Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Feb 2010 16:25 UTC
General Development While the iPad can certainly be debated as a product, people on the internet are discussing not the product, but the shift devices like the iPhone and iPad represent: a shift away from a computer being accessible to it being something closed and impenetrable. Is this a future we want for ourselves?
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RE[2]: It's an appliance
by henrikmk on Tue 2nd Feb 2010 09:38 UTC in reply to "RE: It's an appliance"
henrikmk
Member since:
2005-07-10

Rubbish. It's a general-use computer. The fact that they've convinced you otherwise just goes to show how clever they are at getting you to drink the proverbial kool-aid.


What they convinced me, was that they were the first company to build:

1. A computer my mom could use. She barely touches technology beyond what's in the kitchen and TeleText on the TV. She doesn't respond to my computers, but she does to my iPod Touch. She can tell what I'm doing with it. I've not ever seen that before.

2. A computer that you pick off the coffee table, press a couple of buttons on to get the single piece of information (stock ticker or today's weather) you want, and put back on the table in 10 seconds. No time for multitasking (!).

3. A way to have the computer not being treated like an altar that you have to put your full attention to, sit in front of or maintain, other than charging it. It shouldn't be more imposing than flipping through a magazine.

No booting, no shutdown, no computer understanding, no viruses, none of that crap which requires downhanding of knowledge from a computer technical person. People have been trying with settop boxes and remotes, but the user interface is always cumbersome and not very stable.

This isn't any different than the phase where early cars had specific mechanics attached to it, if the driver wasn't savvy enough to fix issues on the spot. I would bet back then that those mechanics (us!) didn't imagine cars eventually becoming very easy to drive and use for almost everyone, and probably were resistant to it.

Alan Kay's been dreaming about someone building this device since 1968, when he came up with the Dynabook. But unfortunately, the computer industry constantly came up with ideas where you were expected to be a computer science person, just to be able to use the thing. It's like if car manufacturers (us!) kept building only Formula-1 cars, because surely... we don't want regular people driving cars, do we?

The low tinker-factor of the iPad is not really an issue. It's time to move on.

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