Belfast Telegraph

Why Apple’s shiny new toy spells heaven to this journo

The iPad 2 goes on sale tomorrow. You say: “Aye? Pad? Two? Speak plainly, man!” I’ll do my best, madam, but fear I may be waddling out of my depth.



Bear with me as I break this bombshell news: the iPad 2 is a computer. Oh yes. What d’you mean, you knew that? We can’t assume everyone is computer-savvy.

There’s a woman up the back who hasn’t even got a toaster, never mind an Intel Plankton IV with inbuilt hubris detector and haemorrhoid warning technology.

To be more specific, the iPad 2 is, er, quite a small computer that you can hold in your hand. In the unlikely event of successfully connecting to the internet beyond your own home, you can surf websites and write emails on it. Well, whoop-de-doo, say you, affecting to be underwhelmed.

But the iPad 2 is a sexy wee thing that looks up plaintively and says: “Fondle me.” It’s the must-have item for those and such as those, and a few of them as well.

Will I be buying one? Well, I’m thinking about it. You’re shocked. A man in my position fiddling with such gewgaws. But, still, it’s small and you can carry it about and, well, there you are. Who could resist?

As you’ll have guessed, there was an iPad 1, and all the schmucks who were at the cutting edge a year ago, with one of these, now might as well be wearing flares and singing Yellow Submarine.

The iPad 2 is billed by makers Apple as a complete redesign of the iPad 1, which is a fair point, if you ignore the fact that it looks exactly the same. But it’s lighter and has a camera in it.

I already have a camera on my iPhone. Yes, I’ve one of those. Smartphones they’re called. That’s probably why I can’t work it. Still, it was the start of my seduction by Apple and, recently, I swapped my old normal laptop for a Macbook.

What a nightmare. Ordinary computers and Apple used to be incompatible. Now, they say that’s no longer the case and it’s easy to make the switch. That’s nothing but apple sauce, and a porkie to go with it.

You have to spend hundreds of pounds more on software to make anything work. The Macbook doesn’t like putting anything in alphabetical order, doesn’t have a word-count on its word-processor (unbelievable; nightmare for the journo), and doesn’t let you open your cherished photographs, substituting a big exclamation mark instead. Oh, and it shuts down randomly and refuses to come on again.

And yet — there’s still something aesthetically pleasing about Apple. My old laptop was falling to bits. For two years, I was unable to write articles with any words containing the letter ‘d’. It was dreadful. I can say that now.

One week, the editor said: “Hoy, you! McNegligible or whatever. Write an informative and educational article about the debilitating diseases caused by dried daffodils.”

I had to pretend to faint and the assignment was given to someone else — whom I happen to know was unable to write any words with a ‘w’ on his laptop. Even his byline read Illiam Ood.

At least my Apple is better than that. But do I really need an iPad 2? No. Do I want one? Gimme, gimme!

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