Stephen Baker

The Boost
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Garcia Lorca and the iPad

April 13, 2010General

Years ago in a Spanish poetry class, we were talking about Federico Garcia Lorca (above). The question: How could such a genius choose, on occasion, to publish a number of bad poems? Our professor, a poet named Carlos Bousoño, had a theory. Garcia Lorca, he said, would read his poems to his friends. The man was so exceedingly charming, and such a good performer, that he could win them over, even with his clunkers. And they convinced him, perhaps against his own best judgment, to publish them.

I was thinking about Garcia Lorca yesterday as I got acquainted with my new iPad. It's a charming machine. But some of the problems I had led me to think that Apple developers surround themselves with too many unquestioning admirers. The first problem came as I tried to sync it to this three-year-old MacBook. The operating system was deemed too old: incompatible. If I hadn't had a Windows-based netbook on hand, I would have been out of luck.

Other issues. Using the iPad, I haven't yet been able to access the product manual online. I'm apparently supposed to go to some website and convert the pdf to ePub format. Fat chance. The mail program looks great, but I've only been able to link it to one account. (UPDATE: Finally figured out how to do this, clicking in through "settings.") And this isn't Apple's fault, but the fancy major league baseball app I paid $14 for is totally out of sync. Yesterday, it told me that three different guys were at bat at the same time.

One more thing: I woke up this morning with a stiff neck. Should I blame that on the iPad, too?

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