The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 7, 2010

Random Thoughts: The Trouble with New Toys

Filed under: Random Stuff, Technology — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 1:02 am

Now that I have had a few days to mess around with this new iThingy I somehow ended up with and get used to it a little more, I thought I might share a few of my initial impressions. Not so much of the device itself, mind you (I actually intend to do a comprehensive write-up of that in another upcoming post), but of the whole “new toy” experience that comes with the thing. If this post happens to be more typo-laden than usual, I will be using the standard excuse. Yes, you can type on the built-in soft keyboard on this thing to some extent, but it’s really the type of thing suited more to dashing off a quick e-mail or a Facebook status update than a thousand-word Blog post. I’ve certainly dealt with worse (back in some of my young and foolish days I used to actually think handwriting recognition as an input method was something besides an ill-advised curiosity) but I could also be doing this a whole lot quicker on a real keyboard. I am also still trying to figure out the iPad optimized WordPress app, which seems to allow something vaguely resembling Blogging, but mostly it just confuses me and crashes a lot.

If there’s one thing that this device does well (for the time being anyway,) it’s attracting more than its fair share of attention. Somehow I have managed to become the first person in the office to actually have an iPad, and of course everyone wants to see the thing and try it out. What makes this especially odd is the fact that we’ve already been actively developing iPad apps here for the better part of two months before it was released.  Apparently there is another one on the way for use in the office, but for now I have the only one.  I suppose I can justify the purchase though, since my job currently involves breaking said apps in as many ways as I can possibly think of. And believe me, there is no shortage of ways to break iPad apps once you get them on the physical device, Without the actual hardware to work with, we have had to rely on a Mac based iPad simulator to test on. This does allow most of the stuff to be tested, but it does also come with significant limitations, many of which show up within about five seconds of running on a real iPad. I don’t actually mind this much since it makes my job easier. The developers’ jobs, not so much.

For the time being, there’s also some degree of reluctance to use the iPad in public for some unknown reason. I’m sure that within a month or two the things will be everywhere, but I find myself just a little bit hesitant to be the first person on the bus to be seen using one. Maybe I just don’t really want the attention that it might bring (other people might actually relish such attention though) or I’m seeing bogeymen under the seats again (note to self: go find new shrink, current one not working out so great), but somehow I seem to find myself waiting for someone else to be using one on the bus before I use mine there.. Then again, I also have a relatively short bus ride these days since I started getting on the bus at Eastgate and skipping the 520 mess, so I would hardly have time anyway. Oh well. If only the rest of my dilemmas were this trivial…

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