Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Apr 2010 11:55 UTC
Apple With the release day of the iPad fast approaching, it's time for the usual lucky few to shine their lights on Apple's new device. As usual, these first-hand reviews by blogging heavyweights are incredibly positive (with a few notable exceptions), and if they are correct in their predictions, then the iPad will change everything in computing.
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Why computers are magical
by ElCabri2 on Thu 1st Apr 2010 15:41 UTC
ElCabri2
Member since:
2009-03-11

What's really magical, in a deep way, about personal computers is the bootstrap-ability. Knowing that, in theory, the computer itself is sufficient to define and transform what the computer does. That's why home computers where magical to us 30-somethings and to our parents back then and our families, before they objectively had any real usefulness at all, before the internet and multimedia. A computer could be anything you want it to be, all you needed was the computer itself.

What pisses me off with the iPad is the spite for that notion that it embodies. And it looks like it's a Steve Jobs thing too -- even back in the 80s the Macintosh was design with development and customization as a distant second thought.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why computers are magical
by Tuishimi on Thu 1st Apr 2010 16:08 in reply to "Why computers are magical"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06


What pisses me off with the iPad is the spite for that notion that it embodies. And it looks like it's a Steve Jobs thing too -- even back in the 80s the Macintosh was design with development and customization as a distant second thought.


I am a 40-something person who started working on mainframes (just able to get past punch cards tho', as VT100's were becoming quite popular ;)

The changes the industry has seen is... just WOW. I mean, here we are picking these devices apart when just over 20 or 30 years ago a mainframe took up a 50 foot row in a computer room, disk drives were literally the size of washing machines (bigger, actually) and the disks themselves were bigger than a large dinner plate (and the largest disks were something like 100MB - holy moly!)

But why do you say the early macs were not developer friendly? They had a decent development suite or two, and the animation and film industry used them very heavily.

I remember performing a physical inventory for a company (I think it should remain nameless) in MA. Our company wrote software for and also performed physical inventories for corporations - then helped them manage it if they wanted. Anyway, I had to write one of our collector applications for the mac (it collected software information so they could manage software licenses) just because they had/used so many in their film and special effects editing process.

So I've seen them used and have written software for them back on OS 6/7. I had no problems. It was actually quite fun and some of the API's were pretty well thought out, at least that's how I felt about it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

MissingBeOS Member since:
2010-01-26

Same here ... first program I wrote for my college Intro to Computing class was done on a keypunch. The VT100's & DECWRITER terminals were a godsend compared to that.

The iPad, whether it meets anyone's particular wants or needs, is an amazing achievement. Yes, I know, I know - "but, it doesn't have feature XYZ, therefore it's backwards/useless/insulting!" Is anyone holding a gun to anyone's head to purchase one? If they are, maybe you need to consider moving to a more peaceful neighborhood ;)

I like what I see, but I'll wait until I get a chance to try one before I make the leap. I did the same with my iPod Touch - it looked interesting, but I was skeptical until I held one and was able to play with it. That sold me. The thought of an "iPhone/touch on steroids" sounds just about perfect to me. I love the interface and the example apps I've seen look very useful.

For the current business I work in, one of these things might do an amazing job freeing me from my desk, allowing me to do meaningful database queries in the distribution center I work at. Yes, my iPod touch can do some of that already, but this new device has a much larger screen, and looks just as ridiculously easy to operate. Can't wait to see if my impressions match the reality.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Why computers are magical
by m1cro on Fri 2nd Apr 2010 10:18 in reply to "Why computers are magical"
m1cro Member since:
2006-12-22

I think it's approriate to call the iPad an "internet appliance" instead of computer.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with appliances. Personally, I'm not interested in it. But if they have a market for it... that's fine.

Reply Parent Score: 1