Home
The other day I bought an iPad for the house. Yes, I know, when the iPad was first announced, I predicted that few people would want a crippled laptop. Allow me to say I was obviously and totally wrong.

By far, the iPad's most wonderful feature, compared to laptops, is the fact that it turns on instantly. There's no boot-up sequence. That one advantage makes the iPad an entirely different product from a laptop. Once powered on, the iPad doesn't start begging me to update things nor force me to make decisions. It doesn't remind me of all the ways it is protecting me. It doesn't tell me to order printer ink or ask me to fill out a survey. A regular laptop is like your boss: always making you wait before giving you busy-work assignments. The iPad is more like a punctual lover. It's always ready for fun. And if you are tempted to do some work on the iPad, its non-keyboard quickly changes your mind. You wouldn't say a lover is a crippled version of a boss. (Insert your own inappropriate humor here.) So any comparison of an iPad to a laptop simply doesn't work.

Our new iPad's permanent home is in the kitchen. I've discovered that 90% of its usefulness comes from the fact that it's speedy. Yesterday a fox walked by the window, and I was the only witness. Someone asked what type it was, and I was able to point to a picture on the iPad in less than 30 seconds. Some version of that situation happens continuously. Life comes at us in sub-minute chunks, especially in the kitchen. That's a lot of iPad opportunities. I wouldn't have bothered waiting for my laptop to snap out of its energy saving mode.

[Full disclosure: The 30 seconds to locate a fox picture on the Internet does not count the full minute of looking at Megan Fox images that Google was kind enough to offer up at the top of the search.]

Interestingly, I don't recall the instant-on feature being a prominent element of Apple's advertisements for the iPad. Perhaps at this point they could sell laminated turds if they put the Apple logo on them. Obviously whatever Apple is doing is working, marketing-wise.

Another interesting phenomenon of the iPhone and iPad era is that we are being transformed from producers of content into consumers. With my BlackBerry, I probably created as much data as I consumed. It was easy to thumb-type long explanations, directions, and even jokes and observations. With my iPhone, I try to avoid creating any message that are over one sentence long. But I use the iPhone browser to consume information a hundred times more than I did with the BlackBerry. I wonder if this will change people over time, in some subtle way that isn't predictable. What happens when people become trained to think of information and entertainment as something they receive and not something they create? I think this could be a fork in the road for human evolution. Perhaps in a million years, humans will feel no conversational obligation to entertain or provide useful information. That will be the function of the Internet. Someday a scientist will identify the introduction of the iPhone as the point where evolution began to remove conversation from the list of human capabilities. And when the scientist forms this realization, he won't tell his spouse because conversation won't exist. He'll put it on the Internet.

 
Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +86
  • Print
  • Share

Comments

Sort By:
Jul 20, 2010
You seem eager to celebrate an end to humanity. If what makes us human is being able to reflect on our choices, no longer creating, just becoming plugged into a machine will destroy us.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 20, 2010
On the subject of "being transformed from producers of content into consumers". The way I see it, the more you have "consumed" can only enrich your products, if you choose to produce that is.

And Im going to offend a lot of people by saying this but here goes. Those iPad (and/or Apple) haters are either paid ranters by other companies or they are just too dull to see beyond their nose.

For most people, the computer is just a tool to: surf the internet, view pictures, watch movies, play musics, google things, keep an eye on the stocks, social networking, emailing, and a bit of occasional games. For most of those activities a full computer is over-kill, and the function of an ipad fits perfectly without the hassle that normally comes with a full computer.

We need to understand that computers have moved out of universities and science labs since the day the internet became part of our lifes. Its only going to become more "light-weight" and more integrated in the future, and you will be using an ipad-y device in the near future rather you liked the ipad or not.
 
 
Jul 14, 2010
@bigred3142
You epitomize what everyone hates about Apple products. It's the fanbois. There are like a gagillion products that do all of those things. There's this never-ending stream of people out there -- like you -- that cry "oh my god, Apple is so awesome. Someone finally came out with a phone that plays mp3s and has a camera and lets you check email"... when those features have been available for years. The iPad seems like a servicable device, but jesus... the Barnes & Noble nook does all of those things (browse web, check email, play MP3s, ebook reading, games) and holds a charge for a week or two and costs a fraction as much. I would hardly call the nook revolutionary, as it's a copy-cat of the Amazon Kindle. Which itself wasn't much different from any of the vast array of tablet laptops -- except for the awesome eInk screen and battery life.
 
 
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 14, 2010
I could see that saving a lot of marriages, actually--the part about no longer speaking, just communicating digitally.
In fact, I think I'll suggest it to my husband.
I enjoy a little digital communication.
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 14, 2010
I could see that saving a lot of marriages, actually--the part about no longer speaking, just communicating digitally.
In fact, I think I'll suggest to my husband.
I enjoy a little digital communication.
 
 
Jul 14, 2010
I bought two other netbooks in a search for something that would provide a convenience alternative over the main house PC. Neither of the netbooks ever got used that much, exactly for what you described, no one wanted to wait around for it to boot up and no one enjoyed cozying up with it on the couch because it got hot. The iPad gets used everyday. From games, to recipes, to star maps, to the Bird Identification app, when you want to know something, you just hit a button and there it is. Lot's of people have criticized the iPad saying it's not really a computer, but they failed to consider if another "computer" was what people wanted, and obviously, they didn't.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 14, 2010
Actually, I thought exactly the same thing lately, after I bought some new powerfull cell phone with internet wifi access and stuff... Some day we won't be using the form of verbal communication, cause everything will be communicated through written, digital text.

Can you imagine a world, where a typical husband, having woken up next to the woman of his life, instead of saying hello to her, writes her an instant message, that she receives on her cell laying next to the bed?

To some point, we do that already - in my company, people don't talk to each other during work hours at all - they skype, even though the distance between each of us sitting in front of computer monitors is less than 1 meter!

And isn't this a terrifying, crazy idea? It looks that technology stopped enriching our lives some time ago. Now it's changing us, and it doesn't look so good by far...
 
 
Jul 13, 2010
It always amazes me the vitriol some people have when talking about apple products. Surprise people!. IF YOU DONT LIKE IT , DONT BUY IT!
No one rants as loud and as vicious about any other CE device than they do apple products - especially the IPad.
There was a brain surgeon I saw who 1) stood in line to buy a new Ipad 2) proceeded to smash it to bits 3) video tape his stupidity and post to youtube! ( with his mommy's $ I am sure)

For those whose minds as a bit more open...
1) There is not a better way to browse the web than an ipad
2) They built in keypad seems to be able to auto correct very well for me , so its rather useful IMHO
3) Not many devices exist that can be your book reader , email client, mp3 , gaming platform and more , and last for several days on a single charge -
jobs may be a megalomaniac , but hes doing something very right

For those that don't like apple products, get over yourselves, no one is forcing you to buy the product!

PS boefore you say anything , this rant written using chrome and W7 64-bit - so no, I'm not a apple fanboi, I just use products that work - no matter what the nameplate!
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 13, 2010
All that maintenance work still exists in iTunes though. That sucker wants you to update it all the time and is slow and painful to use.

I expect Apple to finally break the iTunes umbilical cord soon. They might do it in one or two steps but the direction will be for Apple to control everything on the device. They already do it for books and apps. Controlling what music, and video as a side effect of removing iTunes dependancy certainly seems possible to me. iTunes in the Cloud.
 
 
Jul 13, 2010
I hate to state the obvious, but in a million years, I don't think humans will exist anymore. If we continue @ the rate we're going with the whole destroying-the-planet-thing, we may not even make it into the twenty-second century.

Just a positive thought for the day. ;-)

--bossgripes.com
 
 
Jul 13, 2010
Instant computer access really does make a difference. I now tend to say "I'll google it" using the voice recognition on my iPhone rather than "I don't know"

I hope BP doesn't kill us all in an instant ny trigerring the release of a methane bubble.

Check this with Bob the dinosaur, 251 million years ago a mammoth undersea methane bubble caused massive explosions, poisoned the atmosphere and destroyed more than 96 percent of all life on Earth.
http://www.helium.com/items/1882339-doomsday-how-bp-gulf-disaster-may-have-triggered-a-world-killing-event
 
 
-4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 13, 2010
Oh dear, Scott has become an iClone. This is a sad day for the concept of independent thinking.
 
 
Jul 13, 2010
We do consume a lot of entertainment today. But look at Youtube. There is a lot of creativity showing there. Some outstanding video sequences and music performances. (Youtube is a way for people to have an audience without going through the "normal" channels)
We have changed our concepts of friendships. Now it a 'friend' is someone who links to your Facebook page (or whatever social network you are using). You can have hundreds, or thousands of 'friends' you have never met.
We are definitely losing our skills at communication. Since you don't have to interact face to face, we have become adept at internet speak (lol). Pretty soon our whole social life may take place as virtual activities.
 
 
Jul 13, 2010
But that's my main gripe with the iPad - what it provides is totally useless snips of information that previously I've used google on my pc/laptop/phone for.

Yes I can buy an iPad for this, but a) it's horrendously expensive and b) you're embracing the awful smuggery epitomised in the adverts ("it's MAGICAL")
 
 
-4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 13, 2010
"Perhaps at this point they could sell laminated turds if they put the Apple logo on them"

They did, and they called it the iPad.
 
 
Jul 13, 2010
@kataku
Dude, people do play their wiis, but they all say "There goes kataku, what a lamer, I'm not playing wii with him." I play mine regularly if not overly frequently, having many other things to do. However if my kids are about and my tasks are complete, or I have returned with a few mates from the pub, Sports Resort or Mario Kart Wii are straight out. Not constant !$%*!$%* gaming but then I have a life?

If you got me an iPad I would like it - just e.g. to look up background on the subjects of diocumentaries I'm watching or similar.
 
 
Jul 13, 2010
As some other ppl already pointed out, most laptops now days have a "Instant on" feature. On Windows PCs it works for the first day until you install something or actually uses the computer, then it turns into a "Instant on but you can't actually do anything while I'm shuffling data from HDD to RAM". My MacBook on the other hand turns on in about 1 second, rather like the iPad. But you're right Scott, the "please make a decision about this" pop-ups is annoying and a little part of my soul dies every time I have to confirm that the program I just downloaded from a well known company should really be allowed to run. How hard could it be to compile a list of companies (like Microsoft for example) that is trusted?
I also want an iPad, but since I don't live in the US, Apple won't sell me one...
 
 
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
I just can't get caught up in all of this iPad, iPhone, iPants, iShoes, etc, nonsense.

Am I weird?

I recently bought a new phone. No, it wasn't an iPhone, or a "Marvin-the-Paranoid Android", or Raspberry, Gooseberry, Blackberry, whatever. It's a Samsung that holds 2 Sims and has a touch-screen. It sends and receives calls. (Remember when phones did just that? And only that?) It can check email (Worthless. No one sends me messages anyway). And that's that. Simple.

My wife bought a new Blackberry 2 weeks ago. It's like carrying a Nimitz-class Aircraft Carrier Command & Control Center in your pocket! The amount of menus is scary. The amount of data is overloading. Then, there are the Apps, sub-Apps, and sub-sub-Apps to reach another App that tells you that you need to download an App to view the App you wanted to use in the first place. Huh?

She was so proud of her Blackberry, until she tried to call overseas. Didn't work. Take a trip back to the store and buy an overseas calling plan. Done. Back to the house. Tried to use the Internet. No joy. Take a trip back to the store. Oh, we need a Blackberry Internet plan too? In addition to the overseas calling plan? Wife gives me the long face...(sigh)...Internet plan purchased. Back to the house. Let's try the Internet. Nope. Needs a code of some sort to unlock. Where do we get the code? Of course! At the store! (AUGHHHHH!!!!)

Long story short: Eventually, we got it working, and now the Blackberry shifts enough data to fill the Library of Congress.

But, who needs it? I think it's great that Scott can research a fox species in 30 seconds, where in the past it took a biologist several years. Also, the kitchen is a good place for his iPad. Think of all of the recipies he can download -- until it ends up in the lasagne, or has sticky fingers damaging the screen.

One of my fellow contractors here in the Middle East purchased an iPad while on vacation stateside. Upon returning here, he spent several days shaping and carving a local carrier's Sim chip to fit into the slot on the iPad so he could have Internet service. Imagine that? Several days carving a piece of plastic! Why not just buy a chip that works?!

The lengths people will go to...

I disagree with Scott that the iPhone caused the demise of human conversation -- It was "television".

I wonder if conversations will someday be revived with an "instant-on" feature...?
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
Believe it or not, the IPad has some important things:
It probably is the "Missing link" to the whole futuristic Star trek handheld tablets. (But I'm only gonna buy one when they're like the glass tablets from Avatar.
As for advantages over laptops, my computer has a sleep mode that activates whenever I shut the cover or tap the power button (Shut down requires going to the start menu) It takes about 15 seconds to wake up. The only real advantage is that it doesn't get viruses because it can only download what the tyrant Apples says is good or bad. (Hey, I LIKE windows 7)
As for Apple jokes this covers it all: http://futuramaepisode.org/episode-3-attack-of-the-killer-app/
 
 
-3 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2010
The iPad is the next step on the road to the Wall-E style dystopia.

The reason they make the iPad screens out of a flat plate of glass is so it's easy to wipe the drool off.
 
 
 
Get the new Dilbert app!
Old Dilbert Blog