What to do with an Ipad

So I had my Ipad now for 4 weeks, and it’s been an interesting experience, to say the least. People still stare at the thing (not so much at me, thanks heaven) when I fire it up on the train and can’t seem to be able to peel their eyes away from it. Initially I was a bit concerned about its potential uses and that I might have bought the most overprived email reader ever, but over the last 2 weeks or so I have slowly but surely started to appreciate its strengths.

So, what is it good for?


You might think that’s a bit obvious, but since you can import pdf’s into the book reader, I carry a lovely little collection of white papers, studies and manuals around with me that I can read at leisure on the train without showering everybody in paper. The ebooks available on iTunes are still a bit few and far between (not if you’re a Jeremy Clarkson fan though), but if you keep looking you can pick up some pretty good deals. Reading is a joy, especially on busy train rides, as you can use the iPad one handed and switch between pages with your thumb.


Thanks to the iTunes store I now carry a 2 or 3 seasons of my favourite TV shows always around with me, which makes train journeys and flying much more fun. It’s also much easier to watch than with my Macbook. Try unfolding a Macbook on Ryanair or Easyjet! With a good set oh headphones you can forget the world around you and enjoy watching a group of total strangers hunting another group of strangers on a desert island after a planecrash.


As a pure music player it’s a bit bulky, but if you’re reading anyway, it serves this purpose as well

Email and Web

With a zippy 3G connection or Wifi no complaints. Flash would be nice, though.

Everything else

I have suddenly started to take notes during meetings, as text entry is quite easy. Killer applications like Korg’s ielectribe halp with creating beats on the train.

Is it worth the 700 pounds? Likely not.

Is it oodles of fun: Definitely.

Should you have one? It depends. If you have a long commute on the train or if you travel regularly, definitely!

Otherwise, spend half the money on a decent netbook.

Ipad Day

Sorry for not dropping by for some time. Work was murder, the Open University is currently draining a lot of my resources and somehow I didn’t feel I had anything interesting to share. This might of course still be the case.

Over the last weeks I followed the brouhaha over the Ipad. Being in theory an utter Apple fan boy who is aware of his uncritical admiration for the company’s products I still have enough braincells left that being locked into a non-free hardware/software stitch up run by opinionated and rather megalomanic CIO is not necessarily a good thing. This is why at least two of my computers are running Linux and OpenBSD on bog standard hardware. Nevertheless, it’s hard to seperate me from my Ipod(s) and my MacBook. And if I wouldn’t find such enjoyment taking my computers apart, I am sure I would by another Imac (I bought the first generation Imac back in 1999 and still sometimes dream of it). With other words, it’s now been 17 years since I bought my first Mac (a used PB150) and I’m still utterly in love with the company’s products. Although I have to admit that it sometimes feels like a liaison dangereux.

Anyway, to come back to the Ipad. I have been watching the whole thing from the sidelines, and pretty sure I wouldn’t need one: I have my MacBook and my Ipods (no Iphone. You’ll have to pry my wonderful Nokia E72 from my cold, dead hands). When The Guardian started its strange, drooling coverage last week, I still wasn’t convinced. Then I saw one actually in action one a Youtube video, and I was hooked. So this morning, I went to the most unfashionable PCWorld in East Anglia and bought one. And bloody hell, it’s gorgeous. Even the best girlfriend ever was happy to acknowledge that it’s just utterly beautiful.

After the unboxing, synchronizing and general drooling was over, I started making myself a micro sim card. Armed with a pair of scissors, my 3 network dongle and a youtube video I managed to convert my dongle to dual use and indeed: the ipad is exceedingly happy using my self made micro sim card.

So, what it’s like to use? Brillant. The most impressive thing is the speed. And its intuitiveness. And its screen. And its 64 gb ram. And did I mention the speed?

But what do you actually use it for? Good question. At the moment it’s the best mobile email reader I’ve ever had.

And I’m sure that ‘Lost’ on the train will be absolutely spiffing.

More as soon as I stop drooling.