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I've had my original iPad for a while now, but haven't used it that much (other than for couch browsing and stuff like that). I was wondering if there was a way I could be using it to it's full potential during my University run. I'm in computer engineering and that requires me to be programming alot (java, c, python, etc), building circuits, project management and stuff like that.

Is it worth buying a stylus (one that is precise and that can be used to draw circuits on the fly)? I was thinking of using it to program quick python scripts by VNC'ing into my desktop at home and using vim to edit.

Is anyone using the iPad for the same thing? Hopefully someone will know how to help me with this issue.

(Sorry if this is off-topic. I feel like I'm legitimately asking for help here)

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If you jailbreak it, you can run vim or emacs locally, and run python locally too. – user588 Apr 9 '11 at 5:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes of course you can turn it into a specialized device for engineering and homework.

For project management tools, look at the Omni group, and then their competition.

I don't know if there are circuit simulation tools, but I would expect so. Have you searched?

Python and C can be developed natively on the device if you jailbreak it. I

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Awesome, so since you've posted this I've jailbroken and installed a couple cool Cydia apps. Any idea on how to get a terminal/bash shell in the iPad itself? I've got SSH but I would love a 'terminal' app. Thanks – n0pe Apr 9 '11 at 22:31
mobile terminal, but I think it might be buggy, in which case just ssh to or localhost. – user588 Apr 10 '11 at 2:03

You can turn your ipad to superb engineering/coding device with buffer editor. It's great code editor with vim support and it also supports autocomplete and syntax highlighting for many languages. You can find it from appstore or from

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In my opinion python-2.7-for-ios app is very good for coding in your Ipad. Many packages are added all the time so not only standard library stuff is available..

Also of particular use is the editor Textastic..

To quote from their website : "Textastic is an advanced code editor for iPad with rich support for syntax highlighting, (S)FTP and Dropbox."

Both of these apps don't need the device to be jail-broken

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A few further recommendations:

(I would've commented on the accepted answer but I don't have enough rep yet to do so.)

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