Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The iPad: idon’t care, iThink iWillpass

Apple’s Steve Jobs announced the iPad today , the much rumored and anticipated Apple tablet device. And you know what? I could care less. I don’t care that Apple thinks that it could be a rival to the Amazon Kindle, or that it could be good for gaming, or for whatever other things a computer can do. I think the iPad is just another toy made to siphon money out of one’s pocket, in this case, $499 for the iPad.

Seriously now, how many electronic toys can a person use? Some people need to have the latest in anything having to do with Apple, but not me. I guess I am just one of those people that never drank the Apple kool-aid. The iPod is nothing more than a simple MP3 player, and MP3 players are practically given away now and are included with most cell phones. I’m not into gaming, so the iPad doesn't grab me on that feature. I do a lot of typing so I like a full size keyboard. I also like to see what I’m typing, or reading, so a full size screen that I don’t have to hold in my hand works just fine for me. Maybe I am in that demographic that is a little wiser about spending my money and am able to control myself from buying something that I may not really need. But I am sure there are some people out there who are already lining up somewhere to buy an iPad, even though they aren’t actually selling them as yet.

For me, I’m taking a wait and see approach. After all, sometime in the early 1990s I was trying to get the company that I worked for to use the GridPad, a tabled style computer. It’s nice to see that Apple has caught up to a 1990s concept, and is making it into a product that consumers, not businesses, may shell out the money to buy for entertainment purposes. But the question remains – with many people having personal computers or Macs, cell phones, netbooks, laptops, etc., does one really need a tablet too? The size also is a turn off; if I can’t fit it in my purse, I’m not going to carry it with me. And if I’m home, I’d rather be using my full size computer or laptop. I still like to read a book by actually turning the pages, and I love to page through my three daily newspapers. Sure, I still get plenty of news or do a lot of reading off the internet, but there is still something for the relaxing feeling one can get by sitting back and leafing through the newspaper or a book. It’s just not the same experience reading it on a Kindle, and I suspect it would be the same for me using an iPad - a sterile experience.

For me, I think I already have plenty of electronics toys to keep me occupied, entertained, and informed. Sorry Steve, but I think I will pass on the iPad.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Haiti Earthquake Disaster: Horrific and Real, Relief Needed

I’m not a big fan of Hollywood disaster movies as they treat big disasters as a vehicle to entertain, often desensitizing people to the reality of the effects of a major catastrophe caused by earthquake, tsunami, flood, weather, etc. When one sees the enormity of the massive earthquake in Haiti, Hollywood disaster movies seem almost sickening in their desire to make money off massive human tragedy, even if it is fictional.

In real disasters, people die, people are seriously injured, food and drinking water are scarce, basic utilities are out of order, and hospitals or medical services are stretched to the limit, if they are even available at all. An earthquake such as Haiti's could happen anywhere in the world, and could happen right in your home town. While one shouldn’t necessarily live as if disaster looms every moment, it is good to be as prepared as you can, realizing that one can’t always prepare for anything. The people in Haiti, however, were already living in serious poverty, and the devastation they are facing now makes it all that much harder to overcome the country’s problems. This is the time where we can all help in the effort by donating to the The American Red Cross and it can be as easy as sending a text message on your cell phone. Complete instructions can be found at this link: The American Red Cross Haiti Donations. Please consider making a donation!

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The Frequent Critic, here.