Saturday, February 12, 2011


OK, I'll admit. I have been an Apple fan for more than 25 years. I first laid hands on the Lisa and the Macintosh in the summer of 1984, and I began programming the Mac in August of 1984. I've been an Apple developer off and on since then. Virtually all my home computers are Macs, and I've encouraged my friends to buy Mac for years.

However, I 'm not what you call a raving Apple fan-boy. I thought the iPhone was interesting, but I wasn't one of those who stood in line for the original 2G, or the 3G,  or the 3GS release. My biggest problem was that I felt I already spent far too much each month for my cellular wireless service, why spring for $30 more each month for the data service?

My wife convinced me to get an iPhone 3GS Christmas 2009. I've been using it for a over and year, and I'm pretty impressed with it. However, the screen being small there's really a limit to what you can do with it. After a year, though, I'm not going back to a feature-phone.

My wife surprised me this year with a special present for my birthday: an iPad. I had tried them out at the Apple store before, but hadn't spent a lot of time with it. After a week of using this little device, I find I am way more impressed with it than with the iPhone. The iPad may well-be a game changer. I'll say something that you shouldn't take lightly from this long-time Mac user:

The iPad redefines the paradigm of computing, the same way the Macintosh did in 1984.

Your first impression may be that the iPad is just a bigger iPod Touch. But there's a profound difference. The bigger screen invites a more immersive computing experience. Touching the screen directly creates a very intimate connection with the applications. And the use of gestures dramatically reduces the visual clutter required to drive our mouse-and-keyboard machines.

It is very hard to articulate, but I am convinced that the computing experience 20 years from now will look remarkably like the iPad, and not as much like the Macintosh. I felt the same way 25 years ago, after using the Macintosh -- and that feeling was correct. The Macintosh, Windows and even Linux machines offer a roughly equivalent computing experience: a graphical user interface, driven with a mouse and keyboard.