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More intimate

iPad, YouPud

So yesterday Apple Computer, Inc released their long-awaited table computer, some kind of rhomboidal display unit with an enormous bezel, but no legs like an actual table would have? Oh, sorry, tablet. Here are some of the things Mr Steve Jobs said ((Via the coverage from gizmodo and gdgt.)) about the table computer. First:

It’s so much more intimate than a laptop.

Intimate was perhaps a brave word to use about the iPad, given that lots of people were just about to start calling it the iTampon. But anyway, what is intimate about a rectangular computer? Usually only people and their relationships (or, at a stretch, body parts) are said to be “intimate”, but now apparently inanimate objects can be intimate too? With each other? With you? Really?

Mr Jobs also said that the table device was “better than a laptop”. What about those nice small, cheap laptops known as netbooks?

The problem is netbooks aren’t better at ANYTHING. They’re just cheap laptops.

So, um, at least they are better at being cheap than other laptops? But if you like things because they are cheap, Mr Jobs doesn’t want to know you. Honestly, nor do I.

Obviously the table computer is massively better than a laptop at, say, browsing the web, because:

You can see the whole page — it’s phenomenal.

I’ve dreamed of doing that on my laptop! Haven’t you? Seeing the whole page! Imagine! All right, whatever.

Also, the iPad is apparently better than a laptop at doing email and word-processing and stuff, even though it doesn’t have a keyboard? But don’t worry: it has a make-believe onscreen “keyboard”, of which Mr Jobs said, courageously:

It’s a dream to type on.

Yes! A really bad dream, maybe. (Revealingly, there is a massive keyboard attachment sold separately.)

Finally, and perhaps most rousingly, Mr Jobs said:

we’ve tried to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts.

The technoberal arts, I think that’s called.

Are you gagging for an iPad, users?

  1. 1  Tom  January 28, 2010, 8:25 am 

    I hate to be one of those people that just shows up on someone else’s blog and hawks their blog, but I saw a funny headline about the iPad today.

    In answer to your question: I thought I wasn’t (gagging for an iPad), and then I realised I always say I’m not gagging for an Apple thing, then I start wondering if I’m just being contrarian, and that opens the floodgates and before you know it I’m taping little lozenge-shaped pictures onto my cellphone and telling people I have a “Make Keys Go Beep” app.

  2. 2  Paul  January 28, 2010, 9:21 am 

    I am, but not for any Stevie J related impassioned ‘better than anything’ reasoning… I do most of my freelance artwork on the Brushes app on an iPod touch so a large screen version of said object will be ‘a dream’ to use (I hope, unless the screen sensors are too far apart in which case I’ll be heartbroken for what could have been).

    Apart from that the keynote seemed strangely flat and mistimed. The strengths they trumpeted were not worthy of a ‘whole new platform’ angle and some of the Apple guys are REALLY scary. It’s a strange Apple show when Johnny Ive is the guy you stand next to for fear of the others on show. Overall a moderate disappointment but Brushes saved the day and looked worth every penny the object will cost me (and hopefully some it will make me too).

  3. 3  shadowfirebird  January 28, 2010, 11:19 am 

    No, because while I’m sure it’s lovely thing, a computer I can’t program is no use to me.

    There’s also the whole Apple lock-in thing. I’d rather have more choice about what software I run. If I want my dictionary to have swear-words in, that’s my choice, not the manufacturer’s.

  4. 4  Dave Weeden  January 28, 2010, 11:45 am 

    I’m a bit surprised (and disappointed) that it needs a special external keyboard. I have an Apple Bluetooth keyboard; why couldn’t I use that if I wanted? But I’m a sceptic regarding the iPad.

  5. 5  Leinad  January 28, 2010, 12:03 pm 

    “apparently inanimate objects can be intimate too? With each other? With you? Really?”

    I direct you to Joe’s Garage Act Two, Side One, Track Three.

  6. 6  Daniel Simpson  January 28, 2010, 12:29 pm 


  7. 7  Ville  January 28, 2010, 1:43 pm 

    This thing has the same limited screen resolution as a netbook but the on-screen keyboard will use some of the visible screen.

  8. 8  richard  January 28, 2010, 3:48 pm 

    Reminds me of Stephen Fry’s bit about the “tender, blushing adjective intimate married to the strange young noun, wipe.”

    Apple claims your bluetooth keyboard will work with it, so that helps, although then you have the bag-full-of-devices concept, which failed so miserably for Palm half a dozen years ago. The bit I like is the optional sleeve that doubles as a stand in two attitudes: it reminds me of a multi-position novelty koran stand I have. I won’t be buying one, though: what I want is something that can replace my laptop but fit in my pocket: this seems to do neither.

    Finally, given the current state of academic funding, I cannot imagine what Jobs is thinking, invoking “the intersection of technology and liberal arts.” That’s called the digital humanities, and so far it’s not showing any signs of rescuing the liberal arts from nonsense such as “impact assessments.”

  9. 9  richard  January 28, 2010, 4:11 pm 

    My favourite comment so far, though, is over at Mr. Fry’s glowing encomium:
    sokratesagogo says: How could the iPad be any better? A voice navigation system from Peter “the Book” Jones and a big rubber cover with “Don’t Panic” in nice big letter on the front perhaps?
    I haven’t thought about that in a while, but really it’s exactly what google, wikipedia and apple have been working towards, isn’t it?

  10. 10  Steven  January 28, 2010, 5:20 pm 

    Paul@2: that is a very good reason! (Actually, show me Logic running on this thing and I will want it instantly.)

    Leinad@5: thanks! Joe’s Garage references are always welcome here.


    The bit I like is the optional sleeve that doubles as a stand in two attitudes: it reminds me of a multi-position novelty koran stand I have.

    It reminds me a bit of a laptop, except that you can’t type on the part that protects the screen?

  11. 11  Dan A  January 29, 2010, 1:45 pm 

    Ipad is a horrible, overpriced bit of flashy tat. If you see someone with one of these, you will instantly be able to tell that they are a hopeless hipster faggot with no taste, too much money, and who knows nothing about computers.

  12. 12  dsquared  January 29, 2010, 3:47 pm 

    in other words, the best kind of person!

  13. 13  Dan A  January 29, 2010, 8:35 pm 

    Not at all.

  14. 14  Steven  January 30, 2010, 12:57 am 

    Frankly, I’m with dsquared on this: if toting an iPad means I will be taken for a wealthy “hipster faggot” who “knows nothing about computers”, then I totally want one right now.

  15. 15  NomadUK  January 30, 2010, 1:59 pm 

    Since an iPhone is basically a small iPad, does carrying one of those make one then just a hipster, or just a faggot? And what about an iTouch? Is one then merely a vaguely fashion-sensitive bi?

    Maybe these things need warning labels or something.

  16. 16  shadowfirebird  February 1, 2010, 11:34 am 

    If anyone is worried that their friends will label them a “faggot” or a “hipster” or indeed a “douchebag” — then perhaps they need to find themselves some better friends.

    I would hope that if anyone used terms like that on a blog concerned with foolish use of language, they would do so ironically. But maybe that’s just me.

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