Oh iPad. How far we’ve come from boxes the size of small furniture and encyclopedic manuals. A box the size of a dictionary, and a manual printed on a half a card. And I got mine for free.
Thank you South Whidbey Record. I wrote about this a bit in the previous posts, Real Optimism and Serendipity and the South Whidbey Record, but wanted to pass along a long time Mac owner and new user’s experience. (Want some history? Go read A Mac Is Not A Toy) Things have changed since my Mac 512, and some companies could learn some lessons. (Hello MicroVision.)
Welcome to Life with an iPad, a geezer geek’s education and introduction to a computer without a keyboard or a cursor.
- Step one: Peel through the plastic. There’s little enough of that, though some of it was overlapped into a simple puzzle. Careful application of old-tech, a knife, took care of that.
- Step two: Prepare to hear about the inevitable delay of gratification inherent in any mobile device. Take it out of the box and plug it in for a few hours before doing anything else; except, they don’t require that.
- Step three: Reconfigure brain for 2012.
- Step four: Sip some tea, because there’s no rush.
- Step five: Press and hold the On/Off button for a few seconds. Okay, so that didn’t work.
- Step six: Review everything up to step five.
- Step seven: Oops. Wrong button. Yay!
- Step eight: Slide to setup, English, 66%, United States, Disable Location Services (for now – because I want to see how it works in simple mode), Choosing a Network, Set Up iPad, Skip Apple ID (simple for now), Terms and Conditions (of course I agree because I have no real choice except to use it as a placemat otherwise), Diagnostics (&Usage don’t send), Thank You, Start Using iPad
- Step nine: Test the internet. Make sure I have at least one bookmark and it is for my blog.
- Step ten: Plug it in because I want it to have a fully charged battery.
- Step eleven: Update Software
- Step twelve: Rest before diving into personalization of mail, calendar, the rest of the bookmarks, and finding out whether I can use this for backup of my books (the ones I’ve written and am writing) and my photos (personal and business). Let’s see how long I can stay away. This Mac, which ain’t a Mac, is more of a toy than the MacBook. And I got it for free! Oops. The screen went black. I woke it up and found that I hadn’t hit Install. Now I’m not sure what’s going on, but there’s an empty progress bar that is glacially slowly filling. Step away Tom. Step away.
- And go check on Facebook via the MacBook.
- Step thirteen: It just went “twink” and back to black. Knock knock. OK. It’s alive, and feeding. I’ll step away – really this time. Well, not too far. It’s connected to my MacBook and I am using that right now.
- Many steps later: I’ve attempted the intelligent customized sync-ing of much of my MacBook. Time to sit on the couch and play. Does it work well enough for me to play? Nope. Apple has decided to follow in the footsteps of Microsoft. The password authentication has kicked me through several cycles, partly from getting used to the keyboard which counts against my log in attempts. So each new attempt results in a new password that I can’t keep track of or type. Grrr. With that much of a hassle I am sure to visit the app store as infrequently as possible. Nope. Downloaded and installed Netflix (a free app) and can’t find it to launch it. Oh, it was on the next page over even though the first page wasn’t full. Go figure.
- The morning after: Lessons continue. Mobility, yes. Typing this post, no. Everything to its task according to its skills.
- A few days later: The laptop is still my favorite, but that’s because I am a writer (I want a keyboard and mouse), and because my arms aren’t long enough for the iPad (I’m over 50 and the proper distance to the display seems to be one and a half arm lengths if I am not wearing glasses.)
- I keep wanting to rotate my laptop 90 degrees after I’ve used my iPad.
I’m learning. What I haven’t figured out is how, why, and when the mail and calendar sync; but, I suspect I’ll work that out eventually. I can see that the real benefit will come from being able to leave my laptop at home and yet have the majority of the functionality available while I roam. Nice mobility. Where’s the handle?
As for MicroVision, compare this experience with what it took to unwrap and fire up my ShowWX. It took three posts in my old blog starting with: MVIS LTBH ShowWX news – Part One. But hey, that was more complicated, right? Nope. The iPad is more complicated than the ShowWX. But Apple probably put more into the user design and that’s why it cost so much more. Nope. The ShowWX cost more, though that’s a bit of green laser history. I nudge MicroVision this way, not to chastise them for my first experience with them, but to encourage them to consider the user a bit more if they ever release another product.
As for the sudden increase in blog posts, this is partly a consequence of being a writer who writes about timely topics and likes to thank people sooner than later, and while news is fresh. Delay a day and something bigger could happen that slides other news aside. The other reason is that I am slightly nervous this morning. (Check the comments on My Jobs Report Month 11) I have an interview coming up before lunch (as I quickly check the clock – whew, no problem) and one way to think about something else is to type. So I type.
Stay tuned. There’s more news to come – and I might read about it first on my iPad.
Oh yeah, and imagine if the two were combined: an iPad with an embedded picoprojector from MicroVision. Very cool. Come on folks, work with each other to amaze me.