Friday, September 24, 2010

Our First Byte of an Apple

Three days ago we decided to sample our first Apple product.  We’ve listened to the stories over the years about the friendlier functions, the convenience and, above all, virus free operation of the Steve Jobs machines. Then, our friend Jerry Thomas let Jerry Hurley play with his iPod Touch a few times. He kept mentioning how he liked many of the apps and how much fun it was to use.  So, when the iPad rolled out...a bigger yet still very portable and, maybe even more usable version of the iPod….I guess we were ready to look into possible uses for us.  We had questions though.

Soon we were checking for Apple stores in various cities on our route eastward through Montana, South Dakota, Iowa and Indiana.  Turns out there’s an Apple Store in West Des Moines, Iowa, easily accessible as we traveled through the state.  You know how it goes. We said: “We’ll just stop by to get some answers to our questions. Won’t buy anything yet. ”  So we drove the motorhome to the shopping mall to see one of these hyped machines in person. We spent about 90 minutes on our first visit to the Apple Store discussing the technology with Larry.  We immediately came across an informative and congenial representative named Larry who had an answer for all our questions and patience in explaining every operation. The store is all about teaching and letting customers have hands-on time with the machines.   Larry introduced us to Apple thoroughly, without pressure. 

Okay. So we learned. Then we went to have some lunch. Time to consider whether to justify the expense or not.  As we were sitting in Panera Bread discussing the whys and why nots, a young lady conducting business on her iPhone and laptop at the next table overheard us. She let us know that she is planning to buy an iPad as soon as possible and her brother is crazy about his.  I guess we were really already well down that road and this was one more encouraging push. 

The memory we chose was the 32GB, the middle ground between the smaller 16 GB and the max of 64GB.  The capacity was one of our issues. Being used to thinking about computers with 200 GB hard drives, why would we choose something smaller?  Here’s one of the points that became clear. As Larry explained, the iPad is not a computer replacement.  It’s a tool for making your life easier and more fun.Photos are one of the fun features. Just touch one of the thumbnails to enlarge it, then use two fingers, spreading or pinching them to change the size on the screen. After all the considerations, testing and questioning, we became enamored with jumping into this Apple world that so many folks are enjoying.  So…’s our new friend, Maude the iPad.  This is a new type of technological world for those of us who’ve lived in the Bill Gates neighborhood for so many years. There are thousands of apps, for anything imaginable, lots of techy stuff at your fingertips, and almost instantly.  We can walk around, stand up and change chairs, all while reading an online newspaper or email.  There’s only one button, home. Mostly, it’s a screen touching thing.  No mouse, no clicking, no pointer.  The searching is quick and easy.  Moving to another application is a swipe of the finger.  But, there’s one problem.  I think Jerry’s enamored with Maude.  There is the keyboard on the screen that can be used for quick searches or for apps, such as the that Jerry downloaded for free.  A separate keyboard can also be attached if needed for lengthier typing. He’s been completely absorbed by iTunes syncs and downloading apps for two days.  I may be a tiny bit jealous of the “Angry Birds”  game, podcast downloads and streaming HuLu.    Not.  There really will be a time when I get my turn.  :)

Jerry’s impressions can probably be summed up in the laughter I hear as he finds a new feature or some unique app; or the quiet when he’s listening to music or a podcast download, all of the above while seated comfortably in his recliner.  Examples of the apps downloaded as of today are USAToday, Kindle, Epicurious and eBay.  All in all, the first byte of Apple for us was sweet, with a bit of tartness.  Adjustments to the touch of it all are a challenge. But, as we become more acquainted with each new function, we’re liking the taste a lot. I’m not ready to give up Windows and all of its associated menu items….not yet. But this sampling is somewhat fascinating.

Thanks for visiting.  Talk to you later.


  1. Damn, after our many discussions re: iPad or iPod Touch, I was able to put it out of my mind. Now you brought it right back to the surface. Will you still pay half on my iPad, Jerry?
    One of the apps on the Touch I use a lot is Air Sharing (enables you to transfer files to the Touch) and I assume would be equally valuable on the iPad. I transferred the entire service manual, 450 pages, for the RZR so I can disassemble it in the desert. Carpenter is a clever gadget for leveling your RV :-) And then there is Mixologist which will show you how to make almost any drink imaginable.
    Have fun. Jerry, Dee and Jaxon

  2. Thanks Jerry for the suggestions on more apps. They will probably be downloaded within the next hour. Sure are having lots of fun!


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