I don’t have an iPad yet, because I have better things to do than throw my money away on a smartphone under a magnifying glass, but I was reading about it — because the cool kids in the media have decided that it will be a success, no matter what actual consumers may have to say, such that it’s basically impossible not to read about it if you’ve got your eyes open — and Gizmodo has an interesting bit about the actual usage experience of using the on-screen keyboard on the thing.
The gist is that the keyboard is a failure of design and execution, and the recommendation to do some of the things the device is supposedly designed to do is to purchase an expensive accessory. Actually, the suggestion is to buy one more than even Apple suggests, which is pretty ridiculous.
Cult of Mac has a write-up of a Scientific American article by the visionaries at Xerox PARC, source of basically the entire way we use computers today, about the future of computing, and how prescient PARC was for anticipating mobile computing on differing levels, from the iPhone, to the iPad, to — presumably — an iTable.
The most impressive part of this report, according to the Cult of Mac, is that the PARC people, from whom Steve Jobs took all of their computing metaphors and then cried from under his lawyers’ skirts when Microsoft did the same, wrote this report 20 years ago. It’s like when you find a science fiction novel in which the author accurately predicts something; it’s rare, and pretty fantastic:
“Ubiquitous computers will also come in different sizes, each suited to a particular task. My colleagues and I have built what we call tabs, pads and boards: inch-scale machines that approximate active Post-It notes, foot-scale ones that behave something like a sheet of paper (or a book or a magazine), and yard-scale displays that are the equivalent of a blackboard or bulletin board.”