Comments on

Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release

Original entry posted: Mon Apr 5 14:27:30 2010

Matt S. @ Mon Apr 5 16:42:10 2010 EST

Like you, I wish everybody would just shut up about it already. There's definitely a cool factor to tablet PCs, but I'm going to wait until somebody (not Apple) comes up with something open, cooler and cheaper.

That Fuzzy Bastard @ Mon Apr 5 19:57:03 2010 EST

Yeah, I think your analysis is exactly right, and that's why I think both the pro- and anti- iPad screeds are over-the-top. The iPad isn't intended as a replacement for your computer; it's meant as a supplement. You do your work on your computer, and use the iPad for watching videos on the couch, surfing the web in bed, reading eBooks on the can, and other domestic purposes.

The best comparison, I think, is the iPod---people didn't stop interacting with music on their computers because of the iPod, they just started using the iPod as their specialty music-listening appliance, and using the computer for everything else. Weird as I find it to write this sentence, I think Slate was right when they described the iPad a media-consumption appliance. It's very much a machine for consumption, not production, but, contra Doctrow, that's not actually a sin.

Thomas @ Tue Apr 6 07:08:08 2010 EST

On the other hand, Tim Bray argues that cheap commodity hardware doesn't exist in a world with a consumer/professional computer split.

Right now, I think TFB is right in that these are supplemental devices--after all, you still have to own a computer to use one effectively. It's unclear to me whether there are plans for that to change, or if the tablet-as-computer-manufacturer is something that the tech punditry echo chamber invented. With Apple, the two are often hard to distinguish. But as long as it's the case, and as long as the market remains healthy (since the competition is going to be relying on commodity hardware for Android/Windows/Linux), I think Bray's probably worried over nothing.

Matt S. @ Tue Apr 6 10:15:38 2010 EST

If they intend to market the iPad as a work device, they might want to add a USB port on the next one. I can't imagine typing out a document on a touchscreen; although, like you said the other day, who wants to carry around a keyboard? The fact that it also doesn't include a camera is mystifying. I think it would be fun to mount the sucker on a wall, start up Skype and talk to my parents while I'm making dinner or something.

Sorry. I'm venturing in criticism territory here.

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