Apple’s iPad

It’s been announced. The new revolutionary gizmo from Apple.

Yes, it looks good. Yes, Jobs did his usual spiel to present the new toy. And yes, when I saw the presentation I wanted one.

The good thing for me is that Apple is giving me some time to think. Had it been available at launch, it might have been a less rational, “want” reaction to buy. So I get to cool off a bit.

Now, my feeling is that it is trying to carve itself a niche market. Then again, Apple is typically good at carving niche and generating “want”. I am just not quite sure yet what that niche is… And I do not yet know whether I fit within that niche… There are certainly some very nice aspects to it: in-house portability (it may be easier to use on a couch to look up IMDB information about the movie I’m watching), functionality (all my iPhone apps and more), decorative (an expensive picture frame when not in use), readable (it’ll be easier to read my eBooks on this than on the iPhone), etc. But it will certainly not be a “real” computer replacement (I don’t see myself editing documents or pictures on it).

So does it fit my usage pattern? In some way, yes. But is it worth the price? That is still debatable. And Apple might lower the cost in the near future like it did for the iPhone. If I compare it to a dedicated eBook reader (e.g., Kindle), then this has much more capacity (and colour) for an incremental cost. One of the things I would have liked to see is some memory extensibility (e.g., an SDHC slot). Granted, Apple wants to seel the enhanced hardware, but even my MacBook Pro has an SDHC slot now – and this fits between the iPhone and the MacBook!

So will I buy it? If it were up to me, I would still think for a while. But SWMBO has already decided that this is the device for her, so we will be getting one when it becomes available…

Lessons in standby

For laptops, that is. Or at least, for ThinkPads.

It turns out that my video problem was the computer getting confused. As I was in a hurry leaving the Solution Centre, I just put my computer in standby while it was still connected to an external monitor. Afterwards, each time I tried using it only with its own display, I would get these multi-coloured bars on the display, making it unusable – even after a complete shutdown. So when I got back home, I took it to our IT folks to get it repaired. They booted it up, saw the problem, rebooted and wrote up a ticket about it. Then one of them decided to hook it up to an external monitor just in case… Well, it had the same symptoms when booted up, until he logged in to Windows. At that point everything worked!

Our only guess is that the video card got set to a strange mode and could not be reset until an external monitor was connected. Interesting feature!

Can I get a Mac?

What happened?!?

There I was, doing so well, blogging from RSDC…and then nothing…

Well, my laptop’s video died! It started having nice, multi-colour bars all over the screen. This basically meant that I was SOL for the rest of the conference. OK. I could have use the terminals that were provided to the attendees – if they had not been taken down!

So what happened during these few days incommunicado? For one thing, I was attacked by a bird. And not even a big bird. I took a walk in the evening and must have strolled close to a nest because this bird suddenly started bombing dives, hitting me with its wings. It was an interesting adventure.

I also managed to get a bit of shopping done at Downtown Disney – I can’t be away from home for a week and not bring back some “souvenirs” (although I saw nothing of Disney World)! My only complaint were the prices! They must be making a huge profit on merchandising! But then, the smiles on the kids was worth it!

On the plus side of the laptop failure is that I got to enjoy the flight home without feeling like I had to do some work.

Palm – Opus 5

A while back, I mentioned that my Palm Tungsten E2 bit the dust (I think I said it went “pop”). Well, I am now on my fifth Palm device since the Palm Personal. This time, I got a Palm T|X.

It’s pretty slick. It has a nice matte black case, which I like (probably some remnants of my time in the military), and a larger screen. The interesting aspect is that the Graffiti area is in the display and can disappear to leave more screen real estate. It also has both Bluetooth and WiFi. At home, I even got it to connect to my wireless LAN so I can surf the ‘net. Although it is rather low resolution…

  • 2007-06-05: Corrected title