I had to go out of town on business, and decided to dare myself to travel without a laptop, relying on the iPhone for all my computery needs. Other than spending every waking moment worrying that someone is breaking into my house and stealing my precious Mac Book at this very moment, it seems to be working out OK.

Taking the iPhone out on the road gives me an opportunity to give it a real workout, which I haven’t been able to do much of since I ended the era of interminable commutes just after getting the device. I even got a chance to use the Maps app for directions so that I could be that jerk who pokes at his iPhone while barrelling down the highway. I still haven’t had call to open up the Stocks app, though.

While the Web browser works wonderfully, loading pages over an Edge connection can be pretty painful, and after the novelty of zooming in and out of pages wears off, you begin to realize that it’s an elegant workaround for the simple fact that the iPhone’s screen is really small and gets very crowed very quickly.

So even though I can use full-featured web apps like Flickr or whatever, I find myself more often using the mobile versions of sites like Google Reader or Twitter, and really liking them. These stripped-down, low-graphics versions of sites almost remind me of the days when I used to rely on terminal-based browsers like Lynx and w3m to view pages. While it costs me a few extra clicks to get around these versions of apps, it’s made up for by the reduced need for zooming and scrolling.

The big challenge for me has been composing this weblog posting. I actually wrote it out on paper, because entering text on the iPhone is enough of a chore without having to think about editing it as well. You’d think that writing on paper with a pencil would reduce the nimber of pointless run-on sentences that I blurt out, but if you’ve read this far, then you know that that’s clearly not the case.