Gruber writes an epic piece on Microsoft’s Surface. There are so many good points, you should just read it. One day, we’ll look back and point to this moment and note that this is the day that Microsoft changed as a company.
Rather than bore you with a late iPad review, I decided to write about how my iPad went from a $600 play thing to my everyday computer.
It’s crazy to think that the iPad has only been around for a little over two years. In my review of the first iPad, i said that while the iPad is a great consumption device, you really didn’t need it if you had a laptop or desktop.
When the iPad 2 came out, it was thinner and lighter than the original iPad and after being out for a year, it wasn’t as much as a novelty as the first iPad. I didn’t feel as awkward bringing it with me and taking it out to use. there were some things that I wished it had/did, but the form factor and weight were such an improvement over the original that whatever it lacked were easy to overlook. There were also more apps that did a lot of the same tasks you could do on a traditional PC, some even better.
With the release of the new iPad, I find myself using it as my sole personal computer. At home, I mostly use a computer to listen to music, browse the Internet, pay bills, read emails, post pictures, read, chat with friends and check Twitter. Now that the iPad is in its 3rd generation, there is an app for almost everything you need to do on the web. Sure, some things are still easier to do on a traditional computer but the iPad is good enough at almost everything that _I_ need it to do that I find myself rarely using my MacBook Pro. And that’s not a bad thing.
I got a 32 GB Verizon iPad in white (to match my white iPhone). I went with 32 GB because I listen to a lot of my music on Rdio which I can stream over a network connection. I don’t HAVE to store all my music in my device. I went with the LTE version because, well, it’s so damn fast. My iPad 2 had 3G available but I never used it since i didn’t see the value in it. I was already using an iPhone with a 3G connection so why pay extra for the same connection on my iPad? With LTE speeds almost as fast as my home internet connection, it was not hard to sign up for a plan.
The one area where I encounter friction using an iPad over a traditional computer is with photos. I bought a canon s90 in 2010 the same time I bought my original iPad. My phone was an iPhone 3GS and while the camera was good, it was nowhere near the quality of a point and shoot. Two years later, the camera on my iPhone 4S rivals my Canon and is in some ways better due to its data connection. With Photo Stream, it is super easy to immediately view, manipulate and share pictures from my iPhone on my iPad. The problem I run into is when I use my Canon. Pictures I take on my S90 require a few extra steps to get on my iPad. I got an Eye-Fi card for Christmas and while it reduced the number of steps, it doesn’t come close to the speed and ease of iCloud and Photo Stream. Until the cameras on iPhones can truly replace point and shoots (zoom, flash capabilities included), I see this as my only real complaint with using my iPad as a full time computer.
Otherwise the new iPad is a great computer. It is almost as indispensable as my iPhone. I take with me almost everywhere I go. And I used it to type this blog post.
Yesterday, Venus passed in front of the Sun. A transit like this won’t happen again until 2117. Luckily, NASA posted a video of the entire event. The thing that amazes me is the size of Venus relative to the Sun. Venus is roughly the same size as Earth and you can see how small it is with the Sun in the background. We are truly tiny relative to the Sun, Solar System and the Universe.
Every engineering student knows about the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Damn Interesting has a great detailed article covering everything about the history, construction and demise of the bridge.