I'm a very bad person

Tomorrow I pick my parents up from the airport at 8:00am. They’re here for the weekend until late on Monday evening. I love my Mum and Dad and I’m really excited that they’ll be here for the weekend.

On Sunday, it’s my daughter’s second birthday. She’s the light of my life and I’m really stoked about a weekend with friends and family around to celebrate that.

And to cap it all off it’s a four day weekend to spend with the people I love!

Why am I a bad person you may ask? Well the simple reason is because with all of this love to celebrate this weekend, the mantra that’s actually going through my brain at the moment is: “iPad iPad iPad iPad iPad iPad iPad…”

Now, while I can’t excuse myself for that , nor would I expect you to, I can, perhaps, explain why this is so (for me and probably for many other ex-geeks of my generation).

When I was a lad, growing up at the birth of modern consumer computing (when I was 12, my uncle had a ZX81 which I immediately appropriated and started to write programs for etc.) I developed a dream. I was (and still am) a prolific reader and my vision was, one day, to have an electronic book reader (computer) which would simply be a screen with a forward/back button for flicking through content and a library of books I could buy and read on it.

With the birth of modern eReaders and particularly with the announcement of Amazon’s Kindle I was excited. Finally I was going to get such a device!

I was horrified when I saw the first version of the Kindle! Where was my eBook? What was this monstrosity with 1000 buttons (hyperbole intentional)? Where was the elegant, simple, intuitive device of my youthful dreams?

Then came the iPhone and the world changed a bit. For one thing it changed my vision for how I would interact with my eBook reader. Touch would naturally and intuitively replace the back/forward buttons. I’d flick through pages or scroll down web sites. I’d pinch to zoom in on something and tap to click links or start interactive content.

My horrified reaction to the aesthetics of the Kindle (and others) were only further increased by the realisation of how limited the content which can be delivered by such devices is.

The world has moved on a lot over the last 30 years and the vision for what media can be delivered on such a device as well as what I read and the channel I get it from has changed but the desire has not.

The only problem with the iPhone of course is form factor. It’s not a comfortable experience to consume written content or even, I would argue, media such as pictures and video. What I needed, in my new vision, was a bigger iPhone/iPodTouch…

And Apple have built it. It’s not, as many of it’s detractors are keen to point out (ad nauseum) the perfect Jesus-Device which is going to be everything to everyone and solve all ills including global warming, world peace and hunger but for me it doesn’t have to be. It simply has to do one thing well… be my vision of the eBook which I have wanted since I was a small boy. It doesn’t need a “Killer App”, the killer app is intrinsic to the device, consuming content and media in the right form factor. Anything else it does besides that is just gravy.

So, while I don’t expect you to excuse me for being as excited about getting a *gadget *as I am for spending time with my loved ones and celebrating the life of my most beloved, I hope you can begin to understand that while I am a very very bad person, come tomorrow I’m going to be the happiest little “very bad person” on the planet.

T minus 24 hours and counting…

iPad iPad iPad iPad iPadiPad iPadiPad iPadiPad iPadiPad iPad…

Joe Vaughan

Stardust dancin on the night...

UK

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