Stephen Baker

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Waiting for my iPad

April 12, 2010General

Every time I hear a car door shut in this suburban neighborhood, I jump to the window to see if the UPS guy is coming with my new iPad. I could have taken the easy way, driving six miles to the Apple Store at Willowbrook Mall and buying the thing. But no. I ordered one, and have been tracking its UPS odyssey for about a week, from some base in China, to Hong Kong, Osaka, Anchorage, Louisville, and today, Parsippany, NJ.

Lots of people, including my friend Jeff Jarvis, have been issuing jeremiads about the iPad. Apple's App store locks the Internet in a walled garden. Without a camera, mouse or keyboard, the iPad makes it hard for people to create content, etc. etc. I don't know about the other iPad buyers, but I have more than enough content-creating tools, including this piece of machinery purring on my lap. The iPad... Well, I don't want to call it a toy, but some might.

I think that if people turn out to be frustrated by the new machine's limitations, they'll use other gadgets--including a host coming from competitors--and the iPad will flop. No need to lecture Apple about it. The customers will decide.

That singing bird is the white-throated sparrow. When we lived in Paris, we had a bird clock that played that sparrow's song at 10 a.m. When I heard it, I would reluctantly put down my cup of coffee and head for work. (Yes, it sounds late, but for my New York editors it was still 4 a.m.) Just last week, we heard a bird in our yard singing the same familiar tune. It was a happy moment. Now, though, I wouldn't mind if he took his song into another yard, if only for a day or two. Or maybe come up with a new tune.

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