Friday, October 22, 2010


I have access to a hand-held gps, a cell phone, and a desktop computer. I haven't owned a smart phone. I haven't found the need to own one. There have been maybe 3 circumstances in the last 2-3 months where I would have enjoyed having one; looking up inane facts, and movie show times. And I was probably within reach of a desktop computer 30 minutes later. If it really were an "emergency" couldn't you just call someone who you thought might be at a computer, text Google, or call an operating service?

At $560 for the cheapest iPad (wifi, 16gig) and $700 if you add the 3g card, that you have to pay additional charges to actually use ($25/30 days), they seem a bit overpriced. Since I already have a desktop computer that I for-see lasting me at least another 5 years (tg it's Ubuntu), I was trying to figure out what iPad was actually offering me that seemed to be sucking me in. If you think about the percentage of your day not spent near a desktop computer, where having a computer could be useful, what percentage do you come up with? I fall into the travel laptop category... which is a hole in my day that doesn't much need a computer

The only two things this has over any other computer are 1)Touchscreen 2)Portability. It is larger than an iphone/ipod touch, but smaller than a laptop.


  • iPad: (16Gig, WiFi, $560), (16Gig, Wifi+3G[$25/30days], $700) I'd like to say the 3G version is a better investment. So if you need 3G you can activate it, but $140 for a safety feature seems a bit excessive.
  • Wireless Keyboard: $70 - If this were going on a trip with me any where that I needed to type more than a few sentences I would want to bring this along. I am a bit annoyed that it is bigger than the screen. Maybe there is a way to hook in one of those gelly keyboards via usb. After all, it isn't like you really need it to be wireless, the screen isn't even 10in. How far away were you planning on sitting from it?
  • Case/Stand: $50 The case can be propped up in two positions so that it can be used in collaboration with the keyboard.

Software (Purpose - Name - Price: Notes):

  • Web Browser - Safari - Free: Though Flash doesn't work, youtube and facebook do! Plus it is a webkit browser like Chrome, so it can support some fancy styles in CSS.
  • Ebook Reading - iBooks - Free: Not actually bundled but you can download it from their app section. There is also a kindle app so that it can tap into amazon's kindle service. Honestly that makes a lot more sense, as then you can share books between that and the kindle (with page syncing).
  • Photo Viewer - Photo - Free:
  • Maps - Google Maps - Free: Goes in full screen mode. The 3G iPad can plan out directions for you. Though honestly I want google earth with maps of my area pre-downloaded.
  • PDF Viewer - Built in
  • Word Editor - Pages - 9.99: A separate purchase from the app store
  • Spreadsheet - Excel - 9.99: A separate purchase from the app store
  • Presentation - Keynote - 9.99: A separate purchase from the app store

Notes & Epiphanies:

  • You can turn it sideways!~
  • It can aggregrate mail from gmail in it's own iMail (or you can just visit the site...) Though I must admit it would be nice to have your emails stored on your iPad.
  • 178 degree viewing angle.
  • "Syncing" videos/movies you buy is probably going to blow and involve going back and forth with itunes. I'd love it if it were like Amazon's Kindle service and could just make a notation that I have purchased Star Trek and am now legally allowed to watch it anywhere/anytime.
  • Instant on/off.
  • 10 hour battery life
  • There is a netflix app?!
  • There is a Pandora app?! That you can't use while using any other feature of the iPad... uhm..what? Apparently this is called multi-tasking, we all do it constantly, but it isn't built in to the iPad. Thank heaven that you can have multiple web pages open at the same time. I am guessing their reason for this is to reduce the load on the computer.
So after all of that the only part of it that I currently do now is read ebooks. I have a kindle for that, and I really like e-ink a lot more than an led / lcd / staring at a light bulb. The newest kindle (with free 3g) is only $190, hell you could buy 2 DX Kindles (9.7in screen, free 3g) [or 5 kindles with wifi!] for the price of one 3G iPad (+$25/30days 3g). I must admit that playing with great looking photos on the iPad was really cool and interactive. Besides that... is it actually easier to relearn an interface to fill a non-computing gap in your day, that might not even exist? I am all for making better computers that are intuitive to use, but I feel like these slates / tablets are trying to fill a market that doesn't really exist. At least they don't exist if you have ever owned a computer (lap/desk). Perhaps these are toys for our younger generation. The users that need access to one very portable and fast computer. One that isn't focussed on word processing or older forms of communication (like writing). If that is the case then the iPad is going to sky rocket in popularity when it introduces a camera for video calls and a mic or bluetooth headset making it into an oversized phone.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baby Flamingos at Woodland Park Zoo

Two new baby flamingos were born recently at Woodland Park Zoo. One was born 10 days ago, and the other only three days ago. If you enjoyed these photos visit my portfolio on flickr.