhone.

Total flight time each way was only about 3.5 hours so obviously I didn't have enough time to really sit down and code something, hence the idea of using mobile devices to just have some fun and play a bit. All-in-all it was a fun way to pass the time and still at least pretend to be productive.