Welcome! This is my personal blog, where I chat about whatever takes my fancy, reminisce about comics, Old Time Radio, and science-fiction fandoms, review what I feel like reviewing, and so on. It also archives scans of some of the fanzines with which I've been involved.
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

iPad .... because

That's a header that will bewilder anyone who has no familiarity with the strange vagueness of a series of ads in 1950s magazines with sizeable female readerships. And, yes, I'm revisiting the general snickering that accompanied Apple's announcement of the name for its all-purpose lug-around computer thingy. (I'm a little surprised there didn't seem to be an immediate flood of fake iPad ads featuring gorgeous women in over-the-top formalwear with iPads discreetly Photoshopped into the images.)

The thing is, "iPad .... because" pretty much sums up the reason for my addiction to the thing (though I don't pretend to know why those '50s ads seemed to insist on four dots instead of the usual three in ellipses - trademark, maybe?). Today, again, I'd hauled my iPad with me to an event, and, when I began to use it (in this case, to note some upcoming dates in its Calendar app), folks stopped to ask what it was and how it worked and why I found it useful.

So. When I first heard about it, I thought, "Well, I'll get it in 2011, when they release the second version, because what do I need it for right now?" Then, I thought, "Well, maybe I'll treat myself with one for Christmas, because I hear good things about it." Then, I thought, "How about my birthday? I could get it for that." Then, I visited daughter Valerie, whose son has one, and I borrowed it for an evening, at the conclusion of which I asked, "Could we go to the Apple store tomorrow so I can buy one right away?" Because it's not just what so many have called it when I've showed it to them. It's not just "Maggie's toy."

I travel quite a bit. Not on the level of Neil Gaiman, who jets around the globe because so many people rightly want to see and hear him in person. Not on the level of businessfolks whose jobs take them hither and (especially) yon. But I'm often in locations I don't know well, away from entertainments of home, and I've found my carry-ons growing more and more heavy with an assortment of electronic thises and thats - and, even so, missing things I enjoy. So currently on my iPad (top of the line, with AT&T's 3G service, so I can connect lots of places without WiFi), I have (free, once I bought the thing) Calendar, Notes, Maps, iTunes, and iBooks apps. (Maps is of particular importance in my travels, showing me clearly how to get here or there by car, bus, or walking - and even showing me where I am at the moment: a help in some cities, let me tell you.) I've loaded a number of free apps (iMDb app for quick movie info, many books [especially Saki and Wodehouse at the moment], Marvel and DC apps, and a National Public Radio app. I also connect with the Internet via Safari and (and this was when I decided I had to have it) that lets me connect to Wisconsin Public Radio's two networks (Ideas and the News and Classical Music service) and its 24-hour classical music service so that I can listen to my favorite NPR programs, no matter where I am. I have not begun to explore the iPad's possibilities, though my daughter showed me one app I paid for: "Star Walk," which lets me identify the current constellations wherever I turn. (That's one that evokes an "Ooooooooo!" when I show it off - and, yes, that is a toy aspect, but hey ...)

Got an iPad? What's your favorite application?

4 comments:

John Koenig December 5, 2010 at 9:51 PM  

Maggie, we have years to catch up on. I promise we will, but right now I'm laughing, as I just found your website. I'm on my MacBook Pro, in front of a fireplace, with my iPad on the coffee table in front of me, daughter Jess home from Alaska visiting, in a chair with her laptop open on her lap and a real paper/ink book in her hands, and my wife Anne on the floor working on her laptop! Yes to technology, girl! I have been an Apple fanatic since 1980 or so and my first Apple II, and over all the years we've known each other (since 1983), have only owned Apple products. I "needed" an iPad since the intro by Steve Jobs, "wanted" one badly, and bought the dear thing a couple of months ago. And have been in love ever since. Still learning to use it well for "work," but today organized all my apps into folders and figured out how to move all the folders to the first screen!

I'm so happy to have found you, Maggie!

joecab December 5, 2010 at 10:51 PM  

Welcome to the club Maggie! For me it's Standalone's Crosswords app. Solving crosswords on an iPad is a dream, and this is coming from someone who never liked doing so on an iPhone. Instapaper, NetNewsWire, Simplenote, 1Password, Dropbox and Accuweather are all also up there.

Maggie Thompson December 6, 2010 at 5:20 PM  

Hey, John! In touch at last! (There's a holiday party for KP'ers current and departed at Northland Sports Bar & Grill December 9 4:30-? [$20 per person, spouses welcome]. You could just let Betty Aanstad or Kathy Budsberg know you're coming, if you can attend ...) You must tell me about folders ...

Joecab, hi! Thanks for the suggestions. Life's too short for me to tackle games, but I'll check out these other apps! Many thanks!

Maggie Thompson December 6, 2010 at 5:21 PM  

Oh, and has anyone out there tried Documents to Go? I loved it for my Palm Pilot and would like to add it to the iPad, but I'm seeing some negative reviews when I look at the app info.

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