My Apple collection over morning coffee (photo taken by my iPhone)
South Lyme, Conn.
July 25, 2011
After a very convincing argument from friend and high-tech entrepreneur Doug Levin, I bought an Apple iPad a few weeks ago. Now, I am not going to say that "it changed my life" forever, especially considering I am still reeling at the amount I paid-- considering the accessories for which I splurged, but the iPad is a pretty amazing little device.
The iPad has become my media center. I have signed up for a digital New York Times subscription. I also use it to ready the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, the New Yorker and Sports Illustrated. I love the CNN app, which cleverly combines video and text, along with the CNN radio hourly update, in a way that complements my other news sources.
I am connected into my MobileMe account through the gallery and idisk applications, allowing me to view documents on the iPad as part of both professional and personal pursuits. I often surf for videos on the iPad and then use the built in sharing feature to watch on my television, channeling the Apple TV box I bought this spring.
I am now fully hooked into the consumerization of IT trend. I use the iPad to check work email. The touch-pad keyboard is a bit clunky, but it is way better than the interface on the iPhone.
Yes, I also have an iPhone, and I am typing this post on my MacBook. I am a big supporter of Apple, both financially and through word of mouth. There was a day earlier in July where I bought a new iPhone, the iPad and a Shuffle within three hours (from two different stores). So I probably new ahead of time that Apple's earnings would be phenomenal.
I will say one thing that I have proven-- the iPhone and iPad do balance out a use of a laptop. It is true that the web surfing and email checking I do on the phone and the iPad I can do on my laptop. The cynics make this argument nicely, especially related to the iPad, as at least the iPhone serves a mobile purpose. It would be hard to carry the iPad everywhere to check email.
On the whole, however, the iPad and iPhone have cut down my laptop use dramatically. The overwhelming majority of my computer use involves simple tasks that are easily done by the devices. Checking email. Looking up the Yankees score. Investigating something on Wikipedia. Laptop not necessary.
So hats off to Steve Jobs. He truly is the computer genius of our time. And certainly I worry about Apple's founder as well, given his illness. The last time Steve stepped away from the helm of Apple, the product line suffered. I know from personal experience.
I bought my first Apple product in 1994, when I moved to Boston to go to Boston University. I pooled together a lot of money and bought a Powerbook 150 laptop and a printer. It was a big deal that the computer had a modem; at the time, "dialing-in" to BU's campus network to check this thing called email was bleeding-edge stuff.
I still have the Powerbook 150. That sucker survived years of college pounding, numerous term papers, and a three-month jaunt to Washington during my semester there in 1996.
My brother Scott was so impressed by it that he ran out to the local computer store and bought his town Apple laptop. Except something had happened in the delta between my purchase and his. Steve Jobs had left Apple.
My brother's machine, was, to put it nicely, a piece of crap. It crashed all the time, and it froze when it didn't crash. He had a color screen that never really looked right. He hated it.
Steve Jobs Apple products and non-Steve Jobs apple products are the difference between the iPad and the iCrap.
For now, at least, I am enjoying my Apple-powered life.