Thursday, May 19, 2011

iPad genius

The iPad is far more revolutionary than it gets credit for.

Because it is wireless and has no disk drive, you can only get things like software, music, movies into it via the air.  As a result, as an anti-piracy tool it is spectacular.  No more handing someone else a CD and allowing them to make a copy.  Piracy moves from the privacy of one's home, which is hard to police, to the ether, which, while still hard to police, is a far more public place.

Microsoft gets screwed.  Or perhaps it is screwing itself.  There are no Microsoft products available on the iPad.  Suddenly, Pages and Keynote become not just the fabulous-but-I-use-Office-anyway apps, but become something we have to learn.  And we will learn to love them.  Until Microsoft builds its apps for an iPad, Apple has a head start in persuading its customers that there are alternatives.

Before putting this thought toward iPads, in a recent presentation (done with PowerPoint, although I'd also done a small presentation in Prezi), I talked about things I think will go away in five years.  Mice, I said, because they were created to help us point at screens, and now we can touch our screens.  Cables connecting things, definitely.  Keyboards, potentially, although I just purchased an iPad keyboard (and I don't even have my iPad yet).

And, as reinforced by the iPad, local storage.  Cloud computing and things like Dropbox (which I just signed up for, to serve my future iPad) means that we won't need a lot of disk space any more.

I like the idea of not using local storage.  I am OK with learning the iWork suite.  I sadly wave goodbye to friendly piracy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Object of study

As I was walking home up beautiful Doyle Street in Emeryville, I realized that I've gone to two teaching clinics today, both incredibly convenient.

  1. This morning I picked up new glasses at the UC Berkeley Optometry Clinic, which is right next to my own building on campus.  A nice young woman with long chestnut hair gave me my new glasses and adjusted them for me.  Her demeanor was a little shy or unconfident, but she did a nice job.
  2. This evening I had a massage at the National Holistic Institute, which is five blocks away from my home.  A nice young woman with short spikey pink and platinum hair gave me a pretty good massage.  Her demeanor was a little shy or unconfident, but she did a nice job.
So I have participated in the education of students today in two ways beyond my usual work.