Book Trailer for Pilikia

Monday, April 05, 2010


I got in touch with my inner geek this weekend. I bought an iPad. On Saturday morning, I stopped by Best Buy about 10 o'clock. I expected lines for the iPad, but there were none. Instead, a clerk was passing out tickets. They had thirty on a truck from Houston that was due in fifteen minutes, he said. It turned out to be more like an hour and a half before they had the truck unloaded and the boxes unpacked. There were about twenty of us waiting around and trying out the one demo unit on hand.

While I waited, I bought the Snow Leopard upgrade for my Macbook and the Beatles' Rubber Soul. That only shows I should not be allowed to spend time in Best Buy unsupervised.

I'm not particularly geeky and don't rush into new tech things, although I have on occasion bought things because they were new. The first time I saw an electronic calculator with a square root function, I bought it. It was in Singapore in 1975 and it cost $50. It might be the most expensive electronic device I ever bought, not only because 50 1975 dollars would be a lot more now, but because I was only making $90 a month in the Peace Corps.

In 1984, I bought one of the first Macs. It had 256K of ram and had a single 3.25 disk drive. I paid about $2100 for the computer and printer. I've had many Macs at home or at work since and none have been as expensive.

My iPad is the 32 gig model. It cost $599. It will probably cost half of that in a year and have 5 times the memory. Oh well.

Macs are easy to set up and this was easiest of all. Usually when you open a computer there will be a pamphlet on how to set it up. My first Mac had a manual. My Macbook came with  four or five pages. The iPad came with a 3 X 5 card that had a picture of the device with an arrow pointing to the on/off switch and another arrow pointing to the cable and an outline of another computer. I turned it on and the screen lit up with a picture of the usb cable and the iTunes logo. Hook the usb to a computer and open iTunes. I got it.

That's when I ran into the first glitch. It wasn't Apple's doing. I simply had not yet installed the latest update of iTunes, the one Apple had released a few days earlier in anticipation of the iPad. Once I installed the upgrade and hooked up the iPad, the operating system downloaded in a minute and the iPad fired right up.

While I spent the next hour setting up the iPad apps and exploring the device, I installed Snow Leopard on my Macbook. The installation actually took a couple of hours. In the meantime, I had discovered that the iPad had synced my calendar but had not loaded any of my music. As soon as the new operating system was installed, I hooked up the iPad again. It came with an iPod app, but the iTunes on my Macbook wouldn't sync with it. I went online to Apple and found a manual that said to click on the iPad icon in the device menu in iTunes. The icon wasn't there. I did some searches on how to sync, but found nothing helpful. I was getting frustrated and considered taking the device back to Best Buy.

Sunday morning, I tried again. Same result. Then, all of a sudden, I had a brain flash. I had installed a new operating system on the Macbook. Sure enough, there was an upgrade for Snow Leopard that allowed it to recognize the iPad. I installed the upgrade and all the songs in my library downloaded just fine.

I don't know yet how I'm going to use the iPad. It comes with an ebook reader, so I immediately downloaded Michael Connelly's Nine Dragons. Reading on the iPad is easy. I'll write more about that later. The device doesn't do multi-tasking, but it does play music while reading. What could be better than that?


  1. Kevin R. Tipple said...

    Very broke so there is no way I can get one. But, very interested in the device. Please keep us updated!

  2. Book Dilettante said...

    Sounds great. One of these days I may be able to afford it. Enjoy!

    Book Dilettante