April 21, 2010

The iPad is kind of like Twitter.

I have it, and I feel like I could be using it. But I don't really use it. Maybe I think I'm going to be using it. But I also think it's possible that I'm never going to use it. I seem to have a need for it, but I have other things that fit that need that I go back to instead over and over again. And yet there it is, over there. I think I'm going to be going there, maybe later. Maybe tomorrow.

57 comments:

mesquito said...

I use the hell out of my $50 mp3 player. But I know exactly what to use it for.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Think of Twitter as a way for other people to make money on your popularity.

Same with the IPad.

The IPad exists only to sell you - a second time - the apps you already bought for your IPhone.

Soon, there will be an Apple device that is two inches larger to sell you your apps a third time.

And then a fourth.

That is its primary functionality ... to relieve you of any spare cash you might have left after buying an IPhone.

Some people NEED to leach off Steve Jobs' cool because they don't have any of their own.

So, there's an app for that.

rhhardin said...

iPad fills a much-needed gap.

mesquito said...

SEATTLE—With the holiday shopping season officially under way, millions of consumers proceeded to their nearest commercial centers this week in hopes of acquiring the latest, and therefore most desirable, personal device.

"The new device is an improvement over the old device, making it more attractive for purchase by all Americans," said Thomas Wakefield, a spokesperson for the large conglomerate that manufactures the new device. "The old device is no longer sufficient. Consumers should no longer have any use or longing for the old device."


http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-device-desirable-old-device-undesirable,2862/

rhhardin said...

There's stuff that's nicely made that you're happy to own, even though an immediate need forever eludes you.

The Questar 3.5" telescope springs to mind.

Eisenhower gave one to the King of Saudi Arabia once.

rhhardin said...

cont.

My father got one.

You could watch a few RGB dots of the color TV from across the room.

El Pollo Real said...

I think Jobs should buy Twitter before Google does.

El Pollo Real said...

Twitter is well suited for the iPhone, mainly because of portability issues.
I hate reading blogs on my iPhone, but it would probably be easier on an iPad. That's still not a good enough reason to buy one though.

Randy said...

I'm reasonably pleased with mine.

Almost Ali said...

The iPad should be sold [only] in toy stores. Because you won't be keeping up with the Joneses, but the Hannah Montanas.

bagoh20 said...

I've decided the iPad is for old people. Just now, reading this blog.

RLB_IV said...

Althouse,
Please buy one for Meade. Your generosity will create jobs and keep the price of Apple stock high. Consider it your contribution to capitalism even if Meade does not want one.

RLB_IV said...

Two Ipads does a happy house make.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

I've really enjoyed mine so far for watching tv episodes and playing games - I expect to read more on it sooner or later, too.

And a friend of mine used his in front of a jury today to manage presentation of a case summary and a bunch of documentary evidence - maybe the first such legal use of the device ever (Though maybe not. Who knows?). If I had a Mac to handle the presentation software, I'd use it for the same purpose. I'm even considering getting a cheap Mac laptop just for that. But I still view it more as an awesome toy than as a productivity machine.

Anyway, haters gonna hate, and I am never in a position to pooh-pooh cynicism, but I love the thing and expect too get a lot of mileage out of it.

Lem said...

That post made me laugh Althouse.

Methadras said...

Twitter is pointless when facebook already does status updates. Besides, an iPad is so underpowered with little to useless feature sets, you might as well wait from what is being offered by dell, microsoft, asus, HP, and the like. I'm personally waiting for microsofts tablet to come out soon, but if not. I'm doing this one instead.

http://www.entourageedge.com/

Lem said...

The Ipad is like the Titanic DVD..

You never put that thing on.

lol.

lucid said...

It seems to me like the iPad is a device that does a lot of things, but does none of them well. Seems like a lousy idea.

Bob Ellison said...

You draw an interesting analogy. It stems, I think, from a general misunderstanding of what the iPad and Twitter come from, and are useful for.

The iPad is a marketing gimmick. The press loves it because the press doesn't understand tech and is already even more Apple-biased than it is liberal-biased.

Twitter is a marketing gimmick as well. It's not useful for normal folks. It's a way for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to yak about how much he loves a new type of green beans, hoping that his dwindling fanbase will enjoy the yakking.

The rest of us need tools that work. Twitter is no use to us, and the iPad doesn't work very well and is overpriced.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

The iPad is s status device. You are telling people "I have $499 spare just for a new toy device, eat me".

Lem said...

Its possible Althouse wrote this post in the Ipad..

There is something about the texture that looks different.

rdkraus said...

It's just the right size to hold a small salad and a beverage. And if you spill on it, you can use the "wipe it off" app to clean it.

Yos said...

iPad is for people who think McCain is too old, and Obama the new athletic genius (the new iPad) will be better for the US of A ...

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Ann, et al.
RE: My iPad

I've been using mine quite a bit.

[1] Taking notes in classes on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.
[2] Notes at NGO meetings.
[3] Notes at commission meetings where I'm a member of the panel.
[4] Accessing my server from the kitchen to pull up recipes I've stored as PDFs on the server.
[5] Controlling my living room stereo system via my browser.
[6] Controlling various electronics in the largish house via XTension and X10 products.
[7] Surfing the web between activities in the kitchen preparing meals.

That's with the one w/o 3G.

When the one WITH 3G arrives, I'll be using it for GPS activities while traveling in the car, as apparently it is reported to have a GPS chip in it. Then there's the back-packing aspect of GPS with EVERY BLOODY TOPO MAP IN THE COUNTRY on it. [Note: I'll recharge it with THIS.]

So....

....sorry to hear you can't think of a thing to do with your iPad. But, there are things to be done.

They include the ability to use it to work one-on-one with clients and associates. Or flash signs to someone across the room, using Marquee. Let alone playing chess or checkers or other popular board games.

Then there's that business up on Instapundit about how the iPad will crush in-car DVD players.

It's all a matter of stretching your imagination.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The limits of human intelligence are confined only by the constraints of ones imagination.]

P.S. I DID get the wireless keyboard to go with it. The on-board keyboard is (1) too small, (2) lacks important keys and (3) MUCH TOO sensitive for good note-taking.

Bob Ellison said...

Chuck, you could've done all of that, and much more, with a $299 netbook. You paid too much for an underpowered toy.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Bob Ellison
RE: A Netbook

....you could've done all of that, and much more, with a $299 netbook. -- Bob Ellison

Not really, Bob. The netbook is just a smaller computer. It's not 'flat' like a game-board. So it's kludge to play a game with someone on. It doesn't hold up well as a 'sign'. Not as well as the iPad. It's more subject to liquid damage in the kitchen. [Note: That's why I got THIS iPad. To replace a laptop that 'bought it'.] There are myriad games and apps available for as little as $1. And MOST importantly, netbooks work in WINDOWS.

I've worked in BOTH environments and the Mac OS X is far and away SUPERIOR.

Hope that helps....but I suspect that it won't....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Never ask what sort of computer a guy drives. If he's a Mac user, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him? -- Tom Clancy]

VegasGuy said...

Mommies and Daddies forget to tell the children that 'caveat emptor' also applies to the press. Apple has a stable of sycophantic "journalists" who can be depended upon to ooze praise and excitement and column inches whenever Jobs introduces the latest greatest most wonderfulest turd on a stick. His true genius is promoting over-priced commodities as cool tech to people whose identities are tied up in the things they own. He's outdone himself with the iPad.

The Dude Abides said...

Chuck,
I've used Mac OS X and Windows, and Windows is by far superior. I am sure my comments are every bit as valid as yours.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The numbers say that 95% of the beholders use Windows.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Ann, et al.
RE: Heh

The nay-sayers here remind me of Aesop's famous tale of the Fox and the Grapes.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Illegitimi non carborundum!]

P.S. An additional thought on the strength of the iPad over a netbook. Sound quality.

Apparently the back of the iPad works as a speaker diaphragm for mid and low range frequencies when playing music videos such as THIS. The sound I get from the iPad is better than what I get from a laptop.

Bob Ellison said...

Chuck, you're obviously a Mac bigot. I, too, work in both environments, and I have developed and managed product development for both operating systems and others. OS X is very good, but let's not go there. In any case, that's not what the iPad runs.

As I said, you can do what you originally listed, and much more, with a netbook. No doubt you're right that the iPad is more resistant to liquid spills, so I encourage you to spill all the coffee you want on it. Probably most people won't want to experiment much with that.

The iStore market is interesting, but not that interesting to me. The apps are mostly simple-- what else would you expect in a market where it's nearly impossible to build a sustainable business model (because prices are so low and Apple holds a distribution monopoly)?

There is already a much larger market of freeware and shareware available for Windows, OS X, Linux, and other systems, and there is a rapidly growing market for Android. Because the latter employs a truly open business model and development platform, I expect it (or something very like it) to surge past the iPad/iTouch/iPhone model.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Projection, Anyone?

Chuck, you're obviously a Mac bigot. -- Bob Ellison

'nuff said.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Prejudice: A vagrant opinion without visible means of support.]

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Another 'County'....

The numbers say that 95% of the beholders use Windows. -- The Dude Abides

....'herd' from.

I'll wager that if 95% of the 'beholders' were to jump off a cliff, he'd jump too. It's called 'herd mentality'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[When Microsoft finally makes a product that doesn't 'suck', it'll be a vacuum cleaner.]

Anthony said...

Some people NEED to leach off Steve Jobs' cool because they don't have any of their own.

That is probably the most succinct explanation of Mac-heads I have ever seen.

Moose said...

Secondary, or overlap best describes the iPad.

You wouldn't want to view movies on it exclusively, nor surf the web, nor do work, nor read. It's a handy secondary device that makes you feel better about yourself (I'm different, just like everyone else!).

Jobs is milking the market here. He'll eventually (if he lives long enough) have to create an niche for it in terms of content delivery so as to justify it in the long run to consumers.

I predict alot of very cheap used iPads on Ebay in the next year.

Rich said...

I'm a Network Engineer and I quite possibly use every OS made today.

IMO, as far as app selection, ease of use and user environment aesthetics are concerned, Windows 7 is by far superior to them all.

My two cents.

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

The iPad is like the Wii. It is destined for scorn from the hardcore, from those in the know. That's because it isn't aimed at people like you.

The older people who are frightened of computers will buy them like there's no tomorrow.

I rather like mine -it will replace the old laptop on vacations. One fewer bag to haul, longer battery life.

One Fine Jay said...

It's still within the return policy, no? It's not too late!

asdf said...

Windows 7 is the most modern, most flexible, and best desktop OS available today. And it can be run on hardware that's far, far superior to anything OS X can (easily) be run on.

Sorry about your inferior computer.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Anthony
RE: Heh

That is probably the most succinct explanation of Mac-heads I have ever seen. -- Anthony, on some character's idea of 'criticism'

Tell me when YOU become an airborne-ranger. THEN you and that other character can talk to me about 'cool'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[If you had a life in the first place, you'll never have a mid-life crisis. -- CBPelto]

P.S. This iPad is VERY 'cool'....but as a retired infantry officer who's worked with computers since high school—in the 1960s—and has had articles published in professional military journals about their use for logistical planning since the 1980s....I don't need Jobs to make me 'cool'.

I was a paratrooper when jumping out of perfectly good airplanes in flight wasn't 'cool'.

Heck! I was jumping C130s before the fathers of most of the nay-sayers here learned how to jump a prom date....

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: asdf
RE: [OT] Windows 7

Windows 7 is the most modern, most flexible, and best desktop OS available today. -- asdf

Maybe. Maybe not. The jury is still out on that one. It isn't as blatantly obvious as the fiasco known as Vista was.

And it can be run on hardware that's far, far superior to anything OS X can (easily) be run on. -- asdf

Don't you just LOVE competition? In the long run, we—the users—benefit.

Imagine what life in the computing realm would be like WITHOUT the competition between Microsoft and Apple. We'd still be using Apple IIs and running DOS3.3.

So, I look forward to Apple's next effort to ratchet up the level of computing.

Sorry about your inferior computer. -- asdf

Soooo.....

....tell me. What's the cost to put a fully functional server in YOUR house? Please include the cost of hiring a consultant to get it (1) up and running, (2) do what you want it to do and (3) maintain it.

Mine cost less than $1K. And mine is a proto-type for 'Jarvis' from Iron Man.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Best way to dispose of the Borg: Give them Windows Vista.]

Hucbald said...

Having an imagination would help, as would traveling. With both of those, you'd find it indispensable. Traveling you could do something about, but there are no imaginations for sale at Target.

Ha, my word verification was "pron pre." Must be Palm's answer to the App Store.

Bart DePalma said...

Ann:

I have largely replaced my laptop with the ipad except for extended typing.

As an attorney, I can bring the ipad to court like another file and get work done without hauling around a bulky 6 lbs laptop. There is no more worrying about running out of charge because ipad charge lasts 10 hours or so.

The nearby courts have wifi access, so I can draft pleadings on Pages on the ipad, email them to my office computer and then use the ipad to remotely efile the pleading from the office computer and print it out there for later hardcopy filing.

There is no better way to interact with internet on any platform and no better way to do emails with a computer this small. The ipad cover cleverly seconds as a stand and I can type out emails nearly as fast as I can on my imac at the office.

Multitasking comes with iphone OS 4.0 this summer.

The only things I miss are a parallel port for printing and less so a video camera for video conferencing. However, there are apps for wifi printing and there is an aperture you can see at the top of the ipad for a future camera. You can probably do blogging heads with the ipad 2.0 from some park somewhere instead of your office.

Bryan said...

I use Windows Vista on the desktop. I like it and have few complaints. But for web browsing, booting up a computer has become quaint since I purchased the iPad.

So far the iPad has served my family as a daily planner, journal, web tablet, media tablet, and e-reader. While it is technically true that you can do many of these things on a netbook, the experience is not the same and in many ways inferior. For one, I have yet to come across a netbook that has a screen anywhere as good as the iPad. The comparison is not close. Reading an ebook on a netbook is possible but compared to an iPad, pathetic.

Getting the same functionality I have on my iPad on my desktop/netbook would entail spending hundreds of dollars on applications. I would also have to invest in malware protection and spend a not insignificant time watching an hour glass while software loads and shuts down. The iPad is instant on. The software launches immediately. The iPad does not replace a desktop, but in some ways it is superior.

Bob Ellison said...

Bryan, thanks for your comments. I keep thinking about getting an iPad but haven't quite been able to rationalize it. Your note about "instant on" seems like a potentially game-winning issue-- it reminds me of the advent of common cable/DSL connection, when everyone talked about broadband being the issue, when to me, the most important point was that it was always on. "Instant on" might be similar. I leave my kitchen Mac and my Win7 desktop on all the time, but of course my netbook hibernates when not in use, and the lag is irritating.

Do you find the browser sufficient for nearly all of your uses? Lack of Flash support seems like a potential game-loser, but I'm unsure. I gather you have no significant complaints.

Bryan said...

Bob, the lack of Flash has been a bigger issue for my 5 year old than for me. He enjoyed playing Flash games on children's websites. On the other hand, he now has a number of children apps on the iPad that occupy his time.

For my part, the lack of Flash has not been much of an issue. That is likely because I spend a majority of my browsing time reading news and blog sites. But yes, from time to time I come across something I cannot view.

former law student said...

The IPad exists only to sell you - a second time - the apps you already bought for your IPhone.

It occurred to me that the iPad was merely the Large Print Edition of the iPhone -- something that caters to presbyopic Baby Boomers as their physical faculties decline.

Michael McNeil said...

There's stuff that's nicely made that you're happy to own, even though an immediate need forever eludes you. The Questar 3.5" telescope springs to mind.

The Questar is a type of telescope known as a “Rich Field Telescope” that to my mind is much more enjoyable and generally useful (for amateur astronomy) than the usual long 'scope, which basically is too powerful and has too narrow a field of view for viewing anything other than the occasional bright planet and the Moon.

The problem with the long telescopes is that their typical high magnification also proportionately reduces the amount of light, which combined with a narrow field of view, makes large, dim, dispersed objects like star clusters, galaxies, and comets just an unrecognizable patch of gray.

Low power, wide angle 'scopes like Rich Field Telescopes (or a good pair of astronomical binoculars — I have a pair of 10 x 70's) will do a good job on those objects, whose exploration — for me anyway — is much more enjoyable than just looking occasionally at Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon.

New said...

To Chuck (re: 4/22/10 9:16 AM),

Wow. Can you elaborate on how you do all these wonderful things via iPad? What apps do you use? What accessories did you get? Why get a 3G when you have a wifi? Etc.

Thanks.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: New
RE: Elaborations

Most of the grunt work is done by a Mac Mini Server running OS X 10.6.3 Server.

Additional apps that are being used to proto-type 'Jarvis' include, but are not limited to:

XTension
EvoCam
Phlink
FileMaker Pro
iTunes
iCal
Mobile Air Mouse
Bluetooth (class 1) headset
Bluetooth (class 1) antenna
SqueezeBox (via Firefox)
AppleScripting scripts and applets I've developed
QuicKeys

The iPad in this system is, for the most part, an interface device, i.e., a glorified remote control for manual activation/deactivation of X10 devices via Mobile Air Mouse.

Eventually, I'll have a complete stand-alone app.

As for other things, e.g., GPS, that's MotionX GPS and MotionX GPS Drive. However, I use Topo for the topographic maps. All of those apps are available from the iTunes store for less than $10 each.

The 3G iPad has the GPS chip set in it. The WiFi does not.

I got the iPad w/o 3G for use in the kitchen, as the old G4 PowerBook bit the dust several years after a close encounter of the third kind with a bowl of split pea soup. [Note: The green fire spewing from the FireWire port was particularly 'interesting'.]

The iPad w/3G will be my primary notepad and travel tracking.

Hope that helps....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Work smarter. Not harder.]

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: former law student
RE: Actually....

It occurred to me that the iPad was merely the Large Print Edition of the iPhone -- something that caters to presbyopic Baby Boomers as their physical faculties decline. -- former law student

....it's more along the lines of 'division of labor'.

The servers do one thing.
The desk machines do other things.
The laptops do a lot of what the desk machines do, but are more portable. To include multi-tasking and major audio-visual presentation support.
The iPods are for music and single-person games, voice recording of meetings and reading.
The iPhone is for telecommunications and camera work and traveling GPS. [Note: It's going to be difficult to mount the iPad on the dashboard.]
The iPad is for note-taking, one-on-one presentation, graphics work, topographic navigation, movies in the car, one-on-one games, etc., etc., etc....as described above.

You use one tool for one thing. You use other tools for other things. And, betwixt them, there is a degree of redundancy that if one system fails you for whatever reason, you're not totally bereft of equipment.

Hope that helps....but for some odd reason, I have serious doubts....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[If it's important, you need two of them. If it's VITAL, three. -- Professor at the US Army Logistics Executive Development Course (LEDC)]

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: New "Hussein" Ham
RE: Wrong

The IPad exists only to sell you - a second time - the apps you already bought for your IPhone. -- New "Hussein" Ham

You don't do much shopping with iTunes Store, do you.

Otherwise, you'd know that if you bought the app for your iPod it would be automatically installed on your iPhone and, now, iPad.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. Anyone else here catch the item that Popular Mechanics still rates the iPhone as the 'Gold Standard' of the smartphone arena?

Francis Barragan said...

I agree with you in the sense that I know that if I bought one, it would be left on my desk on my way to work.

that being said, there's no going back, it's the future so it will get its uses, inevitably.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Francis Barragan
RE: Better Than....

I agree with you in the sense that I know that if I bought one, it would be left on my desk on my way to work. -- Francis Barragan

....leaving it on your desk on your way home from work.

Or in a bar after to many 'good beers'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Ever stop to think and forget to start again?]

Jim Hu said...

I'm using mine quite a bit... But then I knew what my major uses were going to be before I laid hands on it.

- Reading PDFs and ebooks that I used to read on my iPhone (I need color for the PDFs, so a kindle was out)
- web surfing away from my laptop (like now)

I'm satisfied and I use it even though it does not do some things I thought it would (mirrored VGA, or allow editing of google docs).

There are also things I use it for that are pleasant surprises, but not sufficient to buy it without the major uses.

Michael McNeil said...

Then there's the back-packing aspect of GPS with EVERY BLOODY TOPO MAP IN THE COUNTRY on it. [Note: I'll recharge it with THIS.]

Note that the Brunton Solaris products pointed to above cost $208.40 for the 6 watt version and $409.60 for the 12 watt version when ordered from the manufacturer; however, from Amazon the same products cost $94.74 (6 watt) and $183.73 (12 watt) — note that commenters found the 6 watt version too underpowered to work effectively for iPods and iPhones much less iPads — while a 26 watt version costs just $278.30 at Amazon (and is accompanied by a number of good reviews).

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Michael McNeil, et al.
RE: Funny....

Note that the Brunton Solaris products pointed to above cost $208.40 for the 6 watt version and $409.60 for the 12 watt version when ordered from the manufacturer; however, from Amazon the same products cost $94.74 (6 watt) and $183.73 (12 watt) — note that commenters found the 6 watt version too underpowered to work effectively for iPods and iPhones much less iPads — while a 26 watt version costs just $278.30 at Amazon (and is accompanied by a number of good reviews). -- Michael McNeil

....I got MINE from Amazon.com.

What's your point? Some months ago. So the environment shifted? What did you expect in this environment, anyway?

No matter how advanced the technology you buy into, within a few months it is 'outdated'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The enemy of 'good' is 'better'.]

P.S. So....

....when do you decide to buy into the 'tech'?