iPad: Meh.

28 01 2010

As everyone and their goat seems to be posting about the iPad I thought I’d join in.

First some background: I am 30 year old, professional with no children and a reasonable amount of disposable income each month and yes: I own many Apple products. Our computer set up: two Macs, one PC and enough iPods and iPhones to launch a franchise. I have a moderate gadget habit and spend 15 hours a week commuting. In short: in their target market.

Good stuff:

Some people are sniffing at the price. Compared to a netbook that’s a fair cop but it’s certainly a damn bit cheaper than some people were expecting.

The battery life seems pretty good.

There’s a great deal of scope for digital books (there’s a concern here as well) that have been held back by poor UI and screen technology.

Bad stuff:

The design is missing all sorts of things – like connectivity – but mainly it looks like an oversized iPhone and that’s just wrong.

The hard drive is too small.

Multi-tasking is an odd one, as is the reliance on the iPhone OS and severely limits the kit. I don’t really want a mobile OS on a piece of kit that expensive.

iWork is alright but still not my first choice.

Closed platform is bad and does grate. I’m still waiting for more details of DRM around the new system and how independent producers can get stuff into the platform.

The external keyboard dock looks kind of odd and I’m not sure, if you were going to go the iPhone OS route, why you would do that. It would be better, surely, to introduce a Mac Book Pro (13 inch) with a swivel touch screen, no?

Who’s it aimed at?

It’s very niche. I can’t see the masses picking one up because the functionality is too limited and the size is too odd for most people’s every day travel requirements. If you fly a lot you might well look to replace your kindle with one of these, or if you travel a lot and importantly if you consume more media than you produce. It isn’t going to be that useful for writers, or photographers, or artists.

I think it’s a typical first generation Apple device where they’ve created something with lots of cool stuff but not quite figured out how to put it together properly. I expect some interesting iterative changes in the first few generations of device and some kind of mash up with the full laptop range.

I don’t want one. Yet.

Kicking back

24 01 2010

My mum has been visiting. It’s nice when people come to visit and I was really pleased my aunt and uncle called round yesterday. We’ve mainly just been hanging out, chatting and today we meandered into Greenwich for lunch.

It’s been nice even if I did have to work this evening.

I’ve been reading and eclectic mix of stuff from Michael Lockwood’s Labyrinth of Time, Sarah Water’s The Little Stranger to Seth Godin’s Meatball Sundae. I enjoyed them all, flawed though they were, and am now starting on The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It’s been a good reading month.

Writing wise it hasn’t been great. The year has gotten off to a shambling start and I’ve not managed much more than a bit of tinkering on Eleutheria. My goal is to get going on this story properly and finish a draft as soon as possible. I’ll let you know how I get on.

In a foolish fit of optimism I have joined the gym. If nothing else it should provide some funnies for the blog.

Catch you later.

Calm down

22 01 2010

So I read this. And the reaction of some people to the New Yorker piece…is just…irritating.

Clearly I am not impartial. However, some points I feel relevant on this:

a) Neil G may not have said it and apologised.

b) Even if he did say it, the comment has clearly been taken out of context.

c) Tempting as it is to apply binary definitions to the meaning of words, the English language can, and does, allow for a range of interpretations, particularly when it comes to turns of phrase. It’s one of the fun and wonderful things about language. Context is important and interpretation does vary.

d) An ability to write well, or successfully, does not mean an ability to churn out perfect prose, on tap, live and without slip ups. All of the time. Human beings  make mistakes.

e) There are many, many, real world examples of legitimately misogynistic behaviour from people (including, and rather frequently, US and UK politicians) that do actually deserve public verbal lashings. Picking on someone for a possible and mild slip up who does not hold misogynistic views isn’t just unkind but lessens your argument against actual opponents of your view.

Lastly, do you really think he’d get away with being misogynistic with Amanda around?

Give the guy a break.

Dance While The Sky Crashes Down

21 01 2010

Some music for this evening:


14 01 2010

I thought I’d draw your attention (albeit a little late) to the Preditors and Editors poll.

You know, in case you’d read Crunch and felt compelled to nominate/vote for it.

I really do need to get more organised.

Titan like mistake

10 01 2010

I’m pretty sure remaking this should be punishable by death:

And what is it with Neeson? Is he on a one man mission to star in more remakes than any other actor?

Snow joke

6 01 2010

I understand the transport system crashing during bad weather because it all comes down to risk management – it’s risk versus cost* – but I cannot understand offices that don’t enable remote access. Especially in London.

It’s relatively cheap to do and, with most people having mobiles, that means the majority of office workers can still be productive. Yet there are still offices (not mine) who don’t do this. It’s 2010 people, this shouldn’t beyond anyone.*

That is all.

* Although the snow is becoming more regular each year now and so that excuse is wearing thin.
** Naturally, I am not talking about jobs that require physical presence: medical professionals, police, shop workers, etc.