Ever since Apple released the first iPad, I've wanted one. But they were expensive, and I really had no idea what I would do with it if I did go crazy and splash out a ton of money. So I put the lust into a dark recess of my mind, and forgot about it.
However, a couple of things coincided a few months ago that convinced me I needed an iPad. The first was doing the design for a website whose two owners both used iPads to review the ongoing work. I saw flaws that were not apparent on any other browser/platform. So it was a bit embarrassing asking the client to test things out on an iPad and send me a screenshot. The second thing was the recent launch of the iPad no-number, which resulted in a dramatic price cut for the basic iPad 2. At €399, it wasn't an unreasonable price.
But still I wavered, until a few days ago when I read an article about how you could wirelessly connect an iPad to a MacBook (or PC) and use it as a secondary display. That was the clincher for me, and this afternoon I went out and bought this beautiful little slab of technology.
So I've spent the evening setting up this and that, and trying to download some of the other. The first stumbling block was connecting to the App Store. Programmers can be too clever for their own good sometimes, and when it spotted that my post code wasn't a UK one, it kicked me out of that registration process and flipped me into the Spanish one. En Español. That's not a problem, but I'm sure it means that, for example, the content I'm offered in the Kindle bookstore will be mostly Spanish, and not of much use to me. But I had no choice.
Part of the magic of all these new devices is that they can theoretically synchronize their content, so that your photos, videos, music, email and books can be shared on all related devices. So I knew that when I input my Kindle account details on the iPad, it would be able to access the books that I had bought from Amazon. I was sweetly surprised when the iPad knew what page I was on in my current book.
But syncing music with my MacBook didn't work - I need to upgrade the iTunes software on my MacBook. I've been resisting this upgrade since forever, but now I suppose I'll have to do it. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow. I pressed on with the iPad as secondary monitor project, and bought the app (Air Display) for $10. Then they give you a URL to download the MacBook client from. But guess what: my MacOS is too old to work with it, so I need to upgrade that too, tomorrow.
So the new toy is proving to be a bit of hard work, but I'm sure everything will be wonderful when it's done.