As i may have mentioned, i’m travelling with my parents. Father has bought an iPad. After a lifetime of computing with PC’s, he’s also bought a book on the iPad. It’s about the size of a telephone directory for a small town. Somewhere like Coventry.
Now, i’ve used a lot of PCs too. Some of them worked quite well. I fondly remember the days of endlessly trying to make printers work and instruction manuals for Office that ran to not one volume, but multiple volumes. I can remember the smell of the crisp new paper as i type.
So our voyage has been interspersed by Father bringing his nose out of the instruction manual to glimpse a passing Fjord or to impart some new gem or wisdom or ask a question. To which i invariably don’t know the answer. How does this or that work with the Cloud? I don’t know. It just kind of works. Maybe a few things catch you out, but generally, it’s just pretty good.
Now, i know that i’m a Mac fan, but primarily what i’m a fan of is mindless computing. I don’t want to know how the wireless network is configured, i just want it to work. I don’t want to do a million things slowly and poorly, i want to do a few things really easily. I realise that i’ve never derived anything like ‘pleasure’ from fixing a computer: it’s just removed a headache. What i want to do is write, create, make things happen, draw, control, interact and a host of other things. And i want to do them seamlessly and, whilst it’s not perfection, the iPad does pretty much everything i want it to, without me having to learn anything. Or certainly without me having to learn much to get started.
I think the telling thing is not that we have different ways of using the iPad (yes, Mother has one too), but rather that it’s intuitive enough that we can all use them seamlessly. Father can be in depth, happy to tinker and configure it. Mother and i can discuss Facebook and share photos over a gin and tonic and i can both keep in touch with office emergencies and write my journal and sort photos.
It’s an enabling technology. And now the iPad 3 is out… but that’s for another day.
Heading North: the blog (and Parents) is on holiday exploring the coast of Norway for two weeks, heading up the coastline to the arctic circle. Holidays are times to explore new things, so we may detour from normal service for a few days.