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iPad reviews are out

January 28th, 2010 . by maria

Charlie Sorrel over at Wired’s Gadget Lab gives us his Ten Things Missing From the iPad . I won’t run them all down, as a few comments basically sum it up:

  • little more than a giant iPhone
  • The iPad is meant to be an easy-to-use appliance, not an all-purpose computer.

To get a little bit more granular:

Charlie also points out that it “can’t run applications in the background…If you are authoring content, like this post, then multiple browser windows, a text editor, a mail client and a photo editor all make sense. If you’re reading an e-book, not so much.” Well, you know, most people don’t need to multi-task. It’s not like so many people, like, blog or anything.

Charlie contradicts himself a little later on when, talking about the iPad’s base price of $500, sans $70 keyboard, he quips “Why bother with a $400 netbook when you can have this instead?” But, I am sure he’s just being sarcastic. My $300 netbook (Acer Aspire One) comes with a keyboard…and USB ports, slots for memory cards, webcam…oh, and I can run applications in the background. The iPad…has a shiny touchscreen.

I’m sure there are people for whom the iPad will be an ideal device… Wait, actually I don’t think so. Techies will quickly realize the limits of a device which can’t be hooked up to any of their other gear, (not even a printer!), rendering it useless for anything other than browsing. It might work for someone who isn’t very tech savvy, the way those email readers worked a few years back. But then it will run into the same problems as those email readers. Those users will have relatives who will send them files, or link to content (like Flash), that the device can’t access. Or worse, those users will want to start actually doing things on their computer, like downloading pictures from their phone or (egads) printing. About that time, they’ll realize they’ve been had.

breaking stagnancy

January 24th, 2010 . by maria

I’ve had a certain phrase on my mind for the last few days: “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”. (I picked it up from Gretchen, at The Happiness Project.) This phrase has helped get me moving in a variety of areas.

At work, there was a project our group has wanted to do for years. We never did on it, because we felt it had to be done a certain way. Recently, we had an urgent need to create something similar, so we included an ‘imperfect’ version of our idea as well. Now, something that SHOULD have been done years ago will be done. It won’t be perfect, but it will be a lot better than it was…when it wasn’t done at all.

Since moving to PA, I’ve been … inconsistent…about attending church. The problem, I always said, was that none of the churches I visited felt like home. Applying the “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” rule, my kids and I picked one of these imperfect churches and went this morning. Sure, it wasn’t ‘like home’, but at least we went. The kids agreed it wasn’t so bad, even a little fun, and we’re planning on going every Sunday from now on.

Scrapbooking. I have several years worth of pictures waiting to go into scrapbooks. I have tons of scrapbook materials, and received a bunch of albums for Christmas. The problem is…I can’t afford to print all those pictures yet. So, I printed pages with thumbnails of all the pictures (Windows Picture and Fax Viewer). Using these to guide me as to what pages I need, I am making the albums without the pictures. I will get a few pictures printed at a time and go back and fill in the albums as I can. They won’t be done right away, but it is more progress than I would make by waiting until I can get all the pictures printed…and it gives me an incentive to get them printed!

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. (Or: better done good, than not done perfectly.) It is a phrase that is breaking me through stagnation in a number of areas. It pops into my head all the time now, and I’m sure it will continue to be a phrase of growth for me. It might even get me to blog more often!

handy yahoo tip – unit conversion

January 21st, 2010 . by maria

I checking Leiham’s homework, and found this handy tip. You don’t need to search for a unit conversion on Yahoo. You type what you have and then “to” and then the type you want, and the first result will be the answer. For example, type “5,000 mg to kg” and click search, and you get “5000 Milligrams = 0.005 Kilograms”.

Pretty handy!

nature poetry

January 19th, 2010 . by maria

I don’t know if it was the reappearance of the sun, or the slightly warmer day, but on my drive to work this morning, I wrote two poems:


two metal towers:
our local economy…
found in corn silos

Free form:

Tan fields of corn stalks cut down for winter
Brown hills dotted with white homes and churches
Purple mountains, low but majestic
Pink and gray clouds scuttling along the bottom of a bright blue sky
This is the landscape I see on my way to work