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ATPM 16.07
July 2010




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The Candy Apple

by Ellyn Ritterskamp,

On Temptation

There is all this awesome Apple stuff out there right now, and I am not tempted to buy any of it. I have a little bit of guilt about this, as we are supposed to be big early adopters if we love Apple, but I am holding steady. It’s like buying a great car—if it’s so great, maybe we can keep it for several years before needing a new one.

I bought a newish iPod nano recently enough that I debated between it and the iPod touch. The deciding factor? The Nano has a radio. That, and it weighs nothing and is a better companion on walks. But mostly I liked the radio.

Seriously. I do not want a device that will put me online all the time. (The iPod touch has WiFi Internet access, and the Nanos don’t.) I’m online at home and at work, and the rest of the time I would rather not know everything. It is too much information. It is too much connectedness for me. It makes me queasy after a while. I think it should be OK to turn stuff off.

I see where this is different for folks with longish commutes, but in that situation I still prefer a book to any sort of wired temptation.

Turning stuff off includes the cell phone. If I am talking to you in person, and I stop to answer a call, how does that make you feel? Like you are less important than the caller? That’s rude.

There is voice mail. There are messaging systems. There is time. We can wait ten minutes to call someone back, rather than treat someone in person in a dismissive way.

I won’t get started on people who think they must speak louder when they are on a cell phone. That’s why somebody invented texting.

Isn’t it?

It should be.

I love my one-year-old Mac mini just fine. I have resisted going to the Apple store to handle an iPad, because I know I will lust after it. But I think I can hold out for quite a while. It won’t replace my desktop Mac or my phone, and I don’t need an additional device for anything. Someday I will investigate reading books on those things. But, for now, there are still plenty of paperbacks stacking up waiting for me.

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Reader Comments (2)

Tad Brillhart · July 1, 2010 - 21:56 EST #1

I very much agree with your feelings about every new device that comes along every few months - cars, electonics - you name it. I still use OS 10.4 on a MDD Mac desktop along with the later systems available on an Intel MacBook Pro, and some external hard drives.

I like being able to keep a system going that does what I want, and I'll keep using it until it can't do that any more.

I finally bought a simple, basic cell phone (they practically give those away these days) that stays off most of the time. I don't get many calls backed up on it because I don't give my cell phone number out to anyone but family. I have a regular phone at home with an answering machine - that's good enough.

I rarely buy anything major new - if you do your homework, you can buy things that will last for years used, and save lots of money - particularly on Apple products. They are really good products . . . and that's what makes them so good as used products as well.

As you say - enjoy the quiet . . . read a book.
Rand Valentine · July 2, 2010 - 13:50 EST #2
You are right, it is important to be able to get away from the grid, if only because it's the only way many of us ever allow ourselves a moment to not be working in some way.

I resisted buying an iPad for a whole month! Now that I've bought one, I have to say that a. it doesn't really replace anything; b. I find it indispensable. The biggest plus is the ease of reading PDF's, the reading is so enjoyable because you can physically resize things, flip the orientation, etc., in a way that is qualitatively better than on a laptop or desktop. The wonderful app iAnnotate lets you annotate with your finger, which is fun and useful. The one limitation of the iPad is that it's hard to take notes while you read -- it CAN be done, but you have to be very clever about it.

The iPad is way, way, way more convenient traveling by air, and works very well on the go, e.g., in meetings and stuff for the note-obsessed, it's far less obtrusive than any laptop or netbook, simply because a clamshell always creates some kind of perceived social barrier, but the orientation of the iPad is not a barrier.

I DO laugh as I remember that my first Mac was a Mac Plus, which I suspect has a screen about the size of the iPad's, though of course the resolution, color, etc., makes the iPad far superior. And I seem to recall paying about $2k for that Mac Plus!

I love the foosball game, too!

I think the iPad is here to stay. I think it will evolve to a. be larger but thinner (the screen space available now is really only good for one window at a time, and to be productive, we need at least 2); b. have a virtual keyboard that gives tactile feedback.

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