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  • OT: iPad

    One of my friends just came by my office with his shiny new iPad, and I got to play with it a bit. A couple of first impressions:

    It's extremely well-made, but it's HEAVY. 1.5 lbs.

    The screen is gorgeous -- back-lit and the color saturation is perfect. We compared a Kindle side-by-side with the iPad, and the iPad looks much better. Major downside though -- the screen is exceptionally subject to glare. Standing next to a window, it's almost impossible to read. But it would be a killer device on an airline flight -- watching movies and/or reading books.

    It's really fast. 1 Ghz Cortex A9 (Arm) core. Supposedly, 10 hours of battery life, but Apple greatly exaggerates the iPhone battery life, so we'll see...

    Supports Acrobat out of the box, of course (it's basically a giant iPhone). Wolfram has a neat mini Mathematica port for $2 The electronic journal is really nice.

    Holding that big, expensive ($500 for non-3G, $800 for 3G), heavy sheet of glass in my hands made me nervous. It definitely won't survive a drop (an iPhone will in a slip case).

    Overall impression, very well made, nicely integrated piece of technology. Too big for my purposes (I'm not a big eBook reader) but I would definitely consider the iPad over the Kindle or the Sony eBook reader.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

  • #2
    As a Kindle owner, I cannot imagine an e-book that is better. The iPad will do lots a cool stuff I guess, but to me it's another version of a laptop/thin client/really big iPhone/etc. The organic LED on the Kindle is as good as ink. If it gets any better than a Kindle, I'm not sure I want to know about it.

    Thanks for the first impressions. She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) has noted that she is tired of me using my computer when I get home, and maybe she needs an iPad.
    Dan from Raleigh, NC

    If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.
    _____________________
    "What is your host's purpose for the party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they'd have sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi." P.J. O'Rourke

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    • #3
      Woman-Unit got one as well. It's a giant iPhone. We'll see once the shiny wears off. I have a couple ideas for around the workshop.
      This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
      Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
      Plastic Operators Dot Com

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      • #4
        One of my software friends (Robert, was yours SW too ?) at work also brought in his new Ipad today. Young SW guys seem to be big on gadgets that are obsolete in 3 months I asked if I could take it out to the car and baseball bat and he refused For those of you who haven't seen it, check out the Youtube video of 3 guys buying one at Best Buy then immediately taking it out and smashing it before a small public crowd. Probably up to a million views ... the comments don't leave many nice thoughts about American teens or Americans in general.

        The screen is indeed gorgeous and appears to have almost symmetrical viewing qualities from any orientation of the clock. He ran it for 8 hours this past weekend and did not deplete the battery charge. I think the display was active for the 8 hours but will have to verify that.

        The doming of the metal shell gives it incredible stiffness and strength, sort of like the new VW bugs. The weight also made me nervous since he removed it from the Apple sleeve that it slides into for normal use. What I think it needs is a 4 point "bra" that provides low profile bumpers at the corners to absorb a drop on any flat surface.

        It's still an Iphone on steroids but I can see how many people would enjoy it for surfing the web, viewing videos and VERY limited typing.

        You can have a vertigo attack as the screen orientation switches in 90 degress increments with your movement of the unit but I guess that can be locked in place.

        Not a big Apple fan but this will probably be a good seller ... maybe should've bought stock ... this time.

        Den

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nheng
          One of my software friends (Robert, was yours SW too ?) at work also brought in his new Ipad today. Young SW guys seem to be big on gadgets that are obsolete in 3 months
          Good call Den -- he's a compiler writer

          He's a big Kindle fan -- it was his that we were comparing to the iPad this afternoon, but I guess you'll just have to see them in person.

          The doming of the metal shell gives it incredible stiffness and strength, sort of like the new VW bugs.
          Very true -- those handholds on the back really do stiffen the case and give it a very solid feel.
          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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          • #6
            Funny that in general I don't see anyone optimistic in the machinists' forums about this. About a year ago I was looking for a shop computer for being, basically, an overgrown calculator and .pdf manual display.

            I work on a lot of bicycles, and I thought I could maybe get a Kindle, Sony Reader or iPhone to work for my purposes. But for manual (.pdf) viewing it just didn't work. Many of the newer electronic manuals and .pdf maintenance books utilize color very well. So the b/w "electronic ink"---as well as the horrible .pdf functionality---of those book readers failed me.

            I ended up buying a Mac mini. At the time, I distinctly told the Apple Store employee that, ideally, I needed an iPhone that was at least 5x7" big. Then we both laughed over the decade-long rumors of such a thing actually happening from Apple.

            I, personally, find it the perfect answer for storing every machine tool manual and maintenance publication I ever will lay my hands on. Add one of those Skinz (http://www.invisibleskinz.com/) products to it and you're golden. They never did make a product like that for a Sony Reader going into the oily machine shop.

            Then again, my money was spent a year ago...
            And I have not yet laid hands on one of the new iPads...
            Last edited by Arthur.Marks; 04-06-2010, 10:03 PM.

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            • #7
              Tempting...

              Last edited by Glacern; 04-07-2010, 01:05 AM.

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              • #8
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAl28...layer_embedded

                that's all i've wanted to see for the past week as every tech-related news site has been clogged with pointless ipad posts...
                -paul

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                • #9
                  Check out the HP Slate-

                  IF I was in the market, I think I would go for one...Engadget has a write-up.

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                  • #10
                    Good one, Sol

                    Lazlo - is the Kimble a color screen? That's a deal breaker for me and readers because so much of what I work with uses color in important ways.

                    Edit:

                    And it blends! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAl28d6tbko
                    Last edited by dp; 04-07-2010, 01:27 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Teardown play-by-play photos for those interested in the innards:

                      http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad-Teardown/2183/1

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dp
                        Good one, Sol
                        Indeed! I'm printing that out on the color printer right now!

                        Lazlo - is the Kimble a color screen? That's a deal breaker for me and
                        It's black and white -- it's the "electronic ink": ferromagnetic particles suspended in a liquid carrier.
                        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                        • #13
                          Yeahbut. The E-Ink screens draw no power at all except to page turn. Battery life for a Sony Reader Daily Edition is around ten thousand page turns. That could be months depending on how it is used. Comparing the I-Pad with an E-Ink monochrome reader is completely inappropriate and useless. They don't target the same market or serve the same purpose. You may have noticed that most novels are printed in black and white and have few or no illustrations. That is the target market for e-Ink readers and for that it serves very well. I am just waiting for the price to come down on the Sony before I pick one up. I have absolutely no use for an I-Pad.

                          BTW, e-ink isn't ferro magnetic. It is tiny balls that are white on one side and black on the other and they carry a permanent electrostatic charge. They are suspended in a thin gel. By applying the appropriate charges to the grid of transparent tin oxide conductors on the screen the balls roll to the correct orientation and are not affected by external magnetic fields. Xerox invented it years ago.
                          Last edited by Evan; 04-07-2010, 01:07 PM.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Evan
                            Yeahbut. The E-Ink screens draw no power at all except to page turn. Battery life for a Sony Reader Daily Edition is around ten thousand page turns.
                            Battery life for me is not a factor as my usage profile would be 20 minutes/day on the bus and the rest of the time reading at lunch and occasionally in bed. Color is far more important. Imagine trying to make sense of something like this in B&W.

                            http://www.perfonics.com/wp-content/...-dashboard.jpg

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                            • #15
                              For me colour doesn't matter. I have a net book and 3 lap tops for that. What I need right now is something that doesn't take a lot of space and that has all my collection of IC datasheets so I can search and display the part that I am currently wiring up or looking for in my junk boxes. For the machine shop I need to display my own notes and calculations, cut list etc. Right now I end up with numerous sheets of paper or a large stack of hard to search 2" thick data books for electronic parts.

                              Incidentally, the only computer in any of my shop spaces is the one that controls my mill. It is used ONLY for that purpose and as a file server for my network. I have a rule of no internet in the shop. It's how I manage to actually get things done. If I need to have net access or even edit a CAD-CAM file then I have to shut down the shop and go up stairs to my main work station.
                              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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