Steve Jobs screws my wife (out of $944)
What do you do with an iPad 2?
Comment I couldn't tell who was more excited about our new electronic toy: me or my wife.
She snuck out of bed at 3 am local time on March 11 to order me an iPad 2, and considering how much my wife likes sleep, that probably means she still likes me, even after sixteen years of dating and marriage. At least enough to shell out $729 for a white, Verizon-enabled 32 GB iPad 2 from Apple, plus the red leather iPad 2 cover (another $69) and the wireless keyboard (yet another $69). Including $77 in taxes, that was a total of $944 for a birthday present.
But beware the ides of March.
I normally don't want something for my birthday other than a home-made Boston cream pie and a decent beer, but for some reason, the idea of owning an iPad got hold of me. A bit like someone whispering in your ear in a sultry voice that you deserve it. And when my wife said she would pay for it with her own cash, I mean, how the hell was I supposed to resist?
Boston cream pie - not a euphemism
I like electronic gadgets as much as the next tech journalist, but I am not usually interested in spending money for toys. I buy machines to do work. I figure that Steve Jobs is rich enough and doesn't need any of my hard-earned cash, so I was just as content to stick with my "road warrior" Hewlett-Packard Mini netbook, which I picked up on the same day I got my Motorola Droid phone on opening day back in November 2009. (I was heading out to the SC09 supercomputing trade show in Portland and my six-year-old LG flip phone had a cracked screen and was an embarrassment).
That Droid was the first product I rushed out to get since I bought a Motorola StarTAC phone back in 1996, when I was starting my first business. Ah, my StarTAC. The StarTAC was the closest thing to a Star Trek communicator that was a real working, er, communicator. I used that phone until it was dead, including repairing the end of the antenna with electrical tape so it wouldn't puncture me if I wore it on my belt in the front instead of near my right kidney, like Captain Kirk (and I) normally did.
I got the Droid because I liked Motorola phones, but also because it was the Anti-Apple product. I didn't want to join the Cult of Steve. But eventually, I gave in. And, well, I have to admit, there are some Apples in my past.
I cut my computing teeth on an old Ohio Scientific Z80 machine with dual eight-inch floppy drives back in the early 1980s. I had a Commodore 64 too, way back then. But it was the Apple II that my best friend's uncle bought on a whim that really taught us what computers could do. I'm talking about playing games, of course.
My friend's uncle was a marine biologist who also happened to work at a manufacturing plant that got one of IBM's very first System/38 relational database midrange computers, and he programmed an entire ERP system all by his lonesome to run that business. He really didn't have anything to spend money on, so every Saturday he took two teenagers to the mall to buy music and get Chinese food and then over to the computer store to buy Apple games, then a quick dash home to play them.
Work, and play, and more work.
Yes, that's an original HP 12C.
We loved Castle Wolfenstein, of course, as well as Flight Simulator and Horse Racing Classic (yes, we gambled). Choplifter, where you are a combat helicopter pilot trying to rescue troops from a battlefield, was another one I played constantly. I have never gotten over Cytron Masters, a chess game that had battle bots instead of chivalric elites and peasants fighting. You programmed your pieces to move and fight in precise ways and then set them all loose at the same time to see who would win. All kidding aside, Uncle Dickie spent tens of thousands of dollars on games for us over the years - and that was back when this was real money.
This must have been lurking in the back of my brain, when, one night, my wife and I went out on a date in the Soho district (no, we don't do that often) with some friends. We passed the Apple store and I told her to go in and get a phone. I knew I was leaving town, and she didn't have a cell phone for our children to call.
Yes, we were drunk. But she grew up with Macs and didn't need much encouragement to buy a shiny new toy with the bitten apple emblazoned on it. The user interface on the Jesus Phone is hypnotic, as you probably know, and it wasn't long before I was shelling out money for my two kids' birthdays that next summer to get them iPod Touches. We were all now addicted to the touch in the Prickett-Morgan household.
And so, my wife bought me an iPad 2.
Next page: What do you do with an iPad 2?
Have to agree.
The title is a cynical attention(clicks)-graber with no actual relevance to the article.
I don't see how you (or your wife) can be "screwed" out of money if you are satisfied with the result.
It is like having a headline "Terrorists are going to kill us all" and then an article about how, no they really aren't.
ha ha ha... "And of course, this being Apple, I won't be able to upgrade the camera ever."... Morgan's right, I'm going to have to make sure I get one of those tablets with replaceable cameras so I can upgrade it if I want. I should have gotten one of those phones too.
He has a sense of humour - unlike yourself.
If this annoyed you so much why did you read to the end and bother to post about it?
Hope you're wife enjoyed it
Personally I gave $100 to Archos and got a 7 Home Tablet, with Android. Smaller, lighter not as responsive but 850 bucks cheaper!
Someone must have had a short deadline and a lousy idea for an article.
"I cut my computing teeth on an old Ohio Scientific Z80 machine with deal eight-inch floppy drives back in the early 1980s."
Talk about flashbacks. Only I cut my teeth a few years earlier on an Ohio Scientific C3A.
But then again, I lived pretty close to the factory.... (Aurora Ohio).
I thought I could respect a fellow Ohio Scientific owner except when you made the following comment:
"But to my horror, the back of the iPad 2 is gray brushed aluminum with a black apple and black sensors, and when you take it all in, that makes it an Ohio State BuckeyePad, Penn State's arch rival. I will get a blue leather cover as soon as Apple makes one."
I'm sorry, Penn State who? Sure I respect Joe Pa as one of College Football's coaching greats. (Along w Woody and I'll even salute Bo since he was an Asst Coach under Woody...) But Penn State isn't much of a rival since Tressel took over.
But I'll overlook that...for now.
You continue to write...
"I don't like the idea of using Google Docs because it is bad enough that Google is reading my office email, does it have to read what I am writing as I am writing it?"
True, but the iPad lacks a real keyboard and of course you can purchase a wireless one for it, but that then defeats the purpose of the iPad where a regular laptop has its value.
I'm am by no means an Apple fanboi. And I'm sure you'll get flamed by them. I am however someone who has waited for the iPad2. It will allow me to easily surf the web, do e-mail, and of course act as my e-reader of .pdfs and e-books. Sure there are other apps, but its the fact that I can easily have all of my technical documents that I get in .pdf forms, easily available on one device.
While the Kindle DX would also allow this, it unfortunately does't handle resizing as well and doesn't handle e-mail or web site wikis where some other documents exist.
But I really have to flame the author because the head line doesn't really match the content. Its more of a story how the author lacks vision or need for a new 'play toy'.