About this thing Apple calls iPad

I can’t explain it, what this is. Apple calls it magical, I tend to agree.

I was thinking of my first computer, then thinking of my first computer that connected me to the internet, then my first laptop, and thinking of the feelings that each evoked in me. I always remember thinking “what a cool computer.”

Then I got iPad, a gift from Eolake, out of the blue. “Would you like one?” he asked me in an email. “Are you offering to purchase one for me?” I responded. Had I been speaking to him rather than emailing I would have had a sound of teasing in my voice. The best I could do in an email was a smiley. His answer astounded me, “Yes, he said. I’d like to buy one for you.” I said yes, please.

I knew I wanted iPad as soon as it was announced, but buying one immediately never occurred to me. Eolake’s generous offer landed one on my doorstep on release day, even though UPS tracking said I was out of the Saturday delivery area. I remarked to the driver when he showed up, “I surely did not expect to see you today.” He acknowledged that my house was not in our area’s Saturday delivery area but that “We’re trying to get them out to folks anyhow.” Thank you, UPS.

I could not open it immediately, I was fixing lunch when the driver showed up. It was exquisite torture to finish my lunch in a normal fashion, seeing the unopened box right there on the table. Once the lunch was cleared up I sat back down at the table and opened it up. “Check out the manual”, my husband said. We shared a knowing laugh. iPad’s manual is a piece of card stock about 4″ x 6″. It has a diagram on the front, and some instructions on how to sync with iTunes on the back. I was using iPad in a manner of minutes.

And that is what got me started about thinking about my previous computers. Because I don’t think iPad is a computer. I think its something else. Here’s an example why.

I had the occasion to be at a location where there were a group of medical professionals. I was using iPad, when one of the nurses walking by said, “Is that one of those, uh..uh..”. “It’s an iPad,” I said and handed it to her. Here’s the amazing thing. She took it, and immediately knew what to do with it. She tapped, and suddenly she had a browser. She tapped in the URL bar and the keyboard came up. She entered a URL and was taken so swiftly to the site she was looking for her eyes were like saucers. Suddenly there was a group of six or seven medical personnel around her, they were passing it around, one had the map function going, another brought up You Tube.

“Any of your folks have an iPhone, or an iPod touch?” I asked. No one did. “Any Mac folks here?” was my next question. Not a one. Yet everyone who touched it knew what to do. Why was I astounded that they knew what to do? They are smart people, around modern technology every day. But none of them had used a device anything like iPad before, ever, or so they said. And, they were laughing, pointing and giggling like little kids as they navigated their way around it.

iPad inspires me. Simply it’s very existence is an inspiration. I think it is the tip of an iceberg that will evolve into technology as astounding as the internet was when we all first got online. When I think of iPad, I don’t think, “what a cool computer.” I think, “Wow, what can I do with this next?”

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