01 April 2010

Waiting For iPad...

Earlier this month, on 12 March, along with thousands of other shameless Fanboys and Fangirls, I queued up to order Apple’s latest new Shiny Thing: the iPad. I had just come home from a long nightshift and waited up, nervously watching the clock with one eye, while nervously watching my eMac’s screen with the other as I compulsively refreshed the browser. Finally, the appointed hour of 08:30 EST arrived and the “Back Soon” page on the Apple Store was replaced by the “Pre-order the iPad here” link. With slightly sweaty and trembling hands, I made my selection: the 64GB WiFi model...

I have been a Mac-user since System 7. My first brand-new Mac was a 333MHz “Lime” iMac running OS 8.6, purchased from CompUSA in 1998. That iMac (her name is “Seven”) is still in my house and is quite operational. I’ve since acquired four others: a 600MHz “Flower Power” iMac SE, a 1.25GHz eMac, a 500MHz Dual USB iBook and inherited from my late brother, a 2GHz Core Duo MacBook. I even have a Newton eMate 300 (Yes, it boots!). All of these machines were either purchased second-hand, or were gifted to me.

My Apple iPad will be the first time in my Mac-user career that I have obtained the latest hardware on “Day Zero” of its deployment from the Mother Ship. I’ve been transformed back into that excited child, marking off the endless remaining days to Christmas morning!

I have some big plans for my new little iPad. It will replace my EeePC-900 Linux-powered netbook. I loved the rugged portability of my netbook, with its SSD and no moving parts but the fan. However, the worst thing about it was that it wasn’t a Mac: I was constantly forced to bend, twist and otherwise convolute my workflows to get data and content in and out of it. Not to mention that the Linux operating-system (Eeebuntu) required far more attention to keep it running than I was accustomed to. On at least three occasions things suddenly broke to the point that it totally refused to boot, requiring me to “nuke and pave” the drive, total reinstallation of the OS. Also, the unpredictable battery life of the ASUS machine pushed me to purchase a 8800mih aftermarket battery, which effectively doubled the weight of the unit. All of these impediments have led me to carry the MacBook to and from my job (and other places). Although Eve (the MacBook) can quite easily handle anything task I throw at her, it is a bit of a worry carting her around because of her sentimental value and the potential cost of repairing any damage that might occur in transit.

The iPad will beautifully fill my need for a power-efficient ultraportable Mac. It’s thin, solid-state form-factor will enhance its mechanical reliability. The 64GB model has twice the storage of my netbook. And the advertised 10 hour battery life kicks the crap out of the ASUS (not even 10 hours STANDBY time!). I’ll be managing my schedule, reading ebooks/documents, sketching, editing photos, taking meeting notes, managing my email, updating my blog and writing my papers on my iPad. It should fit nicely into the space occupied by my MacBook in my workbag with no fuss at all.

I believe that it’s very likely for me to end up using the iPad in many ways and for many purposes I haven’t even considered yet. Because of the device’s unique physical form, I’m quite sure to take it places I wouldn’t think of taking a MacBook.

I'll just be here, sitting quietly on corner... waiting for the Big Brown Truck to appear...


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