Written by

Andrew Millar


August 23, 2011

I’m not really an early adopter. I wouldn’t call myself a gear freak. I certainly wouldn’t queue outside of an Apple store waiting for the release of iPhone7 or iThing81…

But I do own an iPad.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am an Apple devotee. I have been ever since the Creative Director left my then, place of employment, and wasn’t replaced. The very next morning I snuck in to the vacant office and stealth-fully stole his Macintosh SE/40. Actually you can’t do anything with any layer of stealth with those things. The weighed the same as and looked exactly like a large Besser brick. This one had a bag you could use to take it home. It looked like you were toting a soft esky back to the rim with a… well a Besser brick inside.

But I was happy to have it sitting on my desk… Black and white 7 inch screen and all. But it served the purpose and I learnt my craft banging away on a keyboard the likes of which you’ll find in most public libraries today.

After a year of service I decided to back up all my work for safety. It all fitted on one floppy disk. I kept referring to it as my life on a beer mat.

Macs quickly became all the rage in the Advertising Industry. And they still are, largely because they were easy to use. 5 minutes and any monkey could be typing out live read scripts for the local hair dressing saloon. My son, who is heading for a career in Computer Science first slapped the key of any computer on the SE/40.

Over the years I have had a succession of Apple computers to work on… about 15 to count them all. Powerbook 100s, G3s, G4s, G5… etc

I learnt very quickly that these machines could help me create. I could put together a press ad on screen, I could write and edit and edit and edit and edit as much as I liked. With colour screens and a pirate version of Photoshop 2, I learnt that I didn’t have to paint. I could do that on screen. I could start with a photo and rework whatever I liked. I didn’t need to fiddle with brushes, turps and paints. Which was good because I was crap at that. My screen was the canvas and the mouse became the brush. And when I travelled overseas I took a little 12 inch laptop and wrote and downloaded photos, eventually producing a book.

It was… and has been brilliant.

So when the iPad came out I thought, ‘Terrific. Every thing I need in a convenient simple device.

But, I’m sad to say I was wrong.

The iPad for me is about information acquisition, not creation. It’s for readers, not writers.

OK, howl me down. I know that the iPad can do everything I want it to. You can write, edit photos, even take them on the newer version. It can do everything I want it to but it’s just inconvenient. It’s difficult. It’s a hassle to get things on to it and a drag trying to get stuff off. It’s not the same as the iPhone and it’s not a Mac Book Air…

It appears to be made for commuters, not travellers.

Now before you all jump on to your emails offering to take it off my hands, I do like it for replaying videos, showing photos, presenting ideas, commercials, maps are excellent (in Australia) and I’ve read the odd web site and ebook.

It’s a great thing but it’s not a replacement for anything. It’s a whole new category of thing we didn’t know we needed yet.