I’ve been intending to make my obligatory post about the iPad. I mean, how can you have a technical blog with an Apple bent and not? Fortunately, Frasier Spiers has already done a good job at capturing many of my thoughts. (UPDATE: Another good post by Steven Frank)
Even though the “closed-ness” of the iPad (and iPhone) frustrates me, it’s more because I know that the computer world is making a dramatic change that’s no longer focused on me – the geek – and more on everyone else – “normal” folk, where open = complexity and advanced training. Apple has finally made the transition of offering a computer that *is* as easy and approachable as the TV or the standard appliance. This is the future of computing. Not that the open desktop and laptop of today will go away, but they will be relegated to the tinkerers and geeks – which will inevitably mean smaller markets, fewer choices, etc.
The one thing that I haven’t seen anyone comment on greatly is Apple’s recent North Carolina datacenter. I had an aha moment last night. Combine iPad with the cloud, and you have the future of computing for the “common man”. A continuously connected device that is always with you that always has access to your datastore sitting on the future me.com cloud services. It makes sense. Back ups, local storage – it’s not the realm of normals. You can’t make it easy enough. It works great for me, but it never will for my parents – or 90% of the folks out there. The future for the bulk of the population is a device like the iPad along with cloud storage. They can have the entire experience they really want from a computing device without all the mess. Saddens me somewhat, but Frasier is right – partially because the normals will no longer have to rely on me to make the magic work.
This isn’t the technology world I want to live in, but that’s ok. I’ve just gotten accustomed to living in a world where the only way to play the technology game is to be a tinkerer, a geek. That’s coming to an end â€” it was inevitable â€” and in the end, that’s a good thing.