Sunday, April 4, 2010

iPadless in San Francisco

RHYS: I have a confession to make. I was not one of those people sitting on the sidewalk all Friday night in order to be one of the first to buy an iPad. Neither, I suspect, were my blog-sisters.

In our past discussions we seem to be conservative bunch (in the non-political sense)when it comes to new technology. Maybe cautious sums it up better. Maybe sensible is closer to it. I've never been a gadget person, never lusted after the latest gizmo. In fact by the time I acquire and learn to use a piece of technology, it's just about to become obsolete. And the only reason I buy new is when the old one gives up the ghost (as computers are inclined to do about every three years).

Okay, I do have another confession: I did once yearn for a technological wonder--and this will date me horribly--it was when transistor radios came out when I was a teenager. They were so expensive that I didn't dare ask for one for Christmas. But in my stocking I found a battery. I couldn't think what it could be for and then the hope and wonder spread through me. It couldn't be....but it was! I still remember the utter joy of it. So maybe now I understand a little better those who sat on the sidewalk all night for their iPads.

So dear Jungle Red sisters and friends--have you bought an iPad yet? Are you going to? Did you ever lust after a gizmo of any kind?

JAN: As the new owner of an iPhone, I have respect for gizmos. Still, the iPad does too much stuff for me. I don't need one more connection to the Internet. But I do fantasize about the Kindle.

HALLIE: Like you, Rhys, I hate throwing anything away as long as it's still working. I had an ancient cell phone that mortified my children who threw a party when it finally gave up the ghost.

It took me years to get an iPod and though I like it I hate that I can't just plug the darned thing in and play music. Earplugs and chargers and downloads and docking stations...lots of overhead with that contraption. And though I do occasionally lust for a Kindle (when packing for a trip) the truth is I am perfectly happy without one.

What I want to know is where do all those kids get all that money? We're talking expensive gizmos.

RO: This is why Americans are carrying such credit card debt...but THAT's another blog.

Yes, I'm a late adapter. Got my Ipod late (why would I ever want to burn cds?) Blackberry is only 2-3 years old (But I don't want anyone to reach me everywhere..) Haven't been paying that much attention to the whole IPad thing, it just looks like a minicomputer which I bought last year. Now I'll have to check it out so that I don't feel like such a loser, although it's probably not in my future. I owned an IPhone for about six hours and then returned it. Horrible experience - and I don't enjoy being around a bunch of pimply kids who think they're "geniuses."

The real thing that's changed my life is the GPS. How did I live without that thing? How did writers go on tour?

BTW The battery in the stocking is so sweet!

RHYS: Ro,I completely agree with the GPS. Apart from Mildred's annoying and critical voice when I make a wrong turn, she is invaluable.

HANK: I lust for an iphone every day. But I'm not getting one, because I'd be on it all the time. It's purely self-preservation. And thumbs down on the ipod, too. It drives me crazy that's eveyone's so plugged in, they can't hear anything going on in the real world.

How-ever. I'd kinda like to have an ipad. And a Kindle. Okay, I wouldn't line up for one. And I'm perfectly happy without either one. Um, for now.

And hey: Did you see the Modern Family episode about the iPad? The MOST amazing product placement ever in history, it's just got to be. (But I still love Modern Family.)

And iPad is a dumb name. Just my opinion.

RHYS: I asked for an iPod for Christmas last year as I thought it might be plesant to listen to music while I was waiting for a flight, in a doctor's office etc. I told John I wanted a simple mp3 player. He bought me the iPod touch, which is essentially the iPhone without the phone. So far I have put a lot of photos on it to show other people my trip to Australia and my grandkids, and I have put tons of music on it, but I haven't touched any aps yet--Jan, I'm tempted to download the virtual tennis game and waste time trying to beat Serena.
But from what I read the iPad has been described as the iPod on steroids--it browses the web, sends emails, plays DVDs and music, acts as a Kindle to read ebooks. So the only fuction I don't already have is a good ebook reader--and I like the feel of a real book in my hands, although I have to confess that maybe, just maybe on a trip a Kindle might be nice...


  1. Oops sorry, I forgot to pitch in my two cents over the weekend--busy making Easter brunch.:)

    Like Jan, I adore my iphone. But the ipad is a "wait and see". It seems inevitable, I suppose, but I'll let them work out the bugs and lower prices for a couple of years.

    And yes yes yes, I love reading good old-fashioned books!

  2. I seem to be an accidental Luddite--all my newfangled modern improvements are giving up at once. The icemaker, kaput. Our water heater is still suffering from the after-effects of last week's rain--but who needs hot water? The air conditioners have died in all our cars. And now I'm growing my own vegetables and composting (yes, we killed a garbage disposal too).

    But how quickly all this electronic communication has taken over our lives! I received my first email sent from an iPad today--it came out yesterday, right?

    I pity future biographers--what records are they going to have to work with?

  3. I have the dinosaur eBookwise, which works fine for me until they perfect something that does everything I want for a price I can afford. And I wouldn't buy a first generation anything electronic.

    Besides: we're buying a house and I need "real" stuff. Everything from flatware to furniture.

  4. I. Love. My. Kindle. Period. Adoreadoreadore Kin. I don't want to travel without Jack, my Aussie-tongued Garmin GPS. (I do wish they'd do a Sean Connery clone voice, though!) Jack goes will with Drover, my Toyota Highlander. I have an iPod and use it when people are home and I need to tune out everyone so I can write. (No pun intended.) However, I don't use it enough to name it. LOL My iPhone, though...I did a two-week cruise without my Precioussss and HATED it! Preciousss is never far from my hand. I use it for everything from weather, maps, calculator, grocery list, identifying songs on the radio, text messages, voting for Dancing with the Stars, compass (when I'm away from Drover)...Oh. And calling people. :D

  5. Oh...and no iPad for me. Between the Kindle and the iPhone, I have it all covered. Not to mention the cost!

  6. Sean Connery's voice on the GPS - LOVE IT!! Why don't they do celebs? After all Whoopi Goldberg tells me I have mail and Cher calls me "Babe."

    Oooh...Morgan Freeman. I'd probably drive off a cliff if MF told me to do it.

  7. Silver,
    I think I have the same Aussie guy on my Tom-Tom.

    He's hot!!

    But frankly, I don't want any more celebrities telling me what to do. I prefer the generic hot Aussie guy!


  8. Jan, I love the Aussie compared to the Englishman. Forget the American! Weird, I know.

    The DH and a good friend of ours did a running commentary one night as we were driving to dinner in a strange city. Their topic? The things the GPS *should* say. Instead of "recalculating" in that bored, put-upon voice, it should be, "Well, you really cocked that up, mate." Needless to say, the comments went downhill from there. :D

  9. Where's my Aussie guy? Russell are you in there...?

  10. My daughter has downloaded John Cleese on her GPS and he does say things like, "Oh bugger, you're going the wrong way!"
    I'm not sure how she did it. I certainly loathe the snippy Mildred who says "Recalculating" in her critical voice, but I never seem to have time to play online to find a new voice. Husky Aussie--now that sounds tempting.

  11. Sheila, I've often thought this about future biographers--I've had great email conversations with important people--Mike Connelly, Ian Rankin etc and then I delete them. Afterward I think--in the old days they would have been part of a volume of correspondence of that person. Now they vanish.
    Too bad

  12. Recalculating! Thats what our gps "Jeeps" says, too. I still couldn't live without her..

    I'd love one that says. uh, get ready to turn, okay? In just a little while, so you might want to move onver into the other lasne, okay? And don't you look nice today!

    But I think it would be fun to have Hugh Grant's voice.

    Tery! GOod luck with your house! And HI, Silver!

  13. Silver, the precioussss...that's so funny. That's what Jonathan calls my Emmys..

  14. As a kid I lusted for an Atari, and about 12 years ago I suddenly had to have Caller ID, but that's about it and a strong desire for technological gizmos. (I only got a laptop and an iPod this year, and I never take the laptop anywhere - not even onto my lap. And the only reason I got an iPod was so I could listen to downloads from last year's Malice Domestic.)

    Who needs technology when you have books?! Good turn-the-pages books. Love 'em!

  15. GPS? I'm dyslexic and invariably turn left when told to go right. I had a rental with a GPS for a weekend and I swear I heard it sigh with relief when I turned it in. Poor machine was worn out from "recalculating" after I veered off course for the fifth time in as many turns.
    I have a cell phone, Internet/app capable, but I only use it for the calendar capability.
    What I won't give up is my netbook. Internet and email access, plus a keyboard I can use with more than just my thumbs. Guess I'm showing my age...

  16. Tiger! I'm with you--thumb typing--I don't get it.

  17. I've always wanted to write a horror story about a sentient GPS - one that drives its victims off cliffs. Very Stephen King-y...or has he already done it?

    Having said that I LOVE my GPS - it goes wherever I go. And sometimes it wakes up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason and announces: "Right Turn Ahead." Is that cool or what?

  18. OH, I actually thought of that, too, Hallie!

    Or a GPS that gives answers to questions other than directions..

  19. I have just submitted such a story, Hank. It's called Driving her Crazy!

  20. I'm glad Jungle Red hasn't gone iPad crazy! As soon as I heard it couldn't replace my laptop, I lost interest... I would like to make my life less complicated not more.

    I suppose we'll all have e-books eventually, but I love the old fashioned kinds too much to give them up.