Recycled Computing

Awaiting My First iPad

- 2011.03.15

I did it! I pulled the trigger!

When I saw Steve Jobs on the big stage weaving his magic reality suspension spells about the iPad 2, I went right out and bought a refurbished first generation iPad.

The Gadsen flag
The Gadsen flag

When Apple goes out and redesigns a product, it dumps the older model like a Gadsden flag at a Democratic Party meeting, so I figured it would be a good time to see what was cheap in the refurbished area of the Apple Store. I missed out on the 16 GB model for $349, darn it. But when my paycheck arrived, I ordered a 32 GB model for $429.

Why didn't I get a new, latest iPad 2? C'mon, this is Low End Mac!

Besides, the iPad 2 doesn't really address the issues that I feel are the Achilles' heel of the iPad. Yes, thinner and lighter and faster would be nice, but how about support for SD Card storage? How about some printing solutions? How about a frigging USB port and support for external devices?

I know that you can get files on and off the iPad with iTunes, but it would be nice if the iPad could be unfettered from a laptop or desktop. A little more flexibility would be nice.

The main reason I bought the iPad was the touch interface. Apple has really revolutionized how we interact with computers, and I supposed that Steve Jobs is right in calling Apple's move into portable devices "post-PC".

There are four reasons why I want this interface on this device.

I think that the iPad is super for surfing the Net. It's big enough for me to read text easily, and the Safari "pinch" and "tap" features allow me to isolate areas on webpages. It is also a good book reader. And, of course, it's easy to get out and use, in contrast to breaking out a laptop.

I think the iPad is an excellent photo accessory. Digital photography gives you instant feedback - you can look at an image right after you take it. However, I'd like to be able to look at a larger image than that camera's LCD allows to see if I got the results I wanted. At the end of the shoot, it would be easier to edit selections and, of course, email them or post them on a website. (If you think this is just a part of a subtle plan to justify the purchase a high-end digital camera, please don't tell my wife. She will have figured it out anyway.)

The iPad's screen is a vast improvement on the iPod's for watching movies.

Taking notes. Yes, if you are a fast typist, you can do this on a netbook or laptop, but you can't draw anything. I used to love to use my old Newton MessagePad for this, but time has marched on. There are several note-taking apps in the App Store, and you can purchase styluses especially made for the iPad. This is a feature that I will probably use at work. (I wonder if I could deduct it? Probably not.)

To those of you who think that I should jump into the Android tablet market, I'm sorry, but I just don't think that Android has the range of applications that the App Store has. It was sort of a master stroke for Apple to start the App Store and turn all these independent software companies lose to develop apps for the iPhone, iPad touch, and iPad. It was probably the fastest way to develop an infrastructure for such an innovative project.

As soon as my iPad arrives, I will be obsessively writing about it (and with it, I hope). Happy iPading! LEM

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