Size Matters

I've been off the street and back in housing for more than 18 months. Even though I finally bought a cheap PC for the first time in more than a decade (as opposed to a laptop, tablet or similar), I still use my cheap phone as my primary computing device.

The PC is shared with two other people. We also have a tablet. I usually spend at least a couple of hours on the PC each day, but most of the time I'm on my phone playing games, surfing the internet and writing blog posts.

When I first got back into housing, I bought a cheap smartphone with 8 gigs of space. It really tied my hands on how much I could do.

I could only have a single game on it. Games take up a lot of memory and generally place a high demand on computing resources, but I need a game to keep from going nuts.

I'm medically handicapped. I don't get out much and I go through periods where I can't work, I just need to keep myself entertained. Games play a large role in keeping me occupied and helping me not go crazy.

Last December, my phone began crashing badly, so I replaced it. I think the old phone had cost $30 (plus tax) and the new one was only $40 or so (plus tax), but the new one was 16 gigs.

That's nominally twice as much space, but in reality it more than doubles your usable space because some of that space is taken up by system requirements. So it's really more like quadrupling your free space.

I've been able to have two games on the system, plus space for photos, screenshots etc. I no longer constantly have to clear my cache, keep apps to an absolute minimum and so on.

My experience with this new phone is vastly better. I get to do a lot more on it and it's just a huge improvement in quality of life for me.

The additional functionality of this new phone has led to me starting a gaming blog, something I couldn't have imagined doing with the previous phone.

I do still need to do some space management. In fact, I wrote about that earlier today on my gaming blog. The short version: I uploaded a bunch of screenshots so I could delete them from my phone.

I then started a new city on my city game and started blogging about that. I'm now promptly writing about the screenshots I've made, uploading those screenshots to the post, publishing it and then promptly deleting the screenshots so I don't wind up overloading my phone again.

The one issue I'm running into is that games are hard on the battery, so gaming so much has me basically keeping my phone plugged in almost all the time. This would not work if I were still homeless.

While homeless, husbanding battery power on our computing devices was a big thing. We plugged in at the library during the day while on their WiFi, then we were on battery power in the evening.

We paid a lot of attention to what we could do for how long on battery. We didn't want to burn through the juice we had too quickly and then have nothing to do for hours while not yet ready to sleep.

Still, I'm thrilled to pieces to be able to not only game more, but also take screenshots and start blogging about it -- all from my phone.

Yes, it is possible to have a full and interesting internet life using a phone or tablet as your primary computing device. It's even possible to make money online with it.