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iPad has Landed

iPad has landed

There is a new device available today and maybe you have heard of it. It is called the iPad by Apple Computer Inc. In a nutshell it is a tablet and/or a personal digital assistant (PDA) type device. It functions just like an oversized iPhone but has the possibility to be much more and may completely change the computing landscape.

When Apple Computer introduced the first Macintosh, computers were a frustrating and easy to forget bunch of commands that you issued via a keyboard. Some of us remember DOS or Apple BASIC. Commands such as list, run and programs run off of floppy disks were all issued with the help of a keyboard. The first 128k Mac changed all of that. With a mouse, you could quickly move point open and close, save, copy and print items. It changed the computing landscape for several decades. With the advent of the iPhone and navigation and interaction via touch (called multi-touch), computing became much more natural and this much more natural experience is now spilling into larger computing platforms such as the iPad.

This even more natural interaction is creating a whole new landscape which could change the way we interact with computers. After seeing demos of the iPad and some of the productivity applications, I began to think that the old desktop environment which has been popular for the last 20 years seems a bit out of style. It will be interesting to see how this touch interaction permeates the computing environment, especially the desktop environment because it will require a different setup.

I have to admit, I have been trying to create an iPad type of experience using a clunky small tablet computer. Something that is not a full computer is highly portable, and has a screen that is just large enough to get things done on. But a hacked down laptop is frustrating in its own right given slow processors and small screen real estate, but I have used it enough in situations where a desktop or normal laptop won't work, like exercising or on the couch or in bed and the small just large enough computer works great. This is where the iPad will succeed, but the question is is there enough people who realize the utility of this new advice to make it successful after the first initial buzz wears off? The jury is still out on that. The iPhone, iPod and even the Android system have paved the way for this device to be accepted outside of the normal geek sphere.

The Apple Newton debuted with a lot of buzz, but later floundered and was taken off of life support in 1998. The iPad is not in the same situation, and this is probably a good thing.

I am hoping 8 years from now, we can look back and see that the iPad did change personal computing and that I will type up stories like this one on an iSlate or something similar.

You can buy an iPad online, in person at an Apple Store, Best Buys and the local Mac Cafe on Talmadge Road.