Monthly Archives: April 2010

Waiting for my iPad, reflections on using Jan’s iPad

It’s been 3 weeks since Jan got her WiFi iPad. My 3G+WiFi arrives next Friday, 4/30. Can’t wait. As you know if you read this blog, I first commented on the iPad back at the end of January when it was first announced. After having seen and used Jan’s iPad for a few weeks, I’m even more convinced that I’m right about the device.

Let’s talk about several aspects of the iPad.

Performance. The A4 processor delivers snappy performance. As you rotate the iPad through a 360 degree turn, the screen morphs quickly to each new orientation. There is no up or down to the iPad. Web pages render quickly and crisply. I don’t have an iPhone, but I do have a first-gen iPod Touch. It too is an elegant device, but pages on Safari render slowly, unlike the iPad where it’s just there. Multi-touch zoom is so fast that it feels entirely natural.

Form factor. The iPad feels “right.” The screen is big enough for most web pages, but the device is comfortable the size of a thin book (Jan has the Apple case on hers, I have the case but no iPad 🙁 ). Weight is minimal, esp. when compared to a laptop. I’m looking forward to not lugging my laptop around campus.

Battery. David Pogue said that he could get 12 hours of video playback. We’ve never even gotten the battery level on Jan’s down do 50%. Other pundits have said that 10 hours is conservative, too.

Apps. Yep, you can download zillions of apps. Most are not iPad optimized (and it does make a difference), but you can you iPhone/iPad apps quite happily. They work well, just not with the video resolution of the iPad native apps.

Security. OK, so the browser on iPhone OS was cracked at Pwn20wn, but so was everything but Chrome. It’s still orders of magnitude more secure than using MSIE under Windows. The Walled Garden is a good model. With Citrix apps, support for 802.1x authentication, VPN support, etc. for the iPad, it’s a device that can play in the enterprise. It’s not as open as Android, but each app that’s available to a non-jailbreak device is vetted to some degree by Apple, and that oversight is not a bad thing as I reflect on the state of computer insecurity these days.

Functionality. So you can’t run everything on it. But with 150,000 apps, geez…you can generally find what you want.

So, what’s not to like? it’s not a laptop. Don’t try to make it one. However, it will so so much that folks use laptops for. I’ll convert my work laptop to a virtual desktop (i.e. it will stay in its dock) and I’ll carry the iPad. Typing works reasonably well, but it’s not a physical keyboard. If you really need a keyboard, get an Apple bluetooth keyboard for use with the iPad and you are set. It’s not a phone. You can’t make calls with it and you will carry your phone. However, the iPad is a “cloud portal appliance” and it excels at that (raspberries to Google for not supporting docs editing on mobile Safari browsers).

Am I happy I’ve ordered one? You bet! I enjoy the 10 minutes per day that Jan lets me play with her iPad and I can’t wait until 4/30!

Striper fishing, Weldon, NC…

My friend Sam and I went to Weldon,NC on Friday 4/23. Back during January, I practiced defensive calendaring 😉 and blocked a couple of Fridays in April. Well, the Chancellor wanted a meeting for a search committee on which I’m participating on one of those days, and when your boss’ boss calls, you attend the meeting! That left me with only this past Friday 4/23 open. Probably should have booked a May Friday with this year’s cold weather, but c’est la vie…

We got to Weldon about 9:30, and the parking lot was about as full of boats as it could be…I pulled the boat off the trailer while Sam parked my truck. The extra (third) lane on the ramp helps a lot with traffic! We ran down the river to Big Rock, and set up the the drifting flotilla of bait fishermen. Talked to a couple of fly guys who’d picked up a couple of fish, but it was slow for them. Water temp was about 63.5F. Drifted for a couple of hours, and couldn’t buy a strike. We were marking fish about about 6′-8′ deep, per the fish finder, but no luck for us. We were watching the bait guys catching fish slowly but steadily. Picked up and ran down to the power lines, but didn’t change our luck. Decided that we wanted to anchor and eat lunch, so we ran back up the river and anchored in front of Troublefield Gut. Had lunch and watched the parade of boats drifting by. We caught a couple of fish, including a largemouth, a crappie and a couple of stripers. We decided to head to to Big Rock (bigger than last week, as the river was down to about 8,000 cfs), but talked to a couple of fly guys who’d found a seam and caught about 20 about 1/2 way up Little River. They suggested we try that, and did, but wasn’t working for us. However, Sam had the “catch of the day” when he foul-hooked a turtle in the foot!

We tried all sorts of colors of flies, but chartreuse/white worked “better” (that’s a relative term!) than others and tried both sinktip and full sink lines. It was one of those days when the fishing was better than the catching. Headed home about 4PM. Maybe my fish mojo will be on next time, but still a great day to be out.