I'm a late "baby boomer". I like toys and gadgets and the magic and wonder they represent. I can't help myself. I'm hardwired to be drawn to gizmos. Personal portable reel-to-reel recorder: had it. 8-track player AND recorder: mine. Personal computer: must have. Walkman: of course. CB radio: doesn't every driver need one? CD player: amazing. CD Walkman: no brainer. Phones you carry with you: duh.
Then it happened. Apple launched, what I refer to as, "the attack of the gadgets". The first time I saw a commercial for iTunes and iPod I was mesmerized. I resisted the temptation until the second generation iPod was released. They had me where any manufacturer only dreams of having its customer. The seamless interaction between iPod and iTunes was brilliant. The ease of use, economy of effort and instant gratification of music which could be in your iPod and ears in moments was genius.
"I do not read advertisements. I would spend all of my time wanting things."
archbishop of canterbury
When the first talk of Apple coming out with a revolutionary phone that would combine with iPod and iTunes and connect with the internet with a real web browser my interest was certainly on alert. Then the press releases and news stories and photos were released. There it was with that unmistakeable touch-screen with its vivid image quality. Well, I just had to have it. I'm not enough of an addict to wait in lines on release day or, heaven forbid, camp out days in advance. I can wait. One day. I lasted ONE day. I walked into an Apple store, saw the iPhone on the table and it was love at first touch of the screen.
There are two schools of gadget phone geeks. There are the Blackberries and the iPhoners. Each is devoted to his own personal preference. Blackberries are good sturdy workhorses. iPhones glisten.
Damn, they're good! Just when I thought I'd seen and had all the gadgets I could ever want, Apple did it again. There were those announcements and press releases and advance buzz again. "Now what"? A tablet computer? Really? They had been tried before and never caught on. But this is Apple! If Steve Jobs weren't Apple he could have been a coke dealer in Studio 54. He knows how to get people addicted. He's the serpent from the Garden of Eden. Now I understand the name "Apple". Evil Genius!
The iPad looks and feels and reacts just like an oversized iPhone. It shines and sparkles. It's the Taylor-Burton diamond of gadgets: you don't really need it but it would sure be nice to have. For a month I swore I could be strong enough to resist the hype. Apple sent out tempting emails which I promptly deleted. I have an iPhone. I have a notebook computer. It's like going out for a wonderful dinner, being perfectly satisfied with your entree and then they bring out the dessert cart. You don't need dessert. You didn't even think you wanted dessert. Still that creme brulle calls out like Lorelei called out to ancient mariners.
"Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need."
I resisted the urge to run out and buy an iPad. I didn't hunt one down on the internet. I waited. TWO days. Then I had to have it. I needed my fix. What was I going to do with it? How would I use it? I certainly didn't need it. I just wanted it. That's not exactly true. I knew how I was going to use it, it's just unnecessary. I love my iPhone. I knew I would love it's bigger, look-alike brother. Spring is here and I like to sit on my porch or in my garden and read and listen to music. Now you can add "surf the net" to that for one tidy, convenient, easy on the eyes package. You certainly can't sit in the garden with your notebook computer on your lap, that's silly and awkward. iPhone is just too small to comfortably read novels from. There are also my frequent nice-weather visits to the riverfront, state parks and botanical gardens. So many places have wi-fi available and if not, I can still read and listen to music.
There really are uses for the iPad. Apple has thousands of applications ranging from games to beautifully thought out word processors and everything in-between. There are also accessories such as a full-sized bluetooth keyboard for serious writing although I'm writing this blog on the built-in virtual keyboard to see how it does. It's fine. The touch is a bit sensitive and the size is slightly smaller than a netbook's.
Basically this is a "take-with" computer. It's big enough to be usable and small enough to not leave home without. As a writer, it will eliminate carrying a legal pad with me or dictating voice memos on my iPhone. I also think the iPad is a must for travelers.
I am purposely not going into all the technical details and attributes of the iPad.You can find that info on the Apple website or in the many tech blogs and magazines. This is just one incurable tech-a-holic's love story.