Why My Mom’s Next Computer Is Going To Be An iPad

31 Jan 2010 - 1:11pm
6 years ago
4 replies
1767 reads
Jarod Tang

Sent to you by jtang via Google Reader: Why My Mom’s Next Computer Is
Going To Be An iPad via TechCrunch by Guest Author on 1/31/10

Editor’s note: This is a guest post penned by Ethan Nicholas, developer
of the million-dollar iPhone game iShoot and the newly released Kim
Rhode’s Outdoor Shooting. Before the iPad was even announced, Nicholas
was already conceiving his next game with the tablet device in mind.

The Internet is a funny place. After Apple announced its new iPad, I
cringed at the hate being directed its way on sites such as Slashdot
and Digg. Even the guys at Penny Arcade, whom I normally agree with,
said “that iPad presentation had to be the worst thing I’ve even seen
on on the Apple stage” and that Apple had failed to make a case for the

If you believe them, the iPad is going to be a massive flop.

Well, the unwashed masses on the Internet also predicted that the iPod
would be a failure. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now.

The iPad is a computer for people who don’t like computers. People who
don’t like the idea of upgrading their 3D drivers, or adjusting their
screen resolution, or installing new memory. Who don’t understand why
their computer gets slower and slower the longer they own it, who have
25 icons in their system tray and have to wait ten minutes for their
system to boot up every day.

For what most of these people need a computer for, the iPad is perfect.
It doesn’t do as many things as a “real” computer does, but the things
it does do it does in a way even non-tech-savvy people can figure out,
and there are far fewer ways to screw it up. So if you have managed to
convince yourself that the iPad is a useless, locked-up DRM-laden
failure of a ‘computer’ before even touching one, I have two words for

My mom.

My mother is a lovely lady in her sixties who is… well, “not computer
savvy” is probably a good way to put it. I regularly have to figure out
why her computer is running incredibly slowly, or why it won’t print,
or any of the million other random things that happen when people who
don’t live and breathe computers sit down at one daily.

The iPad is perfect for her. It does exactly what she needs. It will
let her watch movies and listen to music and read books on long
flights. It will make using a computer fun instead of an annoying chore.

But it also won’t allow her to install umpteen news and weather gadgets
that start up on boot and slow her computer to a crawl. It won’t
suddenly forget how to talk to a network, or get so confused by all of
the software installs and uninstalls that you finally have to break
down and reinstall the system from scratch. In other words, my mother’s
next computer is going to be an iPad, and I dream of the day when I can
finally throw off the oppressive chains of being the one guy in the
family who knows how to actually keep a computer working.

And you know what? There are millions upon millions of people just like
her out there. They outnumber us. And they finally have a chance to
become productive, self-sufficient computer users instead of constantly
asking family members to fix their computers or, even worse, keeping
the Geek Squad in business.

No, the iPad isn’t for everyone. But I’m going to go on record as
saying that, for non-computer-geeks everywhere, the iPad is going to
redefine computing.

(Image courtesy of Flickr/Scott Chang)

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31 Jan 2010 - 4:33pm

Brandon E. B. Ward wrote:
> The biggest problem I have w/ this article is the fact that the iPad has to be docked to a home-base machine

It also assumes you have quality wireless inside the home, something not
all of us can manage. Thanks to all the noise insulation in my interior
walls, my base station is basically line-of-sight when it comes to being
usable. I get better reception of my neighbor's base station through
two brick walls than I do of my own through two interior walls.

On the other hand, I am looking forward to running linux or bsd on an
iPad. It'll be nice to see what you can do with the platform without
Apple's permission.

[posted from my Apple Newton]

J. E. 'jet' Townsend, IDSA
Design, Fabrication, Hacking
design: www.allartburns.org; hacking: www.flatline.net; HF: KG6ZVQ
PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8

1 Feb 2010 - 5:39am
Fredrik Matheson

I haven't connected my iPhone to my mac in months, and my e-mail and
calendar sync wirelessly.

The iPhone and iPad (and all the other phones out there) are
information appliances, not computers.
IMHO, of course.


1 Feb 2010 - 9:02am
Tracy Boyington

Really? Am I the only one who doesn't sync my contacts and calendar to
my desktop computer? The only calendar I use at home is a big paper one
stuck on the wall. With pictures of basset hounds. ;-)

Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

>>> "Brandon E. B. Ward" <brandonebward at gmail.com> 1/31/2010 12:32 PM
The iPhone is crippled w/out a computer running iTunes, an Address
Book, iCal etc. to synch it up with - the computer where you manage all
those wonderful bits of stuff your mom wants to play/work with.

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