To iPad or not to iPad that is the question


So there I was… giddy like a schoolgirl at a Jonas brothers concert, reading the live blogs as Apple’s Steve Jobs announced the next greatest thing ever in the history of mankind! Then suddenly there it was…. the iPad! Wait… the what!?! Did he say iPad?

Um….what?

Is that really the best name Steve and the team could come up with? Immediately the jokes started playing in my head. Almost like a bad skit on MadTV.

Anyway, back to the announcement.

So I watched and waited and watched and waited and then it was over. My first reaction was….eh… I thought it would have and do more. Maybe it was the overhyping by all the Apple rumor sites or maybe it’s the fact that I work in the technology field and wanted/expected more….I still felt…eh…..

I came out of my office to find that my coworkers all felt about the same ….eh…. So, I intentionally held off posting a blog post for a week to let it sink in and give a true reaction about what was announced so here it is..

This will probably revolutionize the way my mom / my wife / (insert non computer savvy person’s name here) will use a computer.

Now, before you get all crazy and start frothing at the mouth and start yelling and tell me I don’t know what the hell I am talking about or how I probably pray to the great Steve once a day, let me explain. The iPad is the first computing device that when I showed my wife she actually had technolust in her eyes. You know the look. It’s the same look you had when you first held the controller for your Atari 2600 (I am dating myself here) or Super Nintendo or (insert any technology you opened on Christmas morning as a child). That is the look she had. Yes that one. Now realize up to this point my wife has and does use her Macbook on a regular basis and has come to love her iPhone the way Steve intended, but her favorite piece of technology is a P-Touch labeler I bought her a couple of years ago….. That’s right a labeler.

P-Touch Labeler

So, for her to have that look in her eyes it was a startling revelation. The iPad is for folks that don’t care how many Gigahertz their processor has, how much RAM they can install, how big the hard drive is or which of the 4 Web browser they have installed they are using. This is for folks that just want to go to “the internet”, check email, play music, look at photos, and (dare I say it) read a book. They don’t want to wait for the computer to start up, they want to pick it up and do the one thing they need and put it down again (by the way put me in that category).

For years we have talked about how the future of computing will involve devices that are computers themselves yet we don’t think of them that way. They will not be dedicated devices that we are tethered to by way of mouse and keyboard (even wireless ones). Yet when something comes along that moves us in that direction we can’t even see it for what it is. I’ll admit it, I missed it.

Now I’ve heard all the complaints from “it doesn’t have a camera” to “it can’t run flash” and there are plenty more out there and many are valid, but I think you have to step back and look at it from a different viewpoint. Would your mom care? I’m not so sure she would. I think she wants to go look up the latest news or weather or maybe find a recipe online and Steve knows there are plenty of apps in the app store that fit that bill.

So, I’ll be thinking about the iPad the next time my mom calls me to tell me that her computer is not working anymore, or to ask why her hard drive is full or when the long lost friend (that only calls when they have computer problems) calls to say “so I went to this website and my computer froze”. The thought of finally hanging up my “free family tech support” hat for good makes me feel giddy again.

Will it revolutionize the world and make us all hold hands and sing kum ba ya, my Steve, Kum ba ya? Probably not. Will it fill a void and work for a lot of folks? I think it will.

I think they are going to sell a million of these things to “sons/husbands/son-in-laws” just like me.

Steve bless.

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