The iPad 3 would make me so horny...
...if it wasn't so sucky
Something for the Weekend, Sir? In my Dad's generation, middle-aged men of means would buy new cars at the end of every July because that's when new licence plates came out. Their old cars would be traded in as part-exchange, sold to third parties through classified ads, or passed magnanimously to relatives.
This was regarded as civilised and financially prudent.
My generation queues up outside Apple stores every spring to buy the latest iPad. Apparently, this makes us gullible and stupid.
But you know what? This time, we are.
The iPad 3 sucks big time. It sucks big stonking ones. It sucks flaccid ones. It sucks so much, it has to buy Listerine by the gallon.
And this comes from someone with a shameless history of leaping upon Cupertino's latest, time and time again. I began with a Mac SE/30 and moved on to a IIsi the very week it came out. I once changed jobs just so I could work on a IIfx. I spent 1994 penniless in France with a wife and infant but still found my way to buy a new Quadra. I bought Mac clones when they were fashionable, then switched to a Quicksilver Power Mac when 'mirror-shiny' was the in-thing.
'New iPad make me feel soooo hooorny... You want good time tablet?'
Apologies to Stanley Kubrick
I even wrote for MacUser magazine for the best part of ten years. I tested and reviewed the very first iMac as a world exclusive.
From one Apple fad to the next, I have surrounded myself with hideous translucent plastic, then white opaque plastic and now aluminium unibodies. In more recent years, I have bought iPhones, I have bought iPads.
Hell, I have even purchased Android gear - not to use but to see how it compared.
Then Miss iPad 3 saunters up, wiggling her hips, moaning: "Hey baby, you got girlfrien'? Me so horny. Me love you long time. Until next March."
I almost joined the horny hordes in ordering one online for launch day, then a little voice warned me to hold back. It also told me to warn you of the apocalypse on 14 May and sacrifice anyone wearing green below the waist but I have pills for this.
I waited, watched and borrowed. And oh dear, Miss iPad 3. You sucky-sucky.
You see, what I find so appealing about hand-held technology is the relentless miniaturisation, increase in power and addition of functionality. Barely have I begun marvelling at one gadget when a smaller, faster, clever and - yes, I admit it - even cooler looking one goes on sale. I'm living in a sci-fi dream from the 1960s and I love it.
'For criticising Cupertino, Mister Dabbs... ten years'
The iPad 3 is an aberration. It is thicker and weighs more than an iPad 2, and its batteries don't last as long. It has the same memory at the same price points as before. It has 4G (hooray) that I can't use (oh).
It has the same buttons, the same operating system (we all got iOS 5), the same apps (we all got the free updates) and the same inability to get my kitten videos off the effin' thing without wasting an evening transferring them to a place where I don't want them to go while being forced to compress them to a quality I don't want.
"Ah, but the beautiful retina display!" you exclaim.
What, you mean the new display that sucks away all the extra power from the new processor as it goes down on the battery and sucks that dry too?
Next page: Dev hell in a blue dress
Blame your tools. not your ipad
"I do a lot of production work on tablet-based magazines and books. The problem is that vast quantities of iPad content is rasterised and paged."
Yup, that's the problem all right: your production method sucks. Sending magazines in the form of giant, dumb bitmaps was a stupid strategy from the start--your text is fuzzy, it isn't selectable, page turns are sluggish, and worst of all, the downloads are humongous. Who wants to download a half gigabyte issue of every magazine they subscribe to, every month?
But you took the easy, lazy way out, figuring that you could get away with selling your subscribers a series of big screenshots of text, that somehow they wouldn't notice. Well, you were wrong, and now the suckiness of your production method (all hail Adobe!) has become blatantly obvious. Your reaction? "Boo hoo, it's all Apple's fault!" Yeah, right. Get a life, mister.
Now, to be fair...
...distributing magazine content on digital devices in the form of a bunch of raster images is a stupid, misguided, and profoundly sucky thing to do.
What good is a bunch of effin' PICTURES of magazine pages, fercrissake? The text isn't text, which means it isn't searchable, it can't be indexed, it can't be annotated, you can't copy-paste it into another app. Seriously, when it comes to ways to distribute information in the Information Age, this is imbecilic.
There are all sorts of file formats which are designed to preserve the look of a printed page in a digital file while keeping the text as text instead of pixels, so that, you know, it can be SEARCHED since it's on a bloody COMPUTER and that's one of the things we use computers FOR.
If it were possible to attach two icons to a post here at El Reg, I'd make them both "fail" for this.
A nice screen, a keyboard, a drive, an SD Card and a couple of USB slots ... this concept might catch on. I wonder how nobody thought of it before.
And it could fold, and people could hold it on the top of their lap while using them. Quite intriguing.