iPad and my musings

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iantm's picture
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What, no thread for the iPad already? I haven't been that much of a regular on here lately ... Anyways, initially it looked like nothing more than a 10" iPod touch to me. The more I look at it, and the more I think about it - I think that this *may* be the next big thing for Apple. I honestly believe that it may be the device that defines 2010. It's a fundamental shift, but I think that as the iPhone OS evolves - the Mac platform will either merge with it into one OS or be replaced by it some time in the not so distant future.

I burned out some time ago, left the computer industry (now working as an auto mechanic), and had ZERO enthusiasm for any new Apple product launches (since mid 2004, I started to lose enthusiasm and after the 13" macbook first came out - lost all enthusiasm). The thing that gets me is that, for once - I am excited about this. Am I getting my spark back? Did it take leaving the industry to get back the joy I once had in it?

Will I buy one? In the old days (i.e. before marriage, car payments, commitments, etc.), I definitely would have. Now, I probably will some time in the distant future when I can plunk down $2k for one and a 22" iMac.

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I agree that the iPad (horrib

I agree that the iPad (horrible name incidentally, they should have gone with iSlate) will be a huge hit for Apple as was the iPhone and iPod touch, but I don't think it'll revolutionize the computer industry, or make personal computers obsolete -- instead, it'll revolutionize the print media industry.

There's no way Apple would "merge" Macs with the iPad onto one platform -- nobody would be able to get any work done. There's a reason iPad doesn't do multitasking; it's because the way people will use it won't require it to be able to. The iPad is really, as Alton Brown says, a unitasker. You'll pick it up to quickly peek through your e-mail inbox, then put it back down. Or you'll surf the Web for half an hour, then go off to do something else. Even if the iPad ran a full version of OS X with the Finder and everything, people wouldn't sit there with one and do a marathon Photoshop session with it. The iPad, iPod touch and iPhone are, for the most part, content-review devices and not content-creation devices. That's largely what most netbooks are used for these days anyway; people check e-mail, surf the Web or play back movies/music on them -- their keyboards are too cramped to do any serious typing, and their processors too slow (deliberately so, in the interest of battery life) to do anything else. The Macintosh isn't going anywhere.

That said, will I buy one myself? I haven't decided. The price is certainly right considering Apple makes it (if any other manufacturer had made the iPad, it would be priced about 30% less), and it performs some functions I would find useful, but I wouldn't use it on a daily basis like I do my iPhone, and if I'm not going to use it daily I'd want it to otherwise do anything I want (like my MacBook). Like with the iPhone/iPod touch, where the iPad will really prove its worth is with the apps that will be written for it.

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Newton

This could come close to making me finally step away from my Newton, but the lack of stylus support kills it for me.

Also, this thing needs a camera on one or both sides of the pad - one for using it as a camera the other for video chat. While using it as a camera is no a big need, it is definetely on the nice-to-have kist since I am griping about things...

The 3g model would be nice if it might support use of the device as a phone - Bluetooth headset of course...

The real killer, all of this aside, is that like the iPhone, I can only hold so much historical email on the device. Not saying I need to hold 1Gig of old emails, but the last 200 is far less than what I need (2000 maybe).

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Unexciting

I'm thoroughly unexcited by the iPad. What it comes down to, its just a giant iPhone/iTouch/PDA. I would be a lot more interested if it ran a real operating system - even if it was just a stripped down version of OS X.
Now granted, this is mostly a platform announcement - remember the very first iPhone OS? This could get a lot better. But until it does, I'm going to remain skeptical about its future and technical value. It isn't "revolutionary", it isn't "magical", it isn't even that cool. Its a giant iPhone. Everything it does, my iPhone already does. It only does it bigger, and maybe a bit faster.

Sorry Apple, should have gone the netbook route...

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Re: Unexciting

I do have to agree I'm not excited by the iPad.

While on the subject of netbooks, I see not one single thing in the iPad that is superior to the eeepc I already own. Plus, my eeepc has a built-in screen protector called "closing the lid."
And a webcam.

The iPad also gets a big "ptbbttt!" (that's my best Bill the Cat raspberry) for being a locked-down "run only the paid apps we say you can run" device. I can almost understand that for the iPods, but for a tablet PC form factor? Bite me, Steve... and the DRM you rode in on.

If Apple released something closer to the 5-year-old HP Compaq TC4200 I'd certainly grab one. Multi-touch screen, x86 based, with perhaps an iPod Touch-like interface that could be turned off to reveal a 'real' OS, much like the Xandros interface could on the early eeepcs.
Instead, Apple delivered a Duplo ("big bricks for small hands!") version of an iPod Touch. Better luck next time.

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The Write Up.....

On ZDnet it was about half and half pro and con. One guy called it "The Maxi-Pad" hinting that it may be akin to a feminine napkin.
I think that this time Steve J. is about a day late and a dollar short. There are so many other companies out there with pad-like devices (with and without lids) available that the iPad is already an also ran. All that hype with just a small payout. Hmmmm.

I personally do not have a use for a device like that so I will probably wind up with a 22 inch iMac.

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:D

I plan on picking one up as soon as they ship. Looks like the perfect on the go device for me. Internet access, multimedia and a place to offload pics from the digital camera, etc...

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The iPad is Spock "Fascinating"

But will I buy one? Probably not. The only reason I will be replacing this Pismo (probably with a 1.33 iBook AND a Mac Mini on the desk) is it's speed and lack of accelerated video make it a dog unsuitable to playback any video except DVD. I don't know how much video the iPad can do, my iPod touch is really great and I never move the Pismo off the desktop any more but it seems to only play about half the internet video I try.

I don't lament the lack of Flash support, Flash is a hog that should be turned into bacon, I wish the internet would move away from Flash and toward Open Video and other means of animation.

But the iPad makes most older Mac laptops look dated and overpriced if all you are doing is 'casual computing' like I do on my iPod. And the use of it for ebooks is really nice. And the fact that it only costs $10 more than the vile abortion of design that is Kindle is great.

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Re: I agree that the iPad: Reader/Writer Functions

Dr. Webster wrote:

... I don't think it'll revolutionize the computer industry, or make personal computers obsolete -- instead, it'll revolutionize the print media industry.

There's no way Apple would "merge" Macs with the iPad onto one platform ... it's because the way people will use it ... The iPad, iPod touch and iPhone are, for the most part, content-review devices and not content-creation devices.

Very interesting and germane points Dr. W. However the iPods with (video) camera's and the iPad with keyboard show that these are in fact becoming content creation devices. With the idea that each of these devices is targeted for a linked set of functions to replace an older and somewhat archaic technology (e.g. newspapers,magazines, books and other 2D media for iPad), I think the next big component to make an iPad very useful within its' theme would be to have a camera and OCR, to capture existing text. As the iPad will have access to Apple's current word processor program, I think that it would be a good fit. Or would the OCR tax the new A4 processor too much?

BTW I think that this topic should be moved to Other Computers, where I started a topic ("Apple //tb ?") on the iPad progenitor prototypes (one used an Apple //c keyboard).

That other topic shows a form factor that is very similar to the new iPad and its' array of Apple issued accessories this time around (the keyboard/pad stand and dock). In other words, the iPad was really planned and designed by Steve Jobs back in 1983. Don't believe it? Look at the pictures. The main two differences between the old design and the new one is that the old one had a floppy disk drive (for memory transfer & storage, this function has been replicated by Flash RAM, docking, and wireless communications), and a stylus. Without knowing about the old design, some people have been requesting/suggesting the use of the stylus.

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It's a new paradigm for the l

It's a new paradigm for the low end user and a good way to set up individuals who are still uncomfortable using computers with something easy to use. Will it uproot the dominance of Windows? No. Will it displace the mac? Not anytime soon.

However, the iPad addresses some of the major obstacles that Windows CE, Mobile, and XP Tablet edition were still unable to overcome. Because it is a different interface than standard Mac OS X - you won't find yourself thinking in the same way you would with OS X. The iPod, iPhone, and now iPad fulfill the dreams of the Newton team in the early 1990's, but the rest of the world has caught up with those concepts - so they work now.

Will the interface ultimately become nothing more than a front end for Mac OS X on tablet devices in the future - most likely. I see a bright, bright future for the iPad and all of the other iPhone OS based devices.

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Ugh. The "P" word.

iantm wrote:

It's a new paradigm for the low end user and a good way to set up individuals who are still uncomfortable using computers with something easy to use.

People have been tossing out that "new paradigm" phrase for at least a decade and a half now, applying it to WebTV, Internet Appliances, Pen Tablets... the one thing uniting all these technologies is they've utterly failed to displace the general-purpose computer for anything but niche applications, and they've *always* failed to pry the low-end users away from their computers. A low-end computer is always cheaper and/or more versatile than these alternatives.

(Why would a low-end shopper looking for value rather than panache buy the iPad? Even at $499 it costs as much or more than an entry-level dual-core laptop. As for the higher cost models most phone companies will give you a Netbook for somewhere between a couple-hundred bucks and *free* for signing up for a data plan. The terms of the plan are usually worse than what's been stated for the iPad, but a *lot* of people rationalize that they'd never possibly use more than 250GB a month or whatnot, and even paying $40 instead of $30 monthly, well, when you factor in the free Netbook the TCO for the life of the machine will be lower.)

The iPad is certainly going to appeal to same style-conscious types that eat up the rest of Apple's products, but it's a *huge* stretch to try to say that this is going to be the new way for Grandma to get on the Internet. Grandma's going to be just afraid of the mysterious silver tablet as she is of the computer. If nothing else the "multi-touch" interface is going to confuse the living heck out of her.

(Something I do find ironic is how loathe Apple as been to apply their multi-touch-ery consistently across their product lines. Why have they *still* not introduced a touchscreen iMac, if they're so proud of their interface "revolution"? HP has had their "Touchsmart" PCs on the market for almost four years now. They're not perfect by a long shot, but at least HP has had the guts to get it out there.)

Anyone who thinks Apple is an innovative *technology* company doesn't get out much. Their magic is entirely in packaging and marketing. I'm sure they're going to sell plenty of iPads, don't get me wrong, but it's not because they've invented anything of technological value here. The hardware is a bigscreen PDA, which has been done many a time before. (PepperPads, Archos IMTs, a slew of Nokia devices...) The key Apple is counting on for success is unlike its previous "media pad" competitors it'll be launching the iPad with a content delivery system already in place with the iTunes/App Store. (Previous media pads usually had fairly half-a**ed methods of getting paid content on the devices, and thus forced the company to make *all* their money off the initial sale of the hardware.) The iPad isn't a technology product, it's a content delivery platform. Apple doesn't *want* people using it as a computer, they want people to buy movies and games and books and magazines and gawd knows what else with it. *That* is the benchmark that Apple will use to measure the success of the iPad. If every single Mac junky bought one and put the sales into the multi-millions the iPad would still be a failure if all those users then proceeded to do nothing with them but send email, type iWork documents, and browse the web. It's just like a high-powered gaming console would be a failure if everyone bought them solely to play DVD movies or homebrew on. The company depends on a constant income stream from licensed game sales, not the piddly lump sum from the hardware. (Game consoles are actually often sold at a loss, at least at first. Apple probably won't be selling the iPad at a *loss*, but at $499 it's likely it's going to be a lower profit margin than they're used to.) Apple is selling you an iPad in hopes you'll buy stuff with it, period.

Personally I have absolutely no interest in buying another "media portal" device, particularly one designed solely to nickel-and-dime me to death. It's very slick and pretty, but it's not going to change the world.

(Maybe in 10-15 years, when Moore's Law really does come to a screeching halt, "Appliance" computers will finally be able to shove us off the upgrade treadmill forever. Of course, even then the manufacturers will have to find *some* way of enticing us to buy a new one every three years or else they'll all be out of a job.)

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iPad = CDP = $$$+Apple+$$$ = Jobs+Ego+happy+$$$

Eudimorphodon wrote:

Bla, bla, bla, bla....
The iPad isn't a technology product, it's a Content Delivery Platform.
Bla, bla, bla, bla....

Excellent point. But it is still a game changer, nearly as big (bigger :^) ) as the iPhone methinks. With this sole focus on content, it is not dragged down by the weight of being a phone or 'real computing' and all that it entails.

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Re: iPad = CDP = $$$+Apple+$$$ = Jobs+Ego+happy+$$$

unknown1 wrote:

With this sole focus on content, it is not dragged down by the weight of being a phone or 'real computing' and all that it entails.

Looked at another way, you're basically saying it's a "game changer" because it's offering nothing beyond being a big fat iPod touch.

I know Eudi already addressed most of this better than I could (that would be in the "bla, bla" parts), I really see this device as heading in the wrong direction.

Instead of having the versatility and openness of desktop computing making its way into handheld devices, here you have the opposite. Very closed, controlled to the point of allowing remote disabling of apps by Apple, the iPad follows the DRM-loving model of cell phones and iPods. The greatest "innovation" over a netbook or previous touchscreens is the level of corporate control.
This is, I believe, why there are an increasing number of pundits in the high-tech industry predicting the end of the desktop with glee: there's a lot more money to be made when you're the only one controlling the spice.

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Re: iPad = CDP = $$$+Apple+$$$ = Jobs+Ego+happy+$$$

eeun wrote:

...Very closed, controlled to the point of allowing remote disabling of apps by Apple, the iPad follows the DRM-loving model of cell phones and iPods. The greatest "innovation" over a netbook or previous touchscreens is the level of corporate control.

You seem to forget that this is actually Apple's biggest strength. Why do you think the Mac is so easy to use and lacks the instability of Windows? Any time you try to get parts from different manufacturers to work together, you end up with instability -- some lazy engineer from your video card manufacturer writes a buggy driver and your whole system could crash. Since Apple really is the only one controlling the spice, they control the universe that is their product, and can thus deliver something that removes many variables.

The iPad isn't for 90% of the people that visit Applefritter. Likewise, anyone who asserts that the iPad sucks or will fail because "it doesn't let you install whatever you want/hack it/be a geek with it" doesn't understand that probably 80% of people who use computers don't even know how they work (and nor do they care). Computers are as ubiquitous as cars, and most of the general population gets as excited about using a computer as they do using their toasters. Computers are tools to most people and nothing more. They check their e-mail, do online banking, and order stuff from Amazon. Most only use computers because they have to; they'd rather be out playing golf or watching TV than use that confusing hunk of metal and plastic -- that never seems to work right, which angers them -- to do the tasks they need to do. This is who Apple products, and the iPad specifically, are targeted at; not the tinkerers and hackers like us, but the mass market who simply wants something that works.

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I'm not talking about the har

I'm not talking about the hardware being sealed, and I do agree that for Macs that's made - at least in that respect - a more reliable product.

It's the software being locked down that I object to. With a Mac, absolutely anyone can still write software for it, and distribute it in the method of their choosing. There's also alternate OSs for those who so choose. You can even install Windows.
So yes, the hardware is more controlled than on the Windows side, but the user still has the freedom to choose from a great variety of software, right from the OS upwards (or is that downwards?)

I also agree with you on your summary of the average user. However, if the controlled "run only what we allow" nature of the iPad extends further into the Desktop world, then competition, creativity and innovation are stifled and the average user suffers, whether they know it or not.

It's not that I dislike the iPad itself...I'm merely underwhelmed by it. What I dislike is the iPod zeitgeist moving into areas the more open Desktop territory should occupy. I can see this encouraging other companies to move in the same direction and exerting more control over what the consumer can do with their hardware/software (kind of like how Ubisoft has now stated their future games will require a call home otherwise they won't run. No playing their games if you're away from a net connection, and no playing them if they ever shut off that particular server after a year or two to encourage you to buy new games).

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months later

I watched a couple of iPad commercials during American Idol tonight (sorry, it's a family thing, my daughter loves AI--American Idol, not Artificial Intelligence--or maybe those two are one and the same?) and I've heard people talking and writing about the iPad and I'm thinking, Apple has done it again! It hasn't found a market, it has created a market. Mp3 players were around and then the iPod hit. Mobile phones have been around in all kind of forms and then the iPhone hit. Pads have been around and now the iPad hits. Am I deceiving myself, or is this becoming a new Apple phenomenon? I don't know how sales are going, and I don't own one, but I sense this thing starting to really catch on. After a few months now, and after all the naysaying and expressions of underwhelm, are there any changed opinions?

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"Deceiving yourself"?

I wouldn't go that far, but you're certainly enjoying that Kool-Aid.

Since when has seeing a couple commercials for a product during American Idol translated to a product being some sort of earth-shattering paradigm-changing MOMENT IN TECHNOLOGY HISTORY? The airwaves were positively *saturated* with ads for the "Droid" smartphone when it came out, and the tech press was constantly yammering about it, but... so what? Were you filled with burning excitement and wonder at how "Motorola/Google have done it again!" then? The tech and entertainment industries are constantly vomiting up dreary unoriginal rehashed toys and the only thing that separates the winners from the losers is how effectively those companies brainwash the populace into thinking they "need" their new bauble, how well they paint a picture that owning their useless little moneysucker is the gateway to an amazing new lifestyle.

(Since the initial buzz the Android platform has been a moderate success but let's not kid ourselves, it's just a bloody smartphone. Same thing that Palm and Microsoft did a decade ago just with another beard and mustache. Just like the iPhone. Being the most successful/popular example of a product doesn't mean said product is "innovative". Is "vanilla" the most innovative and paradigm-shattering ice-cream flavor? By the model you're applying to Apple's products then it must be as it has nearly four times the market share of its closest competitor.)

Apple has slick advertising, a loyal *and loud* customer base, and, clearly, *your attention*. Of course anything they introduce is somehow going to come across as significant. I don't know how much of the iPad gushing is actual enchantment with the device as opposed to creative advertising and astroturfing. (One of the wonderful things Apple has going for it is a strong contingent of True Believers who are willing to promote their wares, sight-unseen in the case of new products, at the grassroots level without Apple spending a dime. Maybe their products are JUST THAT GOOD, maybe it's the psychological equivalent of Stockholm syndrome, whatever it is the line between grassroots buzz and astroturfing is razor thin.) But in any case, no, I haven't changed my mind. It's a pretty toy. If you want one, get one. Personally... don't care.

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I like the Stockholm Syndrome

I like the Stockholm Syndrome analogy. I'm not making any case that the iPad is something exceptionally innovative over the competition. The iPod had nothing exceptionally innovative over its competition. I've never owned an iPod, an iPhone, and will probably never own an iPad. It just amazes me how Apple can dominate those markets, and the difference is, I think, Apple's unique positioning and its ability to create demand rather than respond to demand. Unlike its competitors, Apple is able to make these things look really fun to own--even something you're supposed to own--the iPod the greatest example--and then people just jump on the bandwagon, and with the iPhone and the iPad, there are third-party developers who add to the enthusiasm and before you know it, a new phenomenon takes off. From what I see, I think this iPad is going to take off, especially if they start making modifications like those suggested above. Which would you rather have in your backpack when you sit down at the coffee shop--an iBook or an iPad? You and I would say without a thought, an iBook, but more and more people are going to say an iPad. I see it coming, just like I didn't see it coming when the iPod came out. It's just a guess of mine.

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I bought one on launch day. I

I bought one on launch day. It's just a big iPod. Yeah it's got a pretty screen, and yeah it's fast (for an iPod), but there is nothing you can do on one that you can't do with an iPod/iPhone.

And if this is what the future of personal computing ends up being, I will be one very unhappy camper.

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The iPad doesn't interest me

The iPad doesn't interest me in the slightest. if i want a small computer i will get a netbook that is able to use a real OS.

The iPad is suppose to be a ultimate internet device, i think not. its just as hobbled as the iPhone and iPod touch is when it comes to the internet. cant use any site that uses flash (got a App for that).

i think its just hardware to deliver content on (as a way of apps you have to buy to use)

i will stick to something that can at least surf the net and do what I want it to do, not what Apple decides for me to do.

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Re: iPad and my musings

I thought it might be interesting to resurrect this thread given the year that has passed since the iPad was announced. With the benefit of a little hindsight (time using an iPad) along with the iPad 2 introduction and the upcoming OS X release, it's time to play "Let's Speculate!" My take on the past year was the amazing inability of any competitor to arrive on the scene with a compelling product. Does Apple really have that kind of a stranglehold on innovation that nobody else could respond? On one hand, I like Apple products because they "just work" for the most part, and work together very well. On the other hand, a vibrant marketplace leads to advancements that everyone can take advantage of.

So I bought an iPad when it came out last year to see how it was going to affect my life. I have three requirements for my computer toys: it must have ssh (iSSH), I must be able to program it (Gusto), and have an Apple II emulator (ActiveGS although that *just* came out). The Netflix app is nice, I can stream live or recorded TV using EyeTV, the games are pretty good (Real Racing HD), and there are multiple planetarium apps to choose from. But I don't have a lot of time to watch movies or TV or play games for an extended time, so I can't say it really changed my life. It sits next to the bed where it is convenient for checking email or quick web browsing. But then my G4 Cube gave up the ghost and I couldn't decide what to replace it with. Being in the middle of a project, I just took my 15" MacBook Pro to be my new desktop - leaving me without a convenient laptop. As the new MacBook Airs had just shipped, a maxed out 11" Air became my new laptop. After looking at the specs for iPad2 and the feature set for Lion, I came to a conclusion: the MacBook Air is going to become the fourth iOS platform. With gestures becoming more integrated into OS X, the difference between the iPad and the Air is shrinking. Lion advertises more gestures, full-screen app mode, and other features pulled from iOS. I now use my Air in much the same capacity I was using the iPad. Both are roughly the same size, have almost the same sized screen, and the Air has instant-on with flash storage like the iPad. The Air has a keyboard and multi-touch trackpad, so the screen doesn't get my fingerprints all over it. The iPad2 now has a dual-core CPU with decent GPU that is comparable, performance-wise, to the Air. I would still give the edge to the Air with its Core2Duo and NVidia GPU, but all within the same ballpark.

Where will this all be next year? Will there be an iOS ARM based laptop that runs the same (or slightly altered) versions of the iPad apps? Will there be a convergence of iOS and OS X? Will the iPad simulator (part of the iOS SDK) evolve to allow running iPad apps directly on your Mac? Hmmm, anyone care to conjecture what 2012 will bring?

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Re: 2012

I conjecture for 2012 that after the rejection of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency, and the subsequent crash of the dollar, Apple will come out in 2012 with the iSunk which will not only enable you to surf the internet, but also grow tomatoes and tilapia.

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Hitler's dismay

I just found this on YouTube and thought it was pretty hilarious:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_EcybyLJS8

You'll probably have to click off some advertisement that eventually pops up and covers the subtitles. Be prepared for that so you can do it quickly.

Wow, this is my 1400th post on AF. How time flies.

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Re: Hitler's dismay

You should see "Hitler's reaction to the iPhone 4S" It's quite similar to how I felt when it came out...

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Re: Hitler's dismay

Evidently, there's thousands of parodies of that movie, "Downfall," especially of that one scene. I like the iPad one better, but maybe that's because I saw it first. The movie's pretty good--the best Hitler imitation I've seen. Hard to believe none of his officers in the bunker just pulled out a gun and shot the creep. I watched it last night on Netflix and then found the parodies on YouTube.

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Re: Hitler's dismay

I've seen the movie, and find myself saying the apple product versions while the actual film is playing. I suppose viral videos have a greater impact on my life than I had originally thought.... lol

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Re: :D

TheUltimateMacUser wrote:

I plan on picking one up as soon as they ship. Looks like the perfect on the go device for me. Internet access, multimedia and a place to offload pics from the digital camera, etc...

^ So... I posted that a few years ago. Sure enough, as soon as the 1st gen 3G equipped iPad came out, i purchased one. I've had the same iPad since, and have never regretted the purchase. I love my iPad. Of all of my (now 4, counting the iPad) computers, it probably gets the most use on a day to day basis.

It sees duty as a multimedia play back device, a web browser, and ebook reader, and a communications platform (skype, email, irc, etc..). I've used it for work, and as my sole personal computer for a week long trip to England. It's still running strong, and still serving me well. Smile

I'd say Apple hit a home run w/ the iPad (now in it's 3rd revision). Thanks Apple!

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