I've had some time to play around with my friends' Apple iPads since it was released. My initial impression? It's gorgeous ... but limited. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing will depend on what you want it for.
Apple built the iPad as a consumption device, and it excels at that role. While some dismiss the iPad as little more than an oversized iPad touch, this misses its primary appeal: it's huge, glossy screen. Yes, I can look at PDFs and comic books on an iPod touch, but what I see is a tiny fraction of what appears on the iPad. On a tablet, comic books loaded using the Marvel app display full-screen and are easily readable. You can zoom in if you like, but it's not essential.
The same goes for PDFs -- while there are several different ways to get PDFs onto your iPad, once they're loaded they're far easier to read than on a phone or a smaller device, like the Kindle or Nook. It surprises me that the iPad doesn’t do this natively – PDF support has always been strong in OS X – but perhaps the Adobe Flash spat is carrying over to this as well.
Web sites look great ... unless they're dependent on Flash, but honestly I dislike Flash sites and I already knew it would do that. My favorite sites tend to be blogs and text-heavy sites, and all displayed beautifully on the iPad. I see it as a great platform for casual reading with one caveat: weight.
The Discovery Channel has Shark Week. That's all well and good -- sharks are equal parts terrifying and fascinating -- but why limit yourself to one species? This summer Nuketown is launching Monster Week -- one full week dedicated to the best in cinematic horror. We're going to have movie reviews, soundtrack reviews, blog and game posts inspired by said movies, and -- if I can swing it -- feature length audio commentary for a film.
Here are my Follow Friday Twitter picks for 4/9/2010:
It began innocently enough with dinosaurs.
Kids love dinosaurs. I loved dinosaurs. Hell, I still love dinosaurs, so why wouldn't I share them with my daughter? Girls can be archeologists too after all, and this was the perfect setup to watching Indiana Jones a few years down the line.
Except that to my daughter, who was four at the time, dinosaurs weren't exotic reptilian wonders from 100 million years ago, they were 20 foot tall monsters with teeth like steak knives. Initial wonder gave way to horror, which spawned nightmares about being chased by velociraptors.
Back in March I decided to make a concerted effort to get back on the geek fitness band wagon after trying (and mostly failing) in February. My goal was to shift to a morning work out and to get my weight down to 210 lbs.
It went much better than in February. I got to the gym 4 out of 5 work days each week, and most of those were in the morning. In the second half of the month I found my new routine under assault by the college ritual known as "spring break", which caused the gym to open two hours later each morning.
Rather than give up, I decided to take advantage of the college's quieter schedule and go into work early, then work out, then go back to work. I also mixed things up with a few lunch time workouts. The lunch workouts are a big deal; in the past, when I missed my regular workout time I'd shrug and try again the next day. This month I juggled my schedule instead.
I fought off a short-but-nasty little cold at the end of the month, and I'm happy to say it didn't derail my exercise regime -- I think I only missed one day of it.
It's mid-March, which makes it a good time for an update on my March fitness initiative. So far it's going considerably better than February - I've been to the gym almost every week day, and have made a nice dent in my Alias Season 2 and Firefly viewing schedule. On the weight front, I'm at 213 lbs, which is down from 215, but still within my personal margin of error (though it is nice to be back at 213; I had been bouncing the other direction, to 217, on far too regular a basis).
Foodwise I've been drinking less soda, but I had far, far too much pizza last weekend chased down by a goodly amount of Mountain Dew but I haven't been overdoing it on a daily basis, so it all balanced out in the end.
Or at least, that's the theory.
My plan for the or the rest of the much is more of the same: working out at the gym for 30-40 minutes each day, walking to work as much as I can, keeping the soda in check, and avoiding those second helpings at dinner. I don't know if it's enough to get me to my goal of 210 lbs by the end of the month, but its a good routine nonetheless.
Spring's in the air, or it would be if only there weren't still a half-foot of snow sitting in my backyard. Baseballs are flying in Florida and somewhere in Easton, Pa. there undoubtedly a few brave daffodil shoots fighting their way to the surface.
The last two months have been hard on my geek fitness efforts; I got of to decent starts in January and February, only to have family colds, home improvement projects, and snow storms sidetrack my plans.
With March upon us, it's time to try and get back into a routine. My immediate goal is to pick up where I left off in February, and continue my morning workouts. These are exceedingly hard for me -- I'm just not a morning person -- but it's the one surefire way I have of making sure my exercise for the day gets done. As I've demonstrated time and again, it's all too easy to let exercise slide when a meeting runs late, I get caught up in a project, or a family emergency breaks out.
Here are my Follow Friday picks for 2/12/2010; inspired by Dark Horse Comic's Knights of the Old Republic giveaway (in which you had a chance to win a complete set of KOTOR books) I decided to do a round up of the major comic book companies on Twitter.
I want an iPad. It’s not because I’m a raving Apple fan boy or obsessed with the latest gadget – it’s because it fits the way I want to use technology, and addresses frustrations I’ve had with contemporary form factors. There are three specific products that I want to use with a tablet: