Blogs » Politcs Plus » The old man and the iPad

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I just thought I was going to finally move away from the technology craze, stick with what I have, and try to use less of it, but on Father's Day; my children surprised me with the 3G iPad. When I was told that we were moving dinner from 1:00 to 5:00, I started asking questions, receiving different excuses, so I immediately thought everyone was gonna be busy that day. Little did I know the real reason dinner was being put off. They started the conspiracy about a week before Father's Day, after; I assume asking the usual questions "What do you think dad wants for Father's Day?" I remember us asking my mother that same question every year. I thought it was rhetorical. This time, after the children heard my wife say that I always told her about the interesting things that Joe Scarborough and his guest said about their iPads; I assume it became a done deal. A couple of my children drove to Sugar Land's Best Buy early Sunday morning because they were sure that big store would have one (that's the way they did their term paper that was due the next day). They asked the manager to inquire about the iPad availability in the surrounding area; only to find out, Corpus Christi had the only one, and they would only hold it for 3 hours. Being the great children they are, they headed to Corpus Christi and told their mom to tell me a whopper about moving dinner to 5:00. When they finally arrived, they all gathered in a circle, with that “cat that ate the canary-look,"(it brought back memories of when they were in trouble) and they were getting impatient as I read their lovely cards. Finally, my youngest daughter retrieved the package she was hiding behind her back and handed it to me. There it was, in big bold letters written on the box “Apple iPad." Clearly, everyone was starving but as I ate, I could hardly keep my eyes off that box. That demon is back.

After everyone left, I carefully opened the box, removed the iPad and searched and searched for an instruction manual. All I found was a slip of paper instructing me to logon to iTunes. It's a good thing that I knew what a USB cable was and it could only fit in one slot because the packaging did not include a diagram or any clues whatsoever. It took me about 10 minutes to find and learn how to use the off/on switch, and then I had the figure out that I had to slide my finger across the screen to turn on the unit. I did logon to the Apple web site with my home computer, where I found an instruction Manual but I didn't feel like downloading the 200 or more pages. I immediately signed up with ATT for the 3G network, so for the rest of the night (until about 1:00 A.M.) I downloaded several free applications. I don't know if I'll ever use them but I finally found that "Find my car" app that will help me avoid that extra 10 minutes I sometimes use, in locating my car.

Buying accessories for my iPad became a problem because I couldn't find anything in Victoria. I thought about ordering online, but I really wanted to see the items before purchasing. The Houston Galleria was the closest store that I could find, so we took off last Thursday to purchase a case, keyboard, and cleaning cloths. That was the day the of arrival of the iPhone4, so I don't have to tell you, we had to turn sideways to get into the store.

After nine days, I think I have started relying more on my iPad because I do not have an excessive need to print lot of lot of stuff, I don't need to make calls or take pictures from the unit nor do I need a lot of hard drive storage space. Besides, I have a computer, phone and camera that can do all that. This unit is ideal in size and weight ,enabling me to keep it by my recliner, go with me on long and short trips(I might need that "find the iPad app) and besides all the trouble my children went through to get me this gift ; I need to put it to good use. I don't think it's going to be difficult to learn how to store some of my favorite pictures on the unit, a movie year or two, and I've already stored a few books. I can see it now, I will have to logon to my home computer to keep it updated and print something just to keep the ink cartridges from drying up. I heard that Goggle will come out with their version of the iPad next year that will have streaming video, no thanks, this time I mean it.