Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, November 27, 2015

Buying In to the Revolution -- Part One -- Setting the Stage

In 1975, I passed the Arizona State Bar Exam and was sworn in as a new attorney. I was to be an active attorney, on and off, for the next 39 years. Two years later in 1977, my brother got a personal computer. It was a TRS-80. We spent some time working on simple programs. Because of my previous experience with the main frame computer at the University of Utah, I saw the potential of this inexpensive and very limited device.

Our one greatest challenge in operating a law office was the paper work involved. We usually had to make copies of everything we sent out and were using copious amounts of carbon paper. Most of our typewriters were IBM Selectrics. They had a dual ribbon system with a roll of "white out" that allowed for far easier correction than using an eraser or re-typing the entire document. Photocopying machines were huge and very expensive, so we charged for all the copies we made. As attorneys, we relied heavily on our staff to "produce the documents."

By 1982, I was aware of the strides being made in office automation. Some of the larger law firms had complex word processing machines. We heard such names as Vydec, Xerox and Star Information Systems. But the attorneys I worked with were still using the same method of correction using IBM Selectric Typewriters. I began to see that word processing could be done on a computer, but it took another few years before that could happen. When I purchased my first Macintosh computers, I was already in the business of selling Apple computers and other brands. I began using the Macintosh in my office to produce legal documents. The advantage (and disadvantages) were obvious.

Now, we fast forward to the 1990s. By this time, I was fully involved in computers. I did 100% of my word processing on computers. In fact, rather than dictate documents to my assistants, I had taken over the process of creating the documents directly. From there, they would proof read them and make all the copies and send them out. We had stopped charging for copies.

I could go on, but I need to point out that when I left the practice of law in 2014, there were and are still attorneys who did not know how to operate their computers and did not compose documents themselves on the computers.

How does this apply to genealogy? I use the example of word processing as one of the most common computer applications. Of course, by the 1990s, I was also involved in a graphic design business and we were using the most advanced equipment we could purchase to produce posters, banners, and all sorts of documents from hardcover books to advertising flyers. By the time I quit my law practice, the Arizona courts were requiring all pleadings to be filed electronically. I am now creating my documents using voice recognition and other technologies. I am now considering whether using an iPad Pro is going to work for me instead of a laptop.

I am known as an "early adopter," that is, a person who accepts and adopts technology as soon as it becomes available.

Now we come to the great divide. Here we have an ever accelerating and evolving technology that is touching every aspect of our lives and there are segments of our population who are not at all involved and in fact, actively resist that technology. There are a multitude of reasons for this division. Some can be attributed to economic disparity, others are age related. Whatever the reason for the division, it is real and forms a barrier between those who accept the technology and those who either fail to use it or oppose it.

Genealogy is one of the very late adopters of the new technology. This is partially caused by the opposition of the record repositories. Genealogists do not control the rate of technological change adopted by the various entities that control documents. We are basically information consumers. We need information to find our ancestors and other relatives. Much of that information is still locked up in paper copies. Despite the advances in technology allow digital access to billions of documents, the conversion of paper or its paper equivalent, microfilm, to digitized copies is slow and opposed by many entities. A prime example is the U.S. National Archives. The National Archives very likely accumulates paper much faster than it is digitizing it and only a vanishingly small number of its documents are available outside of paper copies.

But focusing on a very personal level, genealogy is finally moving into the technological revolution. However, I still work in a library with 300,000 plus rolls of microfilm that are not digitized. I also have to travel and view some documents on paper, such as books and other records. But more importantly, I still find that the majority of the people I work with day after day, do not recognize the changes that have occurred in the methodology of genealogy. Just as many attorneys were and still are resistant to the changes from paper to electronics such as my father who still wrote everything out by hand until he died, there are many genealogists who resist the technological changes.

I could go on and on with examples of the difficulty genealogists have with technology, but my point here is that the changes are inevitable. We will either embrace them or be run over by them, but genealogy has now begun to participate in the technological revolution. You can either get on the train or be left standing in the station, but you will not change the fact that the train is leaving with or without you.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Pilgrims, the Mayflower and such

Just in case you want to find out a little more about the Pilgrims, the Mayflower and all that stuff that happened back in the 1600s, I decided to put together a list of some resources. Of course, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants has an entire library dedicated to the Pilgrims (i.e. the term commonly used to wrongly identify the passengers) but we all need to get started somewhere. I might also mention that this was one of few libraries I have visited where I was asked to leave, but that is another story. I might also mention that my initial search turned up over 1,700 books on the subject so I have limited this list considerably. My guess is that at least some of these books are not going to be very helpful since a lot of them are fictionalized accounts.

Addison, A. C. The Romantic Story of the Mayflower Pilgrims, and Its Place in the Life of to-Day,. Boston: L.C. Page, 1911.
Apel, Melanie Ann. The Pilgrims. San Diego: Kidhaven Press, 2003.
Armentrout, David, and Patricia Armentrout. The Mayflower Compact. Vero Beach, Fla.: Rourke Pub., 2004.
Barth, Edna, Ursula Arndt, Carol Basen, and Seabury Press. Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols. New York: Seabury Press, 1975.
Beale, David O. The Mayflower Pilgrims: Roots of Puritan, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and Baptist Heritage. Greenville, S.C.; Belfast, Northern Ireland: Ambassador-Emerald International, 2000.
Brooks, Philip. The Mayflower Compact. Minneapolis, Minn.: Compass Point Books, 2005.
Bunker, Nick. Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World : A New History. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Caffrey, Kate. The Mayflower. New York: Stein and Day, 1974.
Carpenter, Edmund J. The Mayflower Pilgrims,. New York; Cincinnati: Abingdon Press, 1918.
Carter, E. J. The Mayflower Compact. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2003.
Colloms, Brenda. The Mayflower Pilgrims. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1977.
Conner, Peter, Alan Mumby, Alan Murphy, Barry Coleman, David Collings, PA Communications (Firm), and Janson Media (Firm). The Mayflower Pilgrims. [United States]: Janson Media, 2003.
Crosher, G. R. The Mayflower Pilgrims. London: Chatto & Windus, 1966.
Davis, Kenneth C, and S. D Schindler. Don’t Know Much about the Pilgrims. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.
Dillon, Francis. The Pilgrims. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1975.
Donovan, Frank R, and Hedda Johnson. The Mayflower Compact,. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1968.
Fradin, Dennis B. The Mayflower Compact. New York: Benchmark, 2007.
General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and William Alexander McAuslan. Mayflower Index,. [Boston: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1932.
Gill, Crispin. Mayflower Remembered: A History of the Plymouth Pilgrims. New York: Taplinger Pub. Co., 1970.
Greenwood, Mark, and Frané Lessac. The Mayflower, 2014.
Hays, Wilma Pitchford, Roger Duvoisin, and Inc Coward-McCann. Christmas on the Mayflower. New York: Coward-McCann Inc., 1956.
Heaton, Vernon. The Mayflower. New York: Mayflower Books, 1980.
Hopkins, Anthony, Donald Pleasence, Richard Crenna, Jenny Agutter, Michael Beck, David Dukes, Trish Van Devere, Inc Syzygy Productions, and HBO Video (Firm). Mayflower the Pilgrims’ Adventure. New York: HBO Home Video, 1999.
Howells, Anne Molloy, and Richard Cuffari. The Years before the Mayflower: The Pilgrims in Holland. New York: Hastings House, 1972.
Jackson, Dave, Neta Jackson, and Julian Jackson. The Mayflower Secret. Minneapolis, Minn.: Bethany House Publishers, 1998.
Jones, Nathan Henry. The Ancestors of My Daughters: Comprising Three Mayflower Pilgrims, One Colonial Governor, over Forty Colonial, Fourteen Revolutionary, and Three War of 1812 Ancestors. Poultney, Vt.: N.H. Jones, 1914.
Kallio, Jamie. The Mayflower Compact, 2013.
Kellogg, Lucy Mary, Edna W Townsend, Robert S Wakefield, and General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Mayflower Families through Five Generations: Descendants of the Pilgrims Who Landed at Plymouth, Mass., December 1620. Plymouth, MA: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1975.
Kesteven, G. R. The Mayflower Pilgrims. London: Chatto & Windus, 1966.
Kimball, Sarah Louise. The Mayflower Pilgrims. [Place of publication not identified], 1923.
King, Jonathan. The Mayflower Miracle: The Pilgrims’ Own Story of the Founding of America. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1987.
Lasky, Kathryn, and John Manders. Two Bad Pilgrims. New York: Viking, 2009.
Leynse, James P. Preceding the Mayflower: The Pilgrims in England and in the Netherlands. New York: Fountainhead Publishers, 1972.
Limbaugh, Rush H. Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans, 2013.
Lindsay, David. Mayflower Bastard: A Stranger among the Pilgrims. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2002.
Making Haste from Babylon [the Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World: A New History]. Westminster, Md.: Books on Tape, 2010.
Marshall, Cyril Leek. The Mayflower Destiny. Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 1975.
Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants. “The Mayflower Descendant: A Quarterly Magazine of Pilgrim Genealogy and History.” The Mayflower Descendant : A Quarterly Magazine of Pilgrim Genealogy and History., 1899.
Mathews, Basil. The Argonauts of Faith; the Adventures of the “Mayflower” Pilgrims,. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1920.
Mayflower a Story of Courage, Community, and War. Prince Frederick, Md.: Recorded Books, 2006.
Mayflower Compact. Hoboken, N.J.: BiblioBytes.
Mayflower Compact. Washington, DC: Great Neck Pub., 2009.
McGovern, Ann, and Anna DiVito. --If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1991.
McGovern, Ann, and Elroy Freem. The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving. New York: Scholastic, 1993.
Noble, Frederick Alphonso. The Pilgrims,. Boston: The Pilgrim Press, 1907.
Osborne, Mary Pope, Natalie Pope Boyce, Sal Murdocca, and Mary Pope Osborne. Pilgrims: A Nonfiction Companion to Thanksgiving on Thursday. New York: Random House, 2005.
Owens, L. L. Pilgrims, 2014.
Philbrick, Nathaniel. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. New York: Viking, 2006.
Philbrick, Nathaniel, and Nathaniel Philbrick. The Mayflower and the Pilgrims’ New World. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008.
Plimoth Plantation, Inc, Peter Arenstam, John Kemp, Catherine O’Neill Grace, Sisse Brimberg, and Cotton Coulson. Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2003.
Poolos, Jamie. The Mayflower: A Primary Source History of the Pilgrims’ Journey to the New World. New York: Rosen Central Primary Sources, 2004.
Pratt, Walter Merriam. The Mayflower Society House, Being the Story of the Edward Winslow House, the Mayflower Society [and] the Pilgrims. Cambridge, Mass.: Priv. Print., University Press, 1950.
Rajczak, Kristen. The Mayflower Compact, 2014.
Raum, Elizabeth. The Mayflower Compact. Chicago, Ill.: Heinemann Library, 2013.
Reece, Colleen L. The Mayflower Adventure. Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour Pub., 1997.
Richards, Norman, and Darrell D Wiskur. The Story of the Mayflower Compact. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1967.
Roser, Susan E. Mayflower Increasings. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1995.
Roy, Ron, and John Steven Gurney. Mayflower Treasure Hunt. New York: Random House, 2007.
San Souci, Robert D, N. C Wyeth, Malcolm Varon, Kathy Warinner, and Chronicle Books (Firm). N.C. Wyeth’s Pilgrims. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1991.
Schulz, Charles M, Evert Brown, Lee Mendelson, Bill Melendez, Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, United Media Productions, and United Feature Syndicate. The Mayflower Voyagers. [Hollywood, Calif.]: Paramount, 1994.
Sizer, Kate Thompson. Mayflower Pilgrims. London: Charles H. Kelly, 1898.
Stein, R. Conrad. The Pilgrims. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1995.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. The Mayflower, Or, Sketches of Scenes and Characters among the Descendants of the Pilgrims. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1843.
Van Leeuwen, Jean, and Thomas B Allen. Across the Wide Dark Sea: The Mayflower Journey. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 1995.
Webb, Robert N, and Charles J Andres. We Were There with the Mayflower Pilgrims. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1956.
Weygant, Charles H. Biographical Notes and Genealogical Tables Giving Line of Descent of Jonathan J. Rogers and Other Descendants of Ezra Earll and Mary Sabin from the Mayflower Pilgrims Francis Cooke and Richard Warren. Newburgh, N.Y.: Newburgh Journal Print, 1905.
Whitehurst, Susan. The Mayflower. New York: PowerKids Press, 2002.
———. The Pilgrims before the Mayflower. New York: PowerKids Press, 2002.
Wolfinger, Lisa, Rocky Collins, Edward Herrmann, Paul Drinan, Erin Raftery, Sam Redford, Chris K Layman, et al. Desperate Crossing the Untold Story of the Mayflower. [New York]: A & E Home Video : Distributed by New Video, 2007.
Yero, Judith Lloyd, and National Geographic Society (U.S.). The Mayflower Compact. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

StoryPress offline?

I just checked out a tip about the website and found that it is offline. I don't know if this is temporary or not. I will continue to check to see if I can ascertain its status.

DNA Test to Challenge Legitimacy of the English Throne

An anonymous tip from a comment lead me to an article in the U.K. Daily Mail for 26 November 2015. The title reads as follows:

Who's the real aristocrat? Queen demands DNA to be tested in court to settle dispute over 330-year-old baronet title (...but could ruling mean a Utah Mormon is our king?)
  • Britain's most senior judges will decide if DNA evidence can settle the row
  • The dispute is over a distinguished lineage dating back to the 13th century
  • Analysis revealed the last baronet came from a different bloodline to family
  • Two rival family branches have spent thousands of pounds on legal battle 
Read more:

Since I have no information as to the validity of the article or the claims, I will let the article speak for itself. 

Can Technology Save Genealogy or will it destroy it?

The title to this post is meant to be understood on a number of different levels. Considering all the world's serious problems, genealogical concerns could be considered to be "small potatoes" compared to the important issues of the day. Perhaps we should start viewing genealogy in the larger context of the preservation of our cultural heritage. During the past hundred years or so, we have seen massive efforts in the form of "cultural revolutions" that were aimed at transforming our world societies in a major way. On a huge scale, millions of people have been killed in the name of cultural cleansing. On a much smaller scale, localized ethnic and cultural groups have been effectively destroyed and absorbed into the dominant milieu. Preservation of our cultural and family history is fundamentally more than a casual pastime or hobby.

Most of those who live in the United States today have bought into the dominant "American Culture" with capital letters. One significant symptom of this adoption is the way that "Black Friday" celebrations have supplanted the traditional celebration of a treasured national holiday. For many in our country today, Thanksgiving is all about football and or shopping. It is no longer a day for quiet family gatherings and contemplation of our collective blessings. In most stores, for example, any tribute to Thanksgiving has long been overwhelmed with pre-Christmas decorations and sales.

In my last post entitled, "Can we "Twitter" family history," I touched briefly on the issue of preservation issue. But the issue of preservation is much greater than just a concern over the possibility of somehow capturing all of mindless blather of Facebook, it is a concern over the loss of basic values of family and home. Genealogy, by its very nature, looks backwards in time.

Back near the end of the U.S. Civil War on 10 November 1864, just before General William T. Sherman began his March to the Sea, leaving Atlanta in ruins, President Abraham Lincoln gave a short address to a group who had come to serenade the White House. He said, in part:
Human-nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak, and as strong; as silly and as wise; as bad and good. Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged.
Today, we are fighting a cultural battle instead of one consuming our entire nation in a shooting war. We are in the midst of a cultural revolution that is so much greater and far reaching than anything we have faced as a nation and by extension, faced as a world population, that threatens the very foundations of our diversity and culture. Genealogy ties us to the past, but that past is rapidly being supplanted by the immediacy of the present. The issues raised by a technology that can transform our interactions on a personal basis go far beyond simple issues of the preservation of present personal communications, they go to the heart of cultural values that are being reduced in substance to a tweet.

When I was a lot younger than I am today, one national concern was the impact of television on the rising generation. Well, I can say that impact of television is mild compared to impact of of smartphones connected to the Internet. On the one hand, genealogical research is reaping the benefits of the tidal wave of online resources but at the same time, the very basis of our interest in our ancestors is threatened by a society that puts little value on tradition and culture and more on the immediacy of instant messaging.

As we live through another holiday season, let's think of our own cultural and ancestral heritage. Let's take time to share that heritage with our families.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Can we "Twitter" family history?

When I was much younger than I am now, it was common to "condense" books. The Readers' Digest had a whole series of these condensed books. If condensed books were still too much for you to digest, then there were Classic Comics. Now we have Twitter where comments are reduced to 140 characters. Do we want to reduce genealogy to a tweet? Is that even possible?

The real issue is the ascendancy of social media as the communication venue of choice for much of the younger population. For the past year, I have been conducting oral interviews for preservation in the Special Collections Library at Brigham Young University. Some of these oral interviews lasted as long as eight or nine hours. I guess that this experience makes it difficult for me to reconcile the limitations of social networking content with the need to preserve an adequate record. In addition, I am looking at a stack of books about genealogy including several extensive family history books. Most of these family history books, chronicling many generations of selected families, exceed 500 pages in length. Most serious genealogical researchers find that they are very quickly buried in paper.

Are we willing to sacrifice the rich content of our family histories merely to accommodate the limited attention span of the Twitter generation? Perhaps, we should consider how we are going to preserve family history in the light of the popularity of the program such as Snapchat. Here is an explanation of Snapchat from Wikipedia:
Using the application, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as "Snaps". Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (as of September 2015, the range is from 1 to 10 seconds), after which Snapchat claims they will be deleted from the company's servers.
Certainly, we need to address the more serious question of how we are going to preserve the records of a generation of people whose main records in life are preserved in bits and pieces online. It might be helpful to realize that Snapchat reach the level of 6 billion videos per day in November 2015. Genealogists wring their hands over the loss of a few records in a courthouse, when we are losing 6 billion records a day after 10 seconds. Most users make no effort to resolve the problem of preserving their family records located on Facebook or other social media venues.

No matter what we think about social media, the issue of the evanescence of historical content is not new. We merely need to remember that all of the lifetime of conversations between our ancestors is forever lost. Perhaps, you have a copy of a telegraph message sent by an ancestor announcing a birth or death. The rarity of these messages is a graphic illustration of the problem faced in the future and reconstructing social media. Absent some spectacular method of reconstruction, I believe that virtually all of the content of the social media will be lost. For this reason alone, I would strongly limit efforts to expand the inclusion of some social media as a basis for "doing genealogy."

The reality of the present situation is that absent a concerted effort to move the content now presently available in the social media to a more permanent venue will result in its loss. Encouraging genealogical content to be shared in social media ignores this reality. We should be implementing pathways to allow those whose primary contact with the world is through social media to easily archive and preserve genealogically significant content. This is especially true where the content is primarily based on oral communication. We sometimes fail to recognize that much of the world's history is still contained in the minds of the family members. We need to be more proactive in capturing oral histories. We also need to recognize that much of social media falls in the same category as oral histories and will be lost absent our preservative efforts.

Can you do genealogy on a mobile device?

There is still a distinction between what we call mobile devices, such as tablets, smartphones and the more traditional desk top computers with a separate keyboard, pointing device and monitor. The main distinction is the operation systems involved with mobile devices and the desktop computers' operating systems. iOS does not function the same as Mac OS X. Is a laptop computer a mobile device or a desktop computer? The distinction is which operating system it uses.

Granted, there is a vast difference between using an application on a mobile device and sitting down to 27 inch or larger monitor attached to high-powered computer. But the real question is not the differences in the devices, but the limitations of the software and the memory of the mobile device. For example, here are the system requirements to run Adobe Photoshop.
  • Intel® Core 2 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor; 2 GHz or faster processor
  • Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
  • 2 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • 2 GB of available hard-disk space for 32-bit installation; 2.1 GB of available hard-disk space for 64-bit installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on removable flash storage devices)
  • 1024 x 768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512 MB of VRAM (1 GB recommended)*
  • OpenGL 2.0–capable system
  • Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.**
Mac OS
  • Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
  • Mac OS X v10.9, v10.10 (64-bit), or v10.11 (64-bit)
  • 2 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • 2 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices)
  • 1024 x 768 display (1280x800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512 MB of VRAM (1 GB recommended)*
  • OpenGL 2.0–capable system
  • Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, membership validation, and access to online services.**
* 3D features will be disabled with less than 512MB
The bottom line is that although there has been a tremendous increase in the capabilities of mobile devices, there are still limitations in the input and capabilities of the mobile devices that make some kinds of work either unavailable or very difficult. 

Two new devices, the Apple iPad Pro and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 have engendered a great deal of online discussion about whether or not these devices will "replace" the more traditional laptop. The answer is mixed with some commentators adopting the new devices and others recognizing that although both are powerful mobile devices, they are not yet a substitute for the computing power and storage capacity of most laptop computers. 

I have been exploring the possibility of using one of the two devices instead of replacing my now aging MacBook Pro. So far, I have determined that I do not want to move to a mobile device. I am impressed with both the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro 4, but not enough to replace my MacBook Pro. I also looked at the possibility of replacing my iMac with a MacBook Pro attached to a large monitor. This is an attractive alternative, but also suffers from some limitations, mainly the cost of the system and the limitations on internal storage.

What about the programs? Many of the popular online genealogy programs and even the desktop based programs have mobile apps. Some of these apps are very functional but still, adding extensive notes or attaching media are cumbersome and mostly difficult with the mobile apps. Granted, I am involved in a very extensive and intense usage of computers compared to the "average" user (whatever average is) but it would not be a good idea to base your decision to adopt a particular mode of input, mobile vs. desktop, without realizing that you may decided to become more involved in the future. 

My solution is to do what I already do. Use the mobile devices to their capacity. Use a laptop for presentations and travel and finally, rely primarily on powerful desktop computers for the majority of my work. All three have their advantages and disadvantages. Right now, it looks like I will keep my present iPad for a while until the new iPads have an operating system or programs that will not run on my dated machine. I will likely replace my MacBook Pro with a new model, mostly because my old one has been dropped so many times it is about ready to break. But I will be watching to see if there is a reason to replace my desktop iMac. It is still functional, but I see signs that it will be failing in the not-to-distant future. 

The final answer to the question in the title is that you can do many genealogical tasks on a mobile device. You may find that using an iPad Pro or Surface Pro 4 will be sufficient for the way you use a computer. You may also find that you need the additional capacity and storage of a desktop device. I suggest you try out the mobile devices as they become available and decide your own best solution.