Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Handhelds Portables Apple

iPad Launches, FCC Teardown Leaked 617

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-full-of-magic-elves dept.
Apple's much-awaited iPad officially launched today, and iFixit has gotten their hands on photos from the FCC teardown. They've done an analysis of the internals and provided directions on doing it yourself, if you're so inclined. Predictably, it's a hot topic in the media. Cory Doctorow wrote about why he won't be getting an iPad, complaining about the closed, hacker-unfriendly design and what he calls the "Wal-martization of the software channel." Daring Fireball's John Gruber disagrees, pointing out that enthusiasts — even kids exercising their curiosity — are still quite capable of playing around with the iPad through app creation, and with much more of a chance to compete with big companies than in the Apple ][ days. Similarly, others are referring to it as the "bedtime computer" — technology that has a reasonable shot at expanding into completely new areas of use, like bedtime reading for kids. Such a device was predicted in 1972 by Alan Kay, the PARC scientist credited with the epigram "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." His hypothetical DynaBook bears striking similarity to what Apple finally came up with. So, those of you who have picked up or received an iPad already: how do you like it?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

iPad Launches, FCC Teardown Leaked

Comments Filter:
  • by suso (153703) * on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:31PM (#31716424) Homepage Journal

    People, snap out of it. Its just a tablet computer. They have been around for over 10 years and they have never been all that special. Apple has you in some sort of hypnosis that is causing you to go gaga over closed up commercial productions that you think you need to own.

    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:36PM (#31716462) Homepage Journal

      People, snap out of it. Its just a tablet computer. They have been around for over 10 years and they have never been all that special. Apple has you in some sort of hypnosis

      There were MP3 players before the iPod. They sucked, Apple made one that did not suck, and from that they made billions.

      This is not just a tablet computer, this is a big-ass iPod, and they're likely to make big-ass billions from it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        This is not just a tablet computer, this is a big-ass iPod

        This is also exactly why so many slashdotters hate the thing. It's nothing more than an ipod so big I can't even fit it in my pocket. Why in the world would I want that?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jo_ham (604554)

          You may not, but I wager that many people will.

          I don't want a Corvette, but for some reason, they keep making them. I don't really know why.

        • by actionbastard (1206160) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:33PM (#31716932)
          It seems as though you are not so upset at the size of the iPad, but the size of your pockets.
        • Why in the world would I want that?

          It's quite possible that you don't want it. Here's a thought: don't buy one! What's the big deal?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by mdwh2 (535323)

          Indeed, although I'd go so far as to say that it's only on Slashdot that people love the thing. The love of Apple here is far greater than the mainstream, where Apple are a niche.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sopssa (1498795) *

        While iPod sure was better than the most MP3 players, I disagree that iPod was something revolutionary. Walkman players were damn good too, and they weren't as large as iPod - a really important aspect if you want to take some music with you while jogging (so that the player doesn't weight in your pocket, and so that it doesn't either pull your earplugs out of year head). One of the Walkmans that was maybe 1cm wide and 3cm long and ultra light was perfect for this.

        Another aspect to think about iPod vs Walkm

        • by centuren (106470) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @03:30PM (#31718056) Homepage Journal

          While iPod sure was better than the most MP3 players, I disagree that iPod was something revolutionary. Walkman players were damn good too, and they weren't as large as iPod - a really important aspect if you want to take some music with you while jogging (so that the player doesn't weight in your pocket, and so that it doesn't either pull your earplugs out of year head). One of the Walkmans that was maybe 1cm wide and 3cm long and ultra light was perfect for this.

          Another aspect to think about iPod vs Walkman or other MP3 players was that iPod had no physical feedback on controls. Only flat buttons in front of it. The other players had song scrolls that were out of the player and you could feel them - another important point when you're just putting your hand in pocket and want to change a song.

          The sad, sad thing about this is the truth of it all. I have the first gen Sony Minidisc player/recorder that connected via usb and let you put MP3s onto the minidiscs (the MZ-N1 [avland.co.uk], shown there in it's dock). The form factor and design of the hardware was beautiful, the remote was fantastic to use and to show off, and the player fit in my bag while the remote clipped to my bag's strap. Watching iPod users dig out their players and hold the (seemingly) giant rectangle in front of their face for a couple minutes to pick new music seemed ridiculous at the time. The MZ-N1 didn't have the song capacity the iPod did, but I enjoyed selecting music to put on discs, and decorating them. Combined with the optical input and ease of recording (just run a line from the soundboard directly into the player and hit record during a set), I loved it.

          It's buried around the house somewhere now, and I still love it, even as I use my ridiculous giant triangle iPod instead. What sold me on the iPod was not it's hardware, but it's software. iTunes (pre-store of any kind), was a breeze to use. Sony used SonicStage, and the MZ-N1 didn't really play MP3s, it used ATRAC3. SonicStage converted MP3s to ATRAC3, then transferred the music to the device. I didn't mind this, as far as I was concerned they were both just compression formats. What made it so sad, was how terrible SonicStage really was. From just looking at it, to waiting to see if the files converted and uploaded successfully or your computer had crashed horribly in the attempt (one couldn't tell because the conversion and transfer often resembled a horrible crash until it was done), that program was always by far the worst software I'd have on my computer at any time. IIRC, there was even a limit to how many times you could transfer a song to a minidisc (thanks for that, Sony's record label branch).

          It got to the point where I began to favor the minidiscs that already had music on them, and the more I stayed away from making new playlists, the concept of an iPod started to seem more and more useful. It never seemed to be more attractive, physically, or more functional in terms of listening to music on the go. What it did have was a fair amount of storage on the device and software that really nailed the concept of keeping a digital library, and transferring songs from the library to a device. Apple ended up selling me on an iPod despite its design and implementation as an actual portable music player, simply because the really great portable music players at the time were backed with such crappy software and silly restrictions.

          • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @04:09PM (#31718328)

            I went through the same transition, but by the time I'd outgrown my MZ-N1, many superior alternatives to the iPod had appeared, all with drag & drop music management, support for important file formats (lossless!) and better sound quality. In combination with Winamp and a well organized collection, well... if you know what you're doing, they're all iPod killers.

            For everyone else, there's iTunes ;)

            Oh, and now that Android is maturing, I've found that even now I'm still able to avoid Apple products... :)

      • by zappepcs (820751) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:59PM (#31716654) Journal

        Whoa there Nelly. Once you remove the coolness factor from it, It's not just an MP3 player, it's a proprietary lock-in MP3 player that costs way more than it needs to. The iPad will be the same. The cool factor is nothing short of sales magic. The first time I saw an iPhone, I thought to myself that it's clever and works fairly well. Then I tried to make a phone call. Ooops. Then I looked at the music capabilities... another ooops. Every time the device added lock-in or required that I jump through hoops to use it with Linux, it's coolness factor dropped by at least half. In the end it doesn't do enough to make it worth the extra cost.

        The iPad will be the same, or at least has started out with all the same flashing lights and bragging. Maybe in 6 months when normal people get a look at one they will see it as the same 'magical' do-nothing-special device that the iPod and iPhone turned out to be. If there is any lock-in or I'm required to jump through hoops to use one with my home network, then Apple can keep them. All of them. I'm not likely to buy a hammer that requires I buy special gloves from the same company to use it, or restricts which nails I can use it to hit. You can go gaga all you want about how cool it is but if you do I'm taking you off the Christmas party invite list.

        • by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @02:10PM (#31717318) Homepage Journal

          Maybe in 6 months when normal people get a look at one they will see it as the same 'magical' do-nothing-special device that the iPod and iPhone turned out to be.

          And then they'll buy them by the tens of millions every year? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ipod_sales_per_quarter.svg [wikipedia.org]

          I'm sorry if you think that's "going gaga over how cool it is", but I call that "looking at the bottom line". Then again, you think iPods "do nothing", while I'm still using my 2002 model as an external hard drive.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fermion (181285)
        I don't think the original MP3 players sucked. I think they suffered from what many other consumer devices did. Buttons that break, headphone jacks that were only held together by solder, with no stress relief. Apple did with media player what Sony did with cassette player. The built to a quality specification and not a price point.

        I have owned and used several phones. The iphone is easier to use in many ways that any other phone that I have owned or used. Sure, to make a call does require four touc

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by centuren (106470)

          Apple did with media player what Sony did with cassette player. The built to a quality specification and not a price point.

          Sony made some extremely high quality portable music players. When the iPod came out, they added MP3 support of sorts to their proprietary format, coming out with new models of their extremely high quality players. Their software, however, was terrible. Both to use, and due to suffering limitations thanks to being a record label company along side as a portable music player company. In terms of hardware though, Sony didn't stop with their quality and design with the cassette or compact disc Walkman players.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrsteveman1 (1010381)

      They've been around for 10 years and yet they all failed in the consumer market. I wonder if there's some reason for that.....

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by wampus (1932)

        Obviously a lack of cult association. You know, marketing.

      • by node 3 (115640) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:43PM (#31717024)

        They've been around for 10 years and yet they all failed in the consumer market. I wonder if there's some reason for that.....

        And as long as the geeks who keep making them are the same types of geeks who go on about how much the iPad sucks and other tablets are so much better, they will remain a losing product.

        Here's the clue: nobody, outside of an extremely small niche of geeks, want the type of tablet that slashdotters seem to want. Why companies like HP and ASUS continue down the same failing path again and again baffles me.

    • by discord5 (798235) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:40PM (#31716500)

      People, snap out of it. Its just a tablet computer.

      Yeah, but this one is hand-made by Steve Jobs, assembled on the thighs of Taiwanese virgins. If you sniff it real hard you can still smell the reality distortion field permeating the electronics.

      It will also double as a paperweight and shiny object to distract other people.

      Disclaimer: Taiwanese virgins may or may not be female. Applicability as paperweight is not guaranteed by the usermanual.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sandertje (1748324)
      I don't think these were marketed in the huge way Apple does with the iPad. Consumer products never grow big unless they are marketed. The iPad --- and the clones it will undoubtedly spur --- might not be new in the technical sense of the word, but for 99.9% of the world population, it will. Perhaps the world wasn't ready for tablet PCs 10 years ago, as the netbook also has only been vastly popular for the last few years. Ten years ago, people were just getting used to mobile phones equipped with camera's,
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zieroh (307208)

      Apple has you in some sort of hypnosis that is causing you to go gaga over closed up commercial productions that you think you need to own.

      Would you like to explain the technical process by which they managed to cause everyone to go gaga? I think a more likely explanation is that some people like it. The fact that you don't has no bearing on that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ScrewMaster (602015)

      People, snap out of it. Its just a tablet computer. They have been around for over 10 years and they have never been all that special. Apple has you in some sort of hypnosis that is causing you to go gaga over closed up commercial productions that you think you need to own.

      Yes, but according to the linked article, The WiFi iPad is officially Apple model A1219, while the 3G iPad is A1337.

      So the 3G version is 1337 ... how can you not want one?

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:32PM (#31716926)

      I'd argue that it's not a tablet computer - or at least, not in the style that we've been accustomed to in the past 10 years. Apple might have something very different here (time will tell). Yeah, sure... at it's heart, the iPad is a computer. But the interface and intended use are a different take on how we use such a device. And that difference might be just enough, implementing in just the right way, to finally alter people's perceptions about how to use and interact with data.

      Think of it in Star Trek terms. There were different interfaces that worked particularly well for different tasks. They had direct access to the ship's computer through voice commands. They had terminals that also linked to the ship's computer. And then they were running around with diagnostics and signing duty rosters, etc. with these small pad devices.

      The iPad strikes me as being that pad device; the right interface for a particular subset of computing. And, frankly, a type of computing that just hasn't been fully realized using the hardware and interfaces that have existed in the last 10 years.

      Sure - the hype is almost palpable. The territory just isn't that ground-breaking. And I seriously doubt I'll ever purchase an iPad (I'm more interested in Android variations). But it is possible that the iPad will get people to see things differently; in ways that they're not yet understanding because they don't "get" what the iPad is. Yet.

  • ipad is for humans! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by seanadams.com (463190) * on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:31PM (#31716426) Homepage
    I have a 95 yr old neighbor who uses an old Windows machine and AOL dialup. He's still able to do the things he has always done with it, but he wants a faster connection and a newer computer but doesn't want to have to learn a new OS. Neither cable nor DSL is available, and he doesn't have line of sight to be able to use directional microwave technology which is what some people use around here.

    However, the iPad is SO easy to use there's really nothing to learn. I have shown him how to use my iPhone to take pictures, browse pictures and read the news, and it's just so intuitive and easy.

    And he DOES have 3g coverage. So he can get one device with no cables or router that does everything he needs and is easy to learn.

    I think Slashdotters are for the most part woefully ignorant of how the rest of humanity actually uses computers, and would do well to understand these types of use cases. They will sell millions.

    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:38PM (#31716484) Homepage Journal

      I have a 95 yr old neighbor who uses an old Windows machine and AOL dialup.

      So what you're saying is that the iPad is a way to put him out of his misery without resorting to euthanasia?

      • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:17PM (#31716814)

        I have a 95 yr old neighbor who uses an old Windows machine and AOL dialup.

        So what you're saying is that the iPad is a way to put him out of his misery without resorting to euthanasia?

        I wager that the iPad is a form of euthanasia. The Personal Computer Revolution is fading into oblivion ... and no-one can even feel the loss.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ziekheid (1427027)

      Looks like you've gone blind watching Apple commercials. Since he can use windows he can easily use any other version of windows on a new 500 dollar pc. Since you pay for the 3G package I could argue that he, for that money, can instead also get some decent internet for his pc. Also, comparing a PC with the iPad is hilarious to say the least and there are tons of tablet pc alternatives that provide more than the iPad does for the same money.
      And yeah, these are intuitive and easy too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sessamoid (165542)
        As he said, you're blind to how the rest of the world uses computers. A 95 year old man who grew up during the Great War cannot just jump from one version of Windows to another without a lot of unlearning and relearning. Hell, my programmer father who grew up in the second WW still doesn't intuitively know what needs to be double-clicked vs. single-clicked in Windows.
    • by linumax (910946) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:46PM (#31716546)

      I think Slashdotters are for the most part woefully ignorant of how the rest of humanity actually uses computers, and would do well to understand these types of use cases. They will sell millions.

      Firstly, Slashdot is not a single uniform entity. There are many different opinions which in case of iPad there are slashdotters all over the love-hate spectrum. You're not the exception here.

      Secondly, in your rush to blame Slashdot, you came up with an example which not only doesn't support "sell millions" argument but also goes against it. iPad's market is much more mainstream than niche semi-disabled 95 year olds. Everyone with an interest in reading eBooks, watching movies on the go, reading news, doing lite creative work, using some productivity tools, students reading textbooks, etc. is the target market.

      All of this however doesn't change the fact that Apple has declared war on tinkering and as more and more consumers adopt the "appliance computing" model that Apple spearheads, the future of computing looks less and less bright. Hopefully all alternatives will not perish.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      "They will sell millions."

      Doctorow's point was well put: if parents buy this for their kids, their kids will be conditioned not to tinker. I am sure millions will be sold...but those who would otherwise have tinkered will be deprived of an opportunity to do so. Maybe you do not care about such things, but some of us do.
      • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:34PM (#31716938) Homepage

        I don't think that's really true. Whilst I'm not generally a fan of Gruber and his rampant Apple fanboyism, he's not stupid and I think the argument he makes is sound. I wrote programs for the BBC Micro back in the 80s - and it sucked. I knew, even as a child, that what I was doing wasn't "real" programming. I didn't even know what "real" programming was as I had never heard of nor did I understand the concept of assembly language back then. Maybe some kids were smart enough to teach themselves assembly language and then hack the OS itself. I just couldn't do that, I didn't have access to the materials and for an 8 year old even BASIC can be tough. I actually didn't do any OS-level hacking until I was 18 (on Linux) and I don't think it did me any harm.

        I happen to think the iPhone and iPad are remarkably poor environments for children to learn programming on, mostly because the amount of crap you have to learn in order to make something fun in languages like Objective-C is enormous. JavaScript or even Java is a much better choice. However, Gruber links to some 13 year old who has written an app and published it on the app store. That's awesome and something I could only have dreamed of when I was 13.

        And it's not just kids. I was reading an interview the other day with a guy who published "I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES" on Xbox Live. He did it with the XNA toolkit, in other words it was written in C#. In the interview he said he was glad XNA existed because he wasn't a very experienced programmer and C++ was too difficult for him. But XNA was easy. His game costs a dollar, took a few weeks to make and is wildly profitable. It consistently sits at the top of the indie games charts - because it's excellent. In other words, even though the Xbox is the most closed platform you can imagine, it's still possible for amateurs to compete with the big boys by producing fun games. That's the sort of motivation kids in the 70s and 80s just never had and frankly, I think it more than makes up for having some signature checks here and there.

      • Tinkering (Score:3, Interesting)

        I've been 'tinkering' with computers since 1974 when I built an A-to-D & an D-to-A interface card for an IMP-16p Microprocessor.
        I still tinker with several FOSS Projects as well as writing Unix Server software for a living, but since I've moved from PC to a MAC, I don't have to tinker with it anymore. It does what I want it to without having to fight the frigging O/S all the time. Anti-virus software does not get in the way like it did before. I know I could tinker with the MacBook that this is being wr

    • by nametaken (610866) *

      Your 95 year old friend is not "the rest of humanity". The average user often has more than one thing open at a time.

      iPad fail.

    • by vanyel (28049) *

      I know there are a lot of sheep out there, willing to sell their souls for something shiny, but I'll wait for something that isn't run by a dictatorial nanny.

    • Your neighbour will also need a computer that is capable of running iTunes 9.1 first. If not, she wont be able to use her iPad.

    • Depending on the Windows version, he could probably buy a 3G USB modem and a data plan (you would still need the plan for the ipad).

      Or he could get a Windows 98/2000/XP computer and the 3G USB modem if he now uses Windows 95/NT4 or older. User interface of WinXP is very similar to Win95, so that would not be a problem (unless he now uses 3.11).

      And that would still be cheaper than the ipad. And on the ipad the UI is different from Windows.

      They will sell millions.

      Apple fans will probably buy more than one (I remember people buying m

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      >However, the iPad is SO easy to use there's really nothing to learn

      So you already own the iPad and he has used it?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Welding the hood shut annoys hackers, but we're such a tiny part of the market that we don't matter. The trend over the past decades is clear: less and less consumer control over their devices, and more and more corporate control.

    That might even be OK if you consider Apple a "benevolent dictator", as many people do.

    I won't be buying one either due to the locked down closed nature. But this really doesn't matter *at all* to most people.

    • by mirix (1649853)

      I won't be buying one either due to the locked down closed nature. But this really doesn't matter *at all* to most people.

      Until they change something, that is.

      But for the Ipad they could make it do even less and no one would care, as long as it still matches their turtle neck, and looks sharp in a starbucks.

    • iPad : Computer :: Disney's Epcot Center : Real Town

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Thinboy00 (1190815)

        Nope, still don't get it. Do you have a car analogy?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        iPad : Computer :: Disney's Epcot Center : Real Town

        And strangely, thousands of people pay big money every day to spend just one day at Epcot, when they could walk around their hometown for nothing.

        Sounds like Apple's going to reap big bucks on this.

  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:36PM (#31716464) Journal
    Prediction: all the usual suspects
    • Those who insist on using 'fanboi', (or other variants of the word) to describe normal people who are satisfied with what they bought
    • Those who are envious and/or jealous of Apple's success
    • Those who are too blinkered in their outlook, who define themselves by adherence to some purist "everything must be open" credo
    • Those who can't afford the device, and are jealous of those who can
    • Those with buyers remorse for having paid good money down out on something else
    • The infants (at least of mind) who like to characterise anyone who buys Apple as gay
    • Those who, for whatever reason, just dislike Apple as a company, and can safely be categorised as 'haters'

    will be out in force in this thread.

    There are faults with any device. It's not perfect, and it won't be for everyone. What irks me is the "I don't like/want it therefore it's crap" attitude; the inability to look beyond what *you* find wrong with it, and see that this might just be golden for someone else. My parents, for example [grin].

    But what bugs me above all is the anti-apple crowd these days. Apparently if you express even the slightest appreciation for something well-conceived and well-designed, you're a "fanboi" who's taken in by "the shiny" (whatever *that* is!). Sure there are fanboys (and girls, presumably), but not everyone (not even vaguely close - not in the same universe, let alone ballpark) who likes Apple kit should be labelled such.

    I swear the anti-Apple crowd are far and away worse than the real fanboys. Even in the worst-possible scenario, with everyone who likes Apple kit being a fan (ahem, including both genders, here) , at least the fans have something they like, appreciate, and enjoy using. The haters just hate. And that's pitiably sad.

    Simon

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mirix (1649853)

      What irks me is the "I don't like/want it therefore it's crap" attitude

      Quite the opposite for myself. It's crap, therefore I don't like/want it.

    • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:45PM (#31716542) Journal

      Actually, ignoring the blatant trolls (who seem to have been quite successful on you), most of the people not showering praise on the iPad are simply commenting that it's not for them / explaining its problems / offering alternative solutions. The idea that people don't buy Apple because they "can't afford the device, and are jealous of those who can" is far more a reflection of your approach to life than anything.

      It's just a tool, and it has no place in my toolkit. Just as the iMac I've recently sold wasn't good enough for me. It wasn't awful, but it didn't offer any advantage over the more powerful, cheap, configurable and supported Windows 7 box + Linux VM I've replaced it with. Thus passes the glory of the screwdriver.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by julesh (229690)

        Thus passes the glory of the screwdriver.

        I just had the strangest urge to do this:

        Sic transit gloria impellator-cochleae

    • by wampus (1932) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:46PM (#31716544)

      You forgot the assclowns posting lists of predictions.

    • by jez9999 (618189) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:54PM (#31716606) Homepage Journal

      Those who insist on using 'fanboi', (or other variants of the word) to describe normal people who are satisfied with what they bought

      No; there are normal people who are satisfied with what they bought, and then there are people who will queue up for hours in New York to be greeted for a few minuted by some noisy Apple employees in a nightclub-like atmosphere to get there hands on a thing. I think the term 'fanboi' is quite a useful one in this instance.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by stastuffis (632932)

      I swear the anti-Apple crowd are far and away worse than the real fanboys. Even in the worst-possible scenario, with everyone who likes Apple kit being a fan (ahem, including both genders, here) , at least the fans have something they like, appreciate, and enjoy using. The haters just hate. And that's pitiably sad.

      Oh really? I find them both equally irritating.

      I had a friend requesting advice for a laptop that may be used for video editing. His budget was $500 and he was thinking about a Mac since Windows X

    • "The shiny". (I may have coined the phrase).

      "The shiny" is the feature that the iPod Touch/iPhone has that causes people to buy it.

      "The shiny" is the stuff as Disney World sold at the exit of every ride.

      "The shiny" is the stuff that every street vendor WISHES they had.

      Being a "geek", I don't think much of the features of the iPhone. I did buy my wife one, and received a "free" iPod Touch when I bought a Mac computer (to support the aforementioned iPhone). Nice because I put games on the iPod, and can throw

  • by dokebi (624663) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:38PM (#31716482)

    As hackers, we should recognize that there is a right tool for the job. Ipad is just another tool. It does less than a laptop because it's meant to be a simpler tool than a laptop.

    Eventually the market will decide if a tablet is a niche or mainstream product. But for me at least, I couldn't be happier.

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      Nevermind that Apple retains as much control over the iPad as Sony did over the PS3. Hackers got screwed with the PS3, and that served as a warning about these traps. The iPad is a trap. Apple has already started censoring the apps store, and designs its devices to prevent the installation of anything that does not come from the apps store.

      I will avoid the iPad like a plague, and advise everyone I know to do the same.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by toriver (11308)

        So do you have any alternatives that does not enforce this control? Even Android phones are lock-in at the phone companies' behest until you root the device. Windows Phone 7 is moving in that direction as well.

        Also: You can always make a HTML 5 webapp, complete with client storage and Apple will have no complaints and no need to go through the store. That remains an option and was, before the release of the SDK, Apple's suggested way of writing apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

    • by Obyron (615547) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:14PM (#31716776)
      It does less than a similarly equipped laptop, and for only twice the price! As a bonus for your money, you get no USB expansion ports, and can even only run one app at a time! Apple's innovation is staggering.
      • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:37PM (#31716970)

        It does less than a similarly equipped laptop, and for only twice the price! As a bonus for your money, you get no USB expansion ports, and can even only run one app at a time! Apple's innovation is staggering.

        Which is a scathing review of the device if the iPad is, in fact, a laptop. But don't think that's what it is supposed to be [slashdot.org] at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by perpenso (1613749)

        It does less than a similarly equipped laptop, and for only twice the price! As a bonus for your money, you get no USB expansion ports, and can even only run one app at a time! Apple's innovation is staggering.

        You are in luck. If you prefer a laptop Apple sells those too. Their laptops have USB, multitasking, a unix-based OS that is pretty good at running FOSS, ... ;-)

        --
        Perpenso Calc [perpenso.com] for iPhone and iPod touch, scientific and bill/tip calculator, fractions, complex numbers, RPN

  • Seriously (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:40PM (#31716506)

    The national news media has gone utterly insane over this tablet. I know it's a flashy, "cool" product that will sell well, but it's just not worth the crazy amount of attention it's getting.

    I think the best example of the lunacy was illustrated on the Colbert Report. The iPad was given a full front-cover picture (free advertisement), while Amazon paid for a full back-cover advertisement of their Kindle on the same magazine.

    • by v1 (525388) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:55PM (#31716622) Homepage Journal

      I think the Kindle is going to have to make some serious changes. For 2x the price you get 5x the features with the iPad. Kindle's been out awhile and prices have already worked their way down as features and size have crept up. The iPad is just hitting the market and is already a better value for the money. When the early adopters are done paying their tax and prices on the iPad drop, Kindle has a very serious problem on their hands. I wonder what they intend to do?

      Same thing has already happened with the palm pilot, but against a flurry of devices. (ipods and smartphones) Who in their right mind would buy a palm pilot today? Kindle is headed down the same road. I bought a PP 4 yrs ago not because I liked it, but because it was the only product anywhere near the price for what it did. People bought the Kindle for the same reason. And they're both going to find their way to the garage sale.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Richy_T (111409)

        Call me when the ipad has an e-ink screen, incredible battery life and free internet.

        And Palm really dropped the ball. The Ipod Touch is what the Palm TX II should have been. Instead they went monkeying with smartphones, going up against Microsoft and Rim. I still use my TX a fair bit.

  • by nullhero (2983) * on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:47PM (#31716552) Journal
    Everyone is clamoring over the iPad calling it a Kindle-Killer but the device is more than an eReader. It's not a replacement of the notebook either. I think it is Apples Netbook, an expensive one in comparison, but a netbook just the same. It has limited functionality but allows the user to access their documents via iWork (Apple is expanding iWork to the cloud, currently in beta) as well as create their own. It gives a user access to their email and then all those iPhone/iPod Touch apps. But what it really does is kind of free the user from the computer, from sitting at a desk and working at their computer, it is easier for her to go to coffee shop and just read the web. She'll then decide to go grocery shopping or do other things neatly tucking the iPad a way. If she has some ideas during the day she can take out her iPad and write up the ideas. As thin and mobile notebook computers are they still are chore to lug around everywhere. I'm not saying carrying a 1.5 pound is easier, but it sure beats having to grab the power cords, put everything in a bag. With the iPad, you just have to unplug it and go. I can't wait to get mine.
    • by Obyron (615547)
      For the money I'd still rather have a Kindle. The people calling it a Kindle killer don't understand the things that make e-Ink awesome. They think the fact that it's a monochrome screen with no backlight is a drawback instead of its key advantage. Because surely more colors has to be better? Right?
    • by jfengel (409917) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @02:02PM (#31717226) Homepage Journal

      Everyone is clamoring over the iPad calling it a Kindle-Killer but the device is more than an eReader.

      Precisely. And the question is, does the world have much call for a single-purpose device like the Kindle?

      Single-purpose devices can be optimized wonderfully. The Kindle is lighter, uses less power, and is easier to read outside. It does one thing, and does it reasonably well. Not perfectly well, and it's possible that the Kindle could fail now and resurface in a decade when the screen technology takes another leap. Like the PDA, which failed as a Newton, rose again with Palm, and then sank again as the functionality was bundled into the phone.

      The iPad itself is more limited than a notebook or even a netbook. But is it just the right kind of limited? We'll find out.

  • by macwhizkid (864124) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @12:52PM (#31716590)

    The thing I find so interesting is just how much negativity is out there over the iPad. While I respect Doctorow's well-written analysis, most of it (not just on Slashdot) is far less intelligent and coherent. David Pogue's initial review (which was pretty thoughtful and balanced) got slammed with comments on everything from "I already have a laptop and now I'm supposed to buy an iPad?" to "how am I supposed to do anything without USB" to "how many kids could you help in Haiti instead of buying your stupid toy".

    Honestly, you'd think people are being forced to buy an iPad. The only thing I can think of is that a certain segment of the population just rebels against anything that's mainstream.

    The funniest comments (to me) are where Apple is compared to being the "new Microsoft". Yeah, because a company that got and maintained its riches only because of its half-baked operating system and word processor is so much like a company that goes out on a limb (over and over again) to invent a new category of consumer device. And then the commentators are somehow surprised when that pays off.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wampus (1932)

      And then they lose their mojo and start making the same device but bigger. That's what makes people hate the fucking iPad.

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:36PM (#31716958)

      Yeah, because a company that got and maintained its riches only because of its half-baked operating system and word processor is so much like a company that goes out on a limb (over and over again) to invent a new category of consumer device.

      Wow! Apple invented the MP3 player, the cell phone and the tablet PC! You learn something new every day here on Slashdot!

      Back in the real world, Apple produce moderately unsucky versions of consumer devices that have been in the market for years, and throw vast amounts of advertising at selling them. Right now they're actually managing to make Microsoft look only moderately evil.... at least Microsoft lets you run arbitrary software on Windows.

      Of course there's nothing wrong with their business model so long as they're not holding a gun to your head and forcing you to buy one, but let's cut out the 'Apple is so innovative' crap which merely makes you look like another cultist.

  • by CranberryKing (776846) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:09PM (#31716746)
    a Newton Emulator.
  • by Ultimate Heretic (1058480) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:14PM (#31716778)
    Lacking in the early iPad reviews has been any screen shots or actual information on how a two-column small text PDF appears, typical in my scientific arena's journal articles. My use for an iPad would be to provide a convenient means to carry around and read at home (not parked in front of my computer!) my current list of journal articles. As an older person with ever increasily bad eyesight, I can really use the larger screen. So have any slashdot user + iPad adopters had a chance to use it in this context? Another contender is the Skiff reader, but it is stil vaporware and their latest press release seems to suggest they are moving to provide an OS and marketing scheme and moving away from the hardware reader. Pity, as it is just the right size for my needs. I know that one can "Kindle-ize" PDF's, but a) I am lazy and b) I bet they don't come out quite right, so that is not a solution I would want to use. Also, I see that Papers has been released for iPad just today, so maybe it is worth a trip to the Apple Store to have a look myself.
  • If there is no flash, there is no point. A good chunk of websites (est 30-40% Cite [flashmagazine.com]) use flash which Apple blatently alienates. I'll stick to my laptop and my tethered iPhone and get better results.
  • CD-ROM 2.0 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hey (83763) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:33PM (#31716928) Journal

    I agree with Cory. It reminds me of CD-ROMs also.
    That nifty Elements App (from Wolfram) is exactly like that. It just seems weird not to be able to hyperlink to content outside the CD-ROM -er- I mean iPad App. (Of course, you can launch a browser, but but App would do that because its job to to get you to view the content you just bought.)

    The UI of CD-ROM (and maybe iPad Apps) was terrible also. Everyone CD-ROM title decided they needed a different GUI. Getting he back/next buttons, address bar in the browser was a such a big step forward.

  • does it run Linux?
    Srsly. Wake me up when it has been cracked and I can run what I want on it. Oh, and when I can buy replacement batteries.
    Or when HTC or Asus make a clone. That might be easier and cheaper. It just doesn't have the bling.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:43PM (#31717030)

    I don't get the pissing and moaning from my fellow techies on this one.

    Sure It has limitations and software is controlled by Apple (unless you jailbreak).

    But this is more like an appliance than a full fledged computer and it isn't really meant to replace your laptop or desktop, but co-exist with them.

    From the hands on videos, it is clear the engineering on this one is very tight. HW/SW integration produces an extremely responsive package in a small lightweight package that can go all day.

    As an appliance platform, it appears to be impeccable.

    Not every device has to be totally open. I don't need or even want to spend hours similar to what I spend tweaking my PC also tweaking a tablet appliance.

    I don't own anything Apple and I am not sure I will buy an iPad, but it doesn't look like it delivers a fine coffee table appliance and I would certainly like to try it.

    I really can't get anyone who considers themselves a tech enthusiast being too close minded to try one for themselves.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I don't need or even want to spend hours similar to what I spend tweaking my PC also tweaking a tablet appliance.

      Not every totally open device requires that. See: Android, Maemo (or now MeeGo)...

      I really can't get anyone who considers themselves a tech enthusiast being too close minded to try one for themselves.

      I'll be open-minded when they have open development. Short of that, if someone hands me one, sure, I'll play with it, but there's no way I'm buying one.

  • alternatives (Score:4, Insightful)

    by celle (906675) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:47PM (#31717058)

    You know there's something that's out there already called the "droid". It works great and does everything and more than the Ipad and actually fits in your pocket.

  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @01:56PM (#31717134)

    For the "consumer" (defined in this case as the 99% of the population who are not competent programmers),
    an information/entertainment appliance that:
    1. "just works",
    2. has a single, simple way to obtain good apps or good content (e.g. movies), and has
    3. Has well-designed, human-factors-centric user interface, ergonomics and design affordances

    will trump a gadget/network with openness of programming architecture any time.

    If the open world wants to compete in this space, it needs to somehow achieve 1.,2., and 3. above
    while also being open in some meaningful sense.

    I put this out there as a challenge. Can the Android world, for example, improve to that level?

    Remember, Freedom's just another word for this thing doesn't work!

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @02:18PM (#31717382) Homepage

    Most of the people here are missing the point. The iPad is all about paying for content. And the content isn't cheap. The Wall Street Journal costs more on the iPad than on paper. $5 a month seems to be a typical price for online magazines. The iPad creates a direct connection between content providers and your wallet.

    And there's no ad-blocking. You will will watch the ads. The "app" concept means that the program, not the user, has control. If the program wants you to look at the ad for 10 seconds, you will look at the ad for 10 seconds.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by fermion (181285)
      The reason that many products, specifically Linux, have not value in the consumer market is that there is no connection between the consumers wallet and the content provider. Everyone on /. may disagree, but as a software developer and a writer I expect to get paid. Maybe not huge amounts, but I need money to live and buy toys.

      Not everyone wants cheap content. For those that do there are many different venues. The people that the WSJ is aimed at does not live in a world of cheap content. In fact, lik

  • by theodp (442580) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @02:31PM (#31717510)

    Dave Winer's 1-Tweet review: [twitter.com] 'As much as it pains me to say it -- this fcuker is pretty fcuking cool.'

  • 1 review (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wrencherd (865833) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @03:48PM (#31718188)

    1st impressions of iPad:

    *looks an awful lot like the top of a 13" MacBook Pro

    *weighs a bit more than it looks like it would

    *probably should have popped for the case b/c it seems like one would want to carry it around like a book

    *typing on-screen is easier to get used to than I thought it would be (can't say about long term though)

    *"optimized" gmail works pretty well

    *software-wise I already miss the feeling that open source is available ("I was wrong to break up with you, baby; please, can't we get back together? . . . well then, how about one for the road?")

    *screen-orientation gyro ("accelerometer"?) is a bit testy out of the box

    *not a computer, that's for sure

    *also not quite Bill Atkinson's "magic slate", but almost there

    I would say I probably paid about $200 too much and bought maybe 2 gen.s too early.

    Nature of the beast, eh.

"Marriage is low down, but you spend the rest of your life paying for it." -- Baskins

Working...