cool stuff

Ramblings on the iPad

English: Apple iPad Event

I’ve had my iPad2 for a few months now and have deleted all my half written musings on it.  I’ve come to realise they were written far too soon after it’s acquisition.  Now, a couple of months on I have become a better iPad user and have learnt some tricks and found the pure joy that an iPad can bring.  I am that woman who will play Pyramid HD for days on end.  In fact I have even discovered the joy and pain when a game gives you ‘iPad finger’ from stabbing those little Egpytians to get them to move faster to build their pyramid in a bid to get a golden scarab, I know it’s sad but there it is!  iPad finger can occur when you are playing Find It games, time management games or enjoying the coolness of Zinio or Fliboard.  The reason I bought the iPad was for reading.  I wanted a piece of the reading action on an e-device which also did all kinds of other stuff.  I already had a dedicated e-reader (a Kobo) which I’d had great reading experiences on, but I wanted all the rest of the functionality, a laptop without having to drag a laptop around, to be able to read on the plane but also to search the web, answer my email, listen to my music and use to take notes in meetings.  The iPad does all that and plenty more.  So, here is what I think so far.

The Pros

It is lovely to hold, it isn’t uncomfortable to read on in bed at night.  Slightly more awkward than the Kobo just because it is bigger and heavier, but the reading experience itself is great.  I use the Kobo app or the Kindle app both are pretty much the same.  I can share my library with my partner, we can both read the same books and each buy books on my account (well, actually it is me buying the books on there but that’s fine.)  I like the night reading setting for when the light is out and you want to read in the dark.

Great for games.  In our place the games are all about finding stuff, building stuff, and Bejewelled and matching games of that type.  We are not hard core games.  But last week I clocked a solve the mystery game in two days, just because it was so easy to play it on the iPad wherever I was – on the couch, at the table, in bed.  Terrible.

Flipboard, this is just wonderful, tailored to your interests you get fed articles you are interested from all over the internet.  For me that is stuff on reading, libraries, books, education and publishing.  But you could be interested in anything from bumbebees to surfing and tailor it to your interests.  Zinio, Zite, Pulse, all these will be your news and magazine friends.

Games, try em, buy em and become an addict.  I’m hopeful this addiction problem will wear off but that is part of the reason that posts on this blog have been infrequent!  Majong Towers, Pyramid HD, anything from Big Fish Games,

There are so many great apps, tools and Bridget’s little helpers online, with new ones coming along every day that a girl could be forgiven for getting lost for long periods of time just in the App Store!

The speaker is decent.  Not awesome, but decent.  I use my iPad all the time at work to listen to TED talks while I’m covering books, to listen to conference presentations, podcasts (Nancy Pearl and BBC Books) and it works really well.

Cons

It is hard to share a book you’ve loved when you only have an electronic copy of it sitting on your Amazon or Kobo account.  We don’t have access to iBooks here in NZ!

It is not always 100% reliable at hooking up with the work wifi, not sure why but it doesn’t really matter because I am mostly using it offline at work, it is a slight pain though.

Um Um.  Trying to think of cons.  My fingers are too big to type on the tablet keyboard…. it isn’t much is it?

Therefore

There you go.  Some not very coherent musings and really just an advertisement for my lovely iPads cool factor.  It is the toy which is a tool but which still feels like a tool.  I belong to the iPad group at school, and remain unconvinced that learning happens any quicker, better or deeper with an iPad, but I do think that they are user friendly and a nice way to integrate really fast technology into school if you can afford to buy em and sort out the management of them in your school in a way that works for everyone.  As a personal tool they are just awesome and I’ve only just begun to dip my toe into these deep rippling waters!  What lies beneath?

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This video is very interesting, see the description below.  Turn your sound up and put it on full screen.

This is a year-long time-lapse study of the sky. A camera installed on the roof of the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco captured an image of the sky every 10 seconds. From these images, I created a mosaic of time-lapse movies, each showing a single day. The days are arranged in chronological order. My intent was to reveal the patterns of light and weather over the course of a year.

This video is designed to be viewed in a large format, so it’s best viewed in full-screen mode at 1080p.

Tessa Aitchison – Artist

This is the website of my daughter, the artist Tessa Aitchison.  Her work is beautiful and minimalistic.  Shades of grey, subtle and moody.  Amazing that Tessa with the bright red hair, the black clothes and fabulous taste in shoes would be producing work which is white and shades of pale.  The work is beautiful and if you live in Wellington you should go to the Academy of Fine Arts Gallery on the waterfront and have a look at the Collideoscope Exhibition.  (These works are available for sale, contact her here!)