25 August 2011

My Apple and iPad2 Review

It was sad to learn of Steve Jobs stepping down. From recent photos it is clear he is losing his battle with cancer. At least he was able to see Apple go from a cult computer company to a consumer electronics behemoth. Apple has now eaten Microsoft's lunch and there has to be redemption in that.

I've been using PC's since before they were PC's, back in the day they were called IBM clones. I switched to Apple about five years ago and wondered why I had not done it years before. Yes, they are more expensive than a PC but, for my money, worth every penny. With Mac you get what you pay for or at least that has been my experience.

Recently, a Canadian chum of mine suggested that I would enjoy an iPad for reading books and surfing the web and encouraged me to buy one which I did.
We got off to a rocky star, my iPad and I. The first thing it told me was that I needed to download the most current version of iTunes. I downloaded iTunes but when I tried to install it I was advised that my operating system did not support it. I called Apple Care support got put on hold for fifteen minutes, then got a person that asked a bunch of questions and then transferred me to another area where I waited, not so patiently, for another fifteen minutes and was disconnected. I called back, was on hold for another twenty minutes, repeated all the information I had provided before and was transfered again and put on hold again. After about ten minutes I got a live person. I explained my problem. He said he would help me but he needed to put me on hold which he did. I waited another fifteen minutes and the guy never came back on the line. I finally hung up.

Whlst on my second attempt to get help I was reading the box and saw printed in tiny script, and I mean tiny, "compatible with Mac OS X 10.5.8 or latter". Since I live in the middle of nowhere I always buy my Apple products via the online Apple store and I hadn't noticed this bit. I'm sure it's there but I didn't see it. Then I read iPad is compatible with Windows all the way back to XP. That really frosted me. My OS was not nearly as old as XP.

The irony is that I would have had a 10.5 OS on my laptop if Apple had come out with it when they said they would. It was supposed to have come out in May of 2008. I deferred the purchase of my laptop so I could have it. Well, it got pushed forward until, by the end August, I could wait no longer as I was preparing to leave for a six month photo safari. What had held up the release of the new operating system? Oh, just a silly little product called the iPhone.

So, here I sat with two Macs with the wrong operating systems whilst PC users could cruise right in to an iPad with XP! I didn't want to spring for a new operating system as I plan to buy a new Mac in the next moth or so. I felt very angry and betrayed.

With muder in my heart I dialed the support number again. After another ten minute wait and I got a young man named Brad. This was not his lucky day. He started to ask the same questions for the third time and I said "Brad, wait just one minute before you go on" and I unloaded a barrage of frustration that would have knocked down all but the very courageous. To the young man's credit he took it like a trooper. I basically told him if he transferred me again I would never buy another Apple product again as long as I lived! An empty threat but I was going for all I was worth.

Brad listened to my tirade and said he would transfer me to a senior tech specialst and stay on the line until we were connected. I explained the situation to Christopher who was very professional and sympathetic. I got the feeling I wasn't the only loyal subject who had had a fit over this issue. In any event Christopher offered to send me the OS upgrade at no charge. Now, this was the Apple I was accustomed to dealing with.

About a week later I got the disk. It took forever to install the new system, all the updates, the new version of iTunes, and the iTunes account stuff. But once I got that nasty chore done it was smooth sailing.

All, I can say about iPad is what a cool toy! It was a snap to start e-mailing, web surfing, game playing and reading my favorite books. It's Apple quality through and through. You can get much less expenive tablets for reading books. I think the Kindle from Amazon is only about $149 as opposed to the iPad I bot which was $599. But, with the Kindle all you can do is read books. With iPad there is no end to the stuff you can do. I'm sure it will be awhile before I discover even half of them.

The really cool thing about iPhone and iPad is now the world knows what we Mac users have known for a long time Apple = Innovation and Superior Quality. All I ask is that Apple not forsake us loyal Mac users. I think they won't. I think instead more people will consider buying a Mac and that will be great for all concerned.

Apple reminds me of a racehorse I greatly admired as a kid. His name was Silky Sullivan. Old Silky would just lounge around about twenty lengths back and then just when you thought there was no chance for him he would stretch out those long legs and fly by the pack to win. Apple is certainly in the winners circle today having coming from a small cult computer manufacturer to a consumer electronics juggernaut.

God bless and keep you Mr. Jobs. You've done fine things for which you can be very proud!

©Kinsey Barnard

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