The iPad

Apple iPad

Harbinger of doom for open computing?

It’s not an open computer. It’s not a Mac. The bottom line: you can’t do the things that an open computing experience allows. You can’t connect the hardware you want, develop or run the software you want, or have the open-ended experience computers have provided.

Or, a home computer for the masses?

Most people have a computer at home. For some (like my mom), it’s an ancient Dell laptop they bought years ago. Others have bought into the netbook trend and invested a small amount of money into a machine that, for most people, can only be irritating to use (slow, small, ugly, and burns your lap – not a recipe for success). A few have actually paid good money for what was supposed to be a modern machine, and actually turned out to be yet another annoying slow, painful-to-use, Windows-based machine infested with trial software, spyware, and sometimes viruses.

In today’s (western) world, not having any computer at home makes life difficult. My mom needs some way to check airline ticket prices, to find out the weather, to go on Facebook, to buy movie tickets, to check her email, to call me on Skype, and a thousand other little uses that aren’t very taxing or challenging for either her or whatever device she’s using.

[…] My mom needs a reasonably priced machine that Simply Works and does all those simple things that she wants to do when she’s at home. […]

[The iPad is] a slick “uncomputer” that’s tailored to those people who don’t actually need a computer.

What do you think?

One Comment

  1. Ian

    God what a dumb argument for the iPad. OK, my laptop, an HP, cost me 850 bucks, has 4 GB of ram, a 320 GB hard drive, a 2.2 GHz dual core processor running 64-bit Windows Vista. It has built in wireless and Bluetooth, a video card which outputs HD via HDMI to my television (super easy to hook up), a CD burner. It easily gets 5+ hours out of its battery when I run it in power saver mode (which still lets me do everything I would want to do). I can basically run it all day at work without having to plug it in. It only runs a little warm when I play video games. It has a built in webcam and I can live video chat with it (something the iPad does not do). I bought this computer a year ago. You could probably do better now. Oh and guess what, I have had no problems with using it due to Windows. It just works! What will the iPad get you for $850?

    I’m sure the mother of the author of that argument will just LOVE typing on a touch screen. Just imagine them sitting there typing slowly with one finger at a time. The iPad probably does have a place, but home computing for people who aren’t good with computers probably isn’t it. The good thing about a tablet with a touch screen is you could walk around and use it standing up. Laptops really won’t work that well for such applications. That would make the iPad a good system for say, walking around a warehouse/store taking inventory? Either way, its a glorified iPhone, and people acting like its going to revolutionize computing are just being Mac fan boys.

    The real problem I see with it is it doesn’t really do anything that amazingly new. It does what a Kindle does, but not arguably better (see the Kindle’s battery life). It does what a laptop does (sort of) but definitely not better. It does what an iPhone does (except make calls). I don’t know, it seems like an in between device with no real one thing that justifies its existence.