My thoughts on the Apple iPad

Yes, we all read Fraser Speirs‘ excellent Future Shock and we’ve listened to the constant whining of the less space than a Nomad folks and we’re asking ourselves when a new Dell ever elicited this response.

“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” – Henry Ford


I’m as geek as they come, as you may be able to tell from some of the other posts on this very blog, yet my fellow geeks are letting us down in some way. The current argument in favour of the iPad is “It’s not for me, of course, but I can see my Gran getting one.” This is an argument I feel is still a little faster horse. To understand why I want an iPad, I have to go back a little into my past. I used to love overclocking games PCs: TNT cards, AXIA-Ys, Arctic Silver, these all bring back fond memories, but I found I needed a computer for when my PC was up on blocks and for that, I had a G4-400 PowerMac. These days, in my day job, I make Linux sit up and beg, but when I get home, I use a 13″ MacBook. But, it’s time; I don’t want to care what browser I’m using. I want to look at the web, not the browser. I do mails, Twitter and the occasional SSH session (Yes, iSSH is coming to the iPad) to my server to make sure it’s behaving. Sure, I do a lot of video conversions too, but those are offloaded to the TV’s pet Mac Mini, and the only time I’d need to use the CPU is for assorted photo tasks. As geek as I am, nine times out of ten, I’d be happier on a computer-as-commodity as I want the content with as few speed bumps between me and it as possible. If I can also read books and comics on it, that’s a bonus.

A quick digression; comics. Well, comic publishers, you’ve got just under two months. There’s a little bit of piracy out there with CBR and CBZ files on the torrent sites, but that’s nothing compared to the underground industry that will pop up around the iPad. Get a delivery model sorted out and do it soon because in two months, people will be putting comics on the iPad. On the whole, they’d much prefer to do it legally, but if that’s not an option, they will pirate them. When piracy is easier than legally buying comics, it’s hard to blame the pirates. Get it sorted. Fast.

Where were we? Oh yes.

Yeah, I think I called it.

I’m pretty sure I can replace my laptop with an iPad for well over 90% of my computing needs, and the remaining photo stuff would necessitate my pulling the MacBook out once a week or so at the most. I’m going to give it a go and get myself the lowest spec iPad and I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. I firmly believe the nay-sayer geeks will, if they can get past their pride, come round to this way of thinking. Like Henry Ford implied in the quote above, sometimes you’ve got to give them something better than what they could come up with themselves.

So, there you go, nothing groundbreaking or new, but that’s my thoughts.

Please leave a comment or drop me a tweet. Interesting times lie ahead. Oh, and read my brother Scott’s view over on his blog.

Jared Earle is a writer, photographer and systems administrator. You can find him on Twitter most of the time.

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