The iPad Post

I’m not exactly the first person to post my thoughts post-April-3rd-iPad-launch, far from it. But relax, I won’t go into a technical review since it’s already been covered in amazing detail here.

Most reviews seem to be favorable, the only negative ones I’ve really seen are from people refusing to buy it for a variety of reasons, some valid, some less so (i.e. haters).

Dropping The Clichés

To begin with, I promise I won’t use sports analogies like: game-changer and changing the rules. They are true, but you’re sick of hearing them. Aren’t you?

Let me simply demonstrate by example:

Yesterday, I forgot my laptop at home and when I got to work, I had to make due with my old desktop PC running Windows. (XP, running IE6, no less. The horror!) Sitting down in front of this relic made it clear that the iPad is going to change the way we relate to our computers. It needs to. It must! It’s time.

Suddenly sitting behind my computer, even a laptop, seemed ridiculous. It seems overly formal, uncomfortable and constricting.  People get RSIs and neck issues from sitting at a terminal for hours. So, why would we continue enslaving ourselves to these “infernal machines” when there are alternatives.

Even my mouse (a revolutionary device in it’s day) now seemed overtly impotent to make the screen do what I wanted. (You mean, I have to click way up there just to scroll down a paragraph? Sheesh!) No gestures, no flicks or pinches. I am limited to a left or right click. And it feels constraining.

Don’t even get me started about having to wait for my CPU to start up or reboot.

It shouldn’t be this way. We are simply too busy with living to spend any more time waiting on and bending to our computers.

Sadly, I know that it will be years before the big, dumb companies (BDCs) “get it” and begin untethering their employees, but they would save lots of money and lost time for people with posture problems.

Bringing Down The Fortress

I was just at April’s BDNT meetup which was full of newly spawned iPad geeks aficionados.

During the presentations I was using mine to take notes and just sitting with it in my lap, everything seemed different. (No, I wasn’t sitting on my keys.) It was that I found myself able to do everything I could just as easily do on my laptop—take notes, use Twitter and Google—but I wasn’t forced to see the world from behind my computer screen. The monitor wasn’t sitting up like a wall between me and the world, I could set it down, turn it off and on instantly, flip it over to show someone my portfolio.

I even seemed more approachable by others (granted, people may have just wanted to see the iPad and not me *sob*), but overall it was less of a barrier between me and the world, all without sacrificing the utility of a computer.

In The Future We’ll All Fly Our Own Rocketships Anyway

This may not be the device we use in 10 years, and I hope it’s not. This is just a tryout version, a first attempt, which will show us how we need to use computers from now on.  The price point—it really is pretty cheap—will get it into the hands of enough people to generate accurate feedback which will, in turn, improve the next series of devices, made by whoever. (Hopefully Apple.)

So, if you’re skeptical that it isn’t living up to the hype or isn’t the future of computing, then don’t be too smug, because you’re probably right. It’s only a step along a path to evolve into amazing new stuff and freedom from your current computer.

Another side benefit: I’m a lot less concerned about dropping my Kindle now.

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