May 14, 2010

What iPads Will Do To Your Family

awesome... masturbation just got a little easier

Chuck Hollis, a VP at EMC Corporation, writes about what buying the iPad did to his family.  It's short, go ahead and read it.

And then I brought home the iPad.

...The members of my family immediately gravitated to the new shiny thing -- no prompting, no encouragement, no migration, etc.  They are drawn to it like a moth to flame.

I now have this strange love/hate relationship with Apple.  And I think it won't be long before I'm forced to make another trip back to the Apple store.

I'm not trying to ignite an iPad war, nor am I saying that the iPad is not an inventive piece of technology.  The iPad has a market, but that market is plagued with a number of troubling appetites. But he'll never buy a desktop again?  BS. Let's say you take video or a photo with a camera.  There is currently no way to get that to an ipad except through a traditional computer.

The problem isn't the iPad itself, but what he plans to do with it.  What he describes in this article is totally unproductive activity.  Sending photos, facebook, and smiling, always smiling.

My wife asserted her rightful place in the hierarchy later that evening, and took it upstairs to the bedroom to relax while watching TV.  Tap, tap, tap.  Occasionally, she showed me something interesting she found online.  And smiling.

Let me guess, she was watching HGTV and browsing, right?  Consume, consume, consume.

He's describing a consumption device, not a production device.  These aren't devices you use to create anything.   They are media consumption devices. Can you write anything of substance on an ipad?   Do actual work on an ipad?  I understand that it is certainly fun to use, and that it's neat.  Does that justify $500 + $20/month? 

And that's fine if that's what they are.  They'll be successful for the same reason all kinds of things are successful.  It makes people smile.  Great.  So do Vente Moccachinos, which I assume comes in red as well as standard black.   People buy gourmet cookware to scramble eggs.  They buy high performance cars to sit in traffic.   Just because I think it's stupid doesn't mean I don't also think it won't be hugely profitable, nor does it mean I don't understand the product.  I understand it perfectly.  These devices are for people who approach computers and the web the same way they approach TV. 

Can I rip 1080p blu-ray discs to it?  Can I edit HD video?  Can I write a document on it longer than 100 words?  Can I prepare a presentation, work on a spreadsheet, etc.? Will it run MAME?  Will it do all these things at the same time?

And to his main point: "I don't think I'll be buying desktops anymore."  Yes you will, because judging from the article you buy every stupid piece of crap that any of these tech companies ever make. "As I think about it now, we've got a fleet of 6 PC desktops of various vintages and three Windows laptops -- two of them that actually work well.  On the Apple side, we've got an iMac and two MacBook Airs of different vintages.  We just updated the family NAS server to the most recent Iomega device."  So yeah, there are a few more desktops in your future.

The criticism here isn't about the tech. I just bought a MacBook with edges so sharp I can slit my wrists on it while I'm looking for the right click button.  But it's a slick ride, and boots up fast enough for me not to punch the CPU.  Is it "better" than a PC?  Sure, I'll grant that.

My criticism is about the mindset.  Not everyone-- settle down-- but many look at Apple from the "if I only had the right equipment, I could--" perspective.  It's a false idol.  None of these products will improve the quality of your production if you are not already producing.  And there's a very good chance that it will suck the time and energy out of your life, exactly like porn.

Forget the All-Clads and the Whole Foods.  Go buy some Acme non-organic eggs and mass produced waxy tomatoes, and figure it all out.


Stock tip: the fact that I finally bought an Apple can be taken as some sort of top.