Wednesday, 30 June 2010

iPhone vs iPad

I want an iPhone. I don't want an iPad.

Until the advent of the iPhone I'd largely given up on Apple computers. As a kid I had the standard issue ZX Spectrum for a while, and the first time I did any real desktop publishing it was on an Atari, but my first forays into the world of the internet and the World Wide Web happened on a Mac, a Performa 475 that needed a software update in order to handle floating point numbers. It served me well, that old machine, for several years and when I started working life I borrowed a Mac that was used most of the time by the staff designer and whose hours were pretty much the opposite of mine. Eventually both our hours increased and a new machine had to be found. I was introduced to the PC and learned how useful a right mouse button could be. I never really looked back. That was at the time of Windows 95 and MacOS 7.5 and my path diverged so far from the Mac that when, years later, I came to be checking web pages on Safari I found it really difficult to remember the little differences and hit the top left rather than the top right for window maximisation and the likes.

I adopted Smartphones as soon as they were about. I had a Nokia 7110 but rather than rely on the WAP browser (although I used it regularly) I had it hooked up to my Palmpilot via IR ports for web browsing on the train, and when the all-in-one Treo 600 came along it worked like a dream. The Treo served me well for years, via a couple of upgrades but stopped being my friend when they adopted Windows Mobile. I am really pretty platform agnostic so long as the device does what I want it to well enough. Well enough in the case of a phone does not include crashing the phone software while the rest of the device remains unaware so that on reboot I discover 2 days worth of calls and texts...

Thus I came to own an iPhone 3G. I had to use the first version at work for a while on a project, and it was a pretty nifty device although it took me a long while to get used to not having a keypad in the normal sense. Now I'd really rather not be without it, for all its foibles.

The iPhone 4, though, that fixes many of them. The poor camera, the battery life, the improved spatial awareness. I want them all, I will have one. I just have to figure out how and when - they're sold out everywhere and I don't have the kind of money they cost right now, especially since buying out of my contract will cost me either 90 quid or six months.

The iPad, though? I just don't get it. I keep being told how it's a revolutionary device and it's not trying to be a laptop, but as far as I can tell, short of the multi-touch screen, it is matched in every respect by netbooks and laptops. I like proper input devices, I like the way that USB devices can just plug into computers, and I like how a laptop's software is not ringfenced - I can roll my own applications and nobody has to approve them (assuming I were capable). I keep being told about how you can use the iPad as a laptop if you want, you just need to buy a dock. Okay... but my laptop which cost me under three hundred quid came with one built in! I don't have to carry it around in two pieces and assemble it for use. I've only seen one iPad in the flesh. It was being cradled by a man on a train who sat next to me and checked his email. I checked my email, too. My device then slipped into my pocket and I really don't understand what he gained, if anything, by working on an iPad rather than an iPhone.

I guess I ought to be glad I don't desire one. There are enough things I do want that I can't afford, without wanting more.

As for the computers, at work I'm back on a Mac and I struggle with it. I use a PC by preference. I think this loses me geek cred, but I don't really need the Mac lifestyle. I still loathe the Windows 7 advertising campaign, though. What a load of rubbish.

Welcome to Geekeration

Hello. This is a blog about geekery. All the strange hobbies that used to be shunned are now celebrated, and the world is hungry for the next techie toy.

I am unashamedly me and I don't shy away from admitting to my passions. From a solid love of science fiction with Red Dwarf at its heart through my teen years and beyond, to a minor obsession with Little Shop of Horrors and a recent discovery of live roleplay, I've found fun throughout life for a long time whilst finding my working life has gone down an odd combination of media and tech.

I'm not new to writing online, I've written and continue to update a journal elsewhere, but I've always maintained that my online journal is a place for personal musing and chatting with my friends. A blog is more of a shout to the world, a place for more targeted writing, a little soapbox to stand on and shout to an audience.

Hello audience.