Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Do Want?

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  • Sacha,

    the iSay


    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    Oh, and MadTV seem to have got there first - including colourful advert ripoff from about 1 minute mark.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • 3410,

    Oh, and MadTV seem to have got there first

    So, you missed it yesterday, then. :) :)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report

  • Sacha,


    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Andre,

    Meteria Turei (I hope I spelt it wrongly), the heart-rending scenes from Wellsford, who gives a toss - the ipad is much the same apparently (according to the herald)... (normally I'd insert a smirk but as an ex-pupil of Wellsford Primary my heart sinks too low...

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 371 posts Report

  • Andre,

    Sorry to interrupt etc... but as a dog owner it's a bit like watching Auschwich with dogs screaming and I was truly appalled. And saddened.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 371 posts Report

  • Paul Litterick,


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report

  • Paul Litterick,

    No, it is not like Auschwitz. Some dogs were killed at Wellsford. At Auschwitz, about a million human beings were murdered, or worked to death. Most of these people were killed because of their race, the others because of various reasons that made them unacceptable to the Nazis.

    Nothing is like Auschwitz.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report

  • 3410,


    It was worth another play. Eerily prescient, wouldn't you say?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report

  • HenryB,

    What I would like is a screen that folds in two so it is about an open paperback size, thin, and can download mags and books for reading on the train or in bed.

    Ditto. The form factor troubles me. I have been waiting to see what would be on offer as an ereader and am disappointed. I just can't imagine using this for the reading on the run I do. I imagine it would be great for newspapers and magazines, but then the size is closer to the tabloid sizes of these products. I don't thin the paperback is the size that it is by accident. Yes, there is variation but its not huge. Something closer to what we are used to would have been better.

    But then we would have had a different product. Gamers, TV/Film watchers would not have liked it.

    And as for the absence of Flash: I don't understand why some are so against Flash products (I am sure there are good reasons). The only thing I would say is that by not having it, isn't Apple running the risk of locking itself out of a huge educational market where Flash products are being used in such Learning Management Systems as Moodle?

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report

  • recordari,

    Apparently Bostonians are having difficulty distinguishing between the pronunciation of iPad and iPod.

    I'd suggest that if they have the same problem with 'pad' and 'pod', then it must be one LOL after another in that Boston. Or 'pat' and 'pot'. Well, you get the idea.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report

  • Andre,

    I agrrrrrree in hindsight Paul.
    Ok not Auschwitz. Maybe more like an animal Aramoana then. It just sucks that Wellsford has gone feral. I'm almost waiting for one of them to say "squeal like a pig boy" on 3 News tonight. They just seem very backwards. The thought of the dogs running around trapped and screaming in anguish for a very long period of time makes me ill.
    It used to be a bit rough around the edges in Wellsford. The local gang were the Boot Boys and their leader was Gumboot - he drowned at Te Arai in the end. Apparently there are now 3 gangs in Wellsford. And the wierd thing is that the place also has lots of life-styling Aucklanders living there. And we want to put a 2 billion dollar road through? Bizarre. Why don't we spend the money on running a train line to Omaha Beach via Takapuna, Orewa and Warkworth instead?

    And Ben I agree that using a paper and pen can be liberating - especially in meetings. I find that not using a computer or disconnecting my internet connection when making phone calls allows me to make many more calls because there are no distractions as well.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 371 posts Report

  • Wisemonkey,

    Will I be able to read the UK Empire on my iPad or will I be stuck with the crappy Australian one? Inquiring minds want to know. And the iPad is all about content.

    The great Apple ecology (ecologists?) promised us access to a huge world of content, like movies and TV, through the iTunes store. But in NZ there are few deals for this content after several years. A handful of expensive movies. I can't help but wonder if there will ever be access here to more than a handful of books. I know that rights and licencing are difficult, but still ...

    And that’s before we get to the issue of broadband caps, and downloading your content or moving it around.

    Here in NZ we take up new consumer technologies quickly and upgrade the structures and agreements that support them very slowly. I’d really like to see something like the iPad take off and help a bit of progress here.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report

  • Just thinking,

    Wisemonkey (I like your name, it does sound like the racist term "white monkey" that I find hilarious because being a chimp was my childhood alter-ego, then the Gorilla became my drunken alter-ego).

    Tedious as it is, scan the book of your choice and using Read & Write Gold (software without new hardware) you've then got an e-version.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report

  • Mark Sibly,


    My take on the iPad as 42 year old programmer who started out with the TRS-80/C64 etc...

    I gotta admit, after thinking about it for a while I am extremely nervous about the closed nature of the iPad - it's effectively the first completely closed, DRMd up the wazoo 'computer'.

    We've had closed devices before - cellphones, dvd players etc - but this is the first device that can potentially do anything a computer can (from the end users point of view) that is *designed* to *not* run unapproved software.

    We've been heading in that direction for a while - both Windows and Mac have restrictions that mean you can't play certain media or Dvd's on them. But both platforms will still run software that (for now anyway) legally can.

    And what makes it a computer vs cellphones etc? After all, it's just a 'big' iPhone, right? Well, yes, but IMO it's its *size* that makes it a computer!

    No one will seriously attempt to use photoshop or word on an iPhone, the form factor's just not right. But on an iPad? Quite possibly (had to edit out 'xcode' for obvious reasons...).

    But does it matter if it's 'good'? After all, they appear to be kicking Flash to the curb which in IMO is no bad thing! But not in everyone's opinion - plenty of game developers could suffer - and regardless of how good it may be, the ability to improve, modify or reuse it has been dramatically reduced by it being so closed.

    Eventually no doubt it'll be 'jailbroken' - but that's a pretty crappy solution. Do we really want to live in a world where to write a casual bit of software and share it with friends - our maybe our community - we have to become criminals? OK, possibly over-dramatic, but so far I've managed to avoid 'modded' hardware and still do my thing, and I hope that will always be the case. The thought that the ability to make a living out of what I produce depends on some drone at the 'Apple software quality assurance' dept. is pretty depressing.

    And as for 'vote with your money' - that's fine if you have a pure capitalist belief in the 'rational marketplace' and so on (which we've had hammered into us for the last 30 years!). In the real world, I'm not convinced that the 'best' (whatever your definition) product will always win in the end, and frankly that we really have much choice in it anymore anyway. 'Content providers' will cream themselves over the closed nature of the iPad, and when have they ever really cared about 'end user experience'?

    I've long held a private belief that Linux will eventually be the 'last one standing' as far as personal computers (as we know them) goes, as Windows and MacOS slowly become more and more crippled by DRM and patent/license issues to the point where they end up purely as 'user' boxes under the TV (how long before MacOS is ditched for iPhoneOS?). And it's likely that it'll take superhuman RMS type dedication to prevent even Linux becoming 'illegal' once everyone has signed their free trade agreements with the US etc...

    I reckon I'm still right, and this is just another step in that direction.

    Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    Ok not Auschwitz. Maybe more like an animal Aramoana then.

    Ah... Wrong again. Would you like to you use your call now?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Pete Sime,

    Hitler has received news of the iPad and, as usual, he's not very happy ...

    That meme always delivers.

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 171 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes,

    Eventually no doubt it'll be 'jailbroken' - but that's a pretty crappy solution.

    I prefer to call it "Housebroken" If it pees on the rug, put it out in the yard, in the rain.
    Good post Mark, I couldn't agree more.
    I, for one, do not welcome our digital overlords.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Wisemonkey,

    Closed devices like the iPad may be the future for a lot of people.

    Here's why.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    We've had closed devices before - cellphones, dvd players etc - but this is the first device that can potentially do anything a computer can (from the end users point of view) that is *designed* to *not* run unapproved software.

    I understand your point, but that's a non-sequitir. If it did anything a computer can, you'd be able to to bung any old kind of software on it -- including spyware, adware, worms, trojans, but also, obviously, other operating systems.

    It's a computer, but it's more of an appliance. Like a cellphone, a DVR, a game console -- or, increasingly, a TV. Many mid-range TVs now have built-in media players and (in the US) applications for NetFlix and YouTube.

    I've thought for a while that these "devices with content" would become important -- but I don't expect the free internet to go away either. It's too robust for for that -- remember when Microsoft, at the peak of its powers, failed to get anywhere selling its own proprietary network to a captive audience?

    But most of the objections raised here have nothing to do with ordinary folks, most of whom do not want to maintain, manage and repair their software -- and, franky, make a shite job of it when they do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Steve Ballantyne,

    The best part about the iPad is that it completely hides the filing system from the user. This doesn’t exactly suit me, because I like faffing about making up schemes for storing my data, but I can see that once word of this gets around it will be hugely popular. You want to write something? Just click on Pages and off you go.

    The cheapest version of Microsoft Office on Amazon is over $US100. IWork -- the Pages word processor, the spreadsheet and the presentation software -- $US30 the lot. The iPad starts at $US499, including web browser and email, which altogether makes a pretty competitive productivity package.

    It’s not as if hiding the filing system isn’t something other systems haven’t done before. For example: Suppose you’re using Office 2007 and you’ve just made and saved a Word template. Where is it? Within Word 2007 it’s under New, under the Office-logo-menu, but where it really is in the file system is a secret. Word 2007 won’t tell you, and when you try to ask Word help, as I’ve just done on my PC, it gives the answer to “Why do you check to see if my software is genuine when I download a template?” instead. Typical, is my Mac user’s response.

    Anyway, even knowing where the Mac version of Word keeps my templates doesn’t help much; and even if you know where Word 2007 keeps them on your PC, it doesn’t matter because Microsoft doesn’t think you or other users should know.

    That would be okay if there weren’t times when I want to find stuff like templates and can’t, and other times when saving a file just about any old where would be fine.

    Apple’s non-half-arsed approach is better; the iPad doesn’t hide some of the filing system, it hides all of it and expects software developers to keep that in mind. Remember what the reaction was when the iMac was the first computer to -- horrors! -- leave out the floppy disk drive? Leaving out access to the filing system will be even more disruptive and ultimately popular.

    Besides, the Mac has Spotlight, or relatively good disk search. If that’s a part of the iPad operating system all should be sweet (it’ll need to be better than Spotlight on my iPhone, though, which I’m dismayed to find hasn’t indexed my Bento database.)

    Like everyone else I won’t be buying an iPad this year, but I almost certainly will buy the improved model.

    @BenWilson: Ohhh, that Ben Wilson! Sorry, the connection didn’t click. Young Dave was never much good with Apple stuff – in retrospect I think buying him an Atari 800 that long-ago Christmas was a bad idea, what with its damn command line and all; but what alternative was there back then? How was I to know it would lead to bloody Amigas, and eventually to PCs?

    Sorry I bracketed you with Hopeful and Barnes – it was unjust. Feel free to swap out “Wilson” for “Semmens”. When did The Cult of Anti-Mac replace The Cult of Mac for virulence and rabid irrationality? Was it when the iMac showed that Apple wasn’t going to die after all? Or when the Cult of Linux brought its own special flavour of whiney resentment to the game?

    Anyway, your wait for a print sequel is probably in vain – Bob the Illustrator is now Bob the Fine Artist, which makes much more money for him than comics. You wouldn’t be surprised if you saw the work he’s doing now. Although we may collaborate on an entirely different project I’ve discussed with him. Faint glimmer: I have a bunch of Terry episode outlines left over from an earlier go-round, and late last year somebody was asking after option rights.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report

  • Malcolm Ibell,

    It may be a little hyperbolic in it's title, but this superb post by Fraser Speirs is an interesting, and thoughtful take on the iPad naysayers.

    Deepest Sandringham • Since Nov 2008 • 49 posts Report

  • Wisemonkey,

    Wellington • Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report

  • Stephen Judd,

    Apropos reinventing file systems: this is no invention. Palm OS and the old Newton have worked just like this for years and years. It's a good idea though! Nice to see it get mainstream traction.

    Apropos the closed platform vs freedom to tinker: yes, I see how locked-down appliances are superior for most people, and I suspect it really is inevitable, and kudos to Apple for making a practical one, if it as seems likely that's how it turns out. But I'm still sad about it. Most of the people I know in the programming business have the gratifying and amazing jobs we do have because it was possible, even necessary to get in there and poke around. And now the future where kids have no idea and think computers are just magic is upon us. /me sobs with overwhelming angst and premature nostalgia.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report

  • BenWilson,

    @SteveBallantyne. Dave Jr did work the iPhone out in the end, and we enjoyed many hours of painless use after that first muck around. I don't think it was the Atari that put him off them Apples. More likely different priorities for how to spend his free cash - he wanted the horsepower in his wheels, not his computer.

    I left higher education Apple literate, personally. That's what they taught computer science on in my day. But there were no jobs in it. Precisely zero workplaces I've worked in have had any Apples. But the shift was not particularly painful, any more than the shift to Apples from Commodores had been.

    Whilst it's annoying to be somewhat locked in by virtue of knowing PCs, it has been fortunately the most power you get in a machine for $ since basically about 1990. To me that's worth something, but I'm fully respectful that people are happy to pay $ not to have to deal with the endless configurability of the PC world. Appliances have their place.

    Sad (but not surprised) to hear no Terry sequels are forthcoming. Hope those options come to something!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

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