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I Get It Now!

I suppose many people would classify me as an Apple “fanboy” (or, to use a more complimentary term, an Apple enthusiast and computing professional). Even so, I was initially a bit skeptical about the new iPad. First, I didn’t like the name; second, I thought it needed a camera (and maybe a few other useful hardware components, like an SD card slot and USB port); and finally, I wanted multitasking!

I’m currently writing a review of some of the highlights of Richard Dawkins’ book, “The Greatest Show on Earth” so I’m carrying the book around with me (in my laptop bag) so I can work on it when I have a few spare minutes. But that book is heavy (its 470 pages) and uses a lot of space in my bag so its quite inconvenient to use.

It would be so much easier if I had a copy of the book on a compact, easy to read device which I could set bookmarks on, copy quotes from, and store lots of other books on as well. Wait a minute… that sounds like an iPad! And it wouldn’t matter if it had a camera or not (I have a very nice SLR and a camera in my iPhone and one in my laptop). And it wouldn’t matter if it didn’t multi-task either!

Of course, I could use a Kindle as my eBook reader but that really is a single purpose device (and about the same price as some iPads anyway) so that would be just too limited.

There is also evidence that Apple might be going to put a camera in the iPad – possibly even in the current model before its released – so it would be there if I did need it. Plus many people are saying that future versions of the iPhone OS (which the iPad uses) will include multi-tasking (its an operating system limitation more than a hardware one).

So I think I get it. I didn’t think I needed an iPad but obviously I do. I think when I do get one I’ll never buy another physical book. I have several book cases full of them and storing them electronically is just so much more efficient.

I do have eBooks on my laptop and iPhone already but neither of those are as nice to read from as a book. I do use PDFs on my laptop for technical documentation but that’s not the sort of thing I read for long periods of time – even a computer geek like me doesn’t like reading a 1000 page PHP manual like a novel!

I have said in the past that I don’t like to get too enthusiastic about a new product until I have a chance to use it but I think when I do get to test an iPad I will be quickly wanting to go out and buy one!

  1. shirhashirim
    February 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    There’s this quote that says supply creates it’s own demand… ;-)

  2. ojb42
    February 4, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Supply creates demand? You mean if they make a product people will buy it? Clearly that only happens if the product is good enough because even the most successful companies (Apple, Microsoft, etc) have made unsuccessful products.

  3. shirhashirim
    February 5, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Yeah, but what makes a product ‘good enough’? ‘Good enough’ for what?We’ve been living with telephones for decades and nobody complained. Yet nowadays everyone has a mobile phone.
    And that’s just one example…

  4. ojb42
    February 5, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    What makes it good enough? Lots of things, often not related to the actual quality or utility of the product. Things like: public perception, pricing, ease of use, timing of release, etc. Obviously supply can create (or enhance demand) because, for many people, they don’t want an item which cannot be supplied (maybe because it doesn’t exist!) or they don’t understand the utility of a product until they see it. I’ve wanted a tablet since before they even existed, but many people don’t have that much imagination!

  5. shirhashirim
    February 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I think tablets existed in Star Trek a long time ago.

  6. ojb42
    February 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    No, you’ve got it wrong. Star Trek is set in the future. Maybe you were thinking of a more primitive version of the tablet (even more basic than the Kindle I hear) in the Bible and other such works?

  7. shirhashirim
    February 12, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    As in cuneiform tablets? No, that’s not what I meant. I meant electronic books in Star Trek. I distinctly remember seeing one in Deep Space 9.

    Sure Star Trek is set in the future, but it was made in the past, so the idea of a tablet is much older than it realisation in an actually functioning tablet.

  8. ojb42
    February 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Yes, OK, I was just being smart. I understand, of course, that ideas in fiction often become fact many years later. Arthur C Clarke was well known for this in his books. I think some of his work was specifically to introduce new ideas which would become fact later. The geostationary satellite is the most famous example, of course.

  9. shirhashirim
    February 16, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Arthur C Clarke invented that? I didn’t know that…

  10. ojb42
    February 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I wasn’t quite right. He didn’t really invent the idea but he introduced it to the world in his technical writing. According to Wikipedia: “The concept was first proposed by Herman Potocnik in 1928 and popularised by the science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke in a paper in Wireless World in 1945.”

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