The Early Adapter Cure...Or Is It Lure

iPadThe iPad went on sale…I started trembling uncontrollably while watching, shaking and shivering. In younger years I was no better than the drooling hordes camped in front of the Apple stores. I didn't just allow myself to be seduced by new technology, I actively courted it, embraced it, threw myself at it.

The device that cured me of this techno-fever is all too similar, at least in concept, to the iPad now let loose among us. I refer to my first notebook computer, a machine purchased some 15 years ago. Ah! you say -- the notebook is entirely different in concept from the iPad.

But not this one. This one had the CPU behind the screen and a detachable keyboard. Because the keyboard was only to be a supplemental mode of data entry. This machine came with a pen. It was a tablet. One was supposed to write on it.

The operating system was Microsoft Windows for Pen Computing 1.0. I'll repeat that, lest you think I've made a typo: Yes, I bought a Microsoft operating system version 1.0. As in 1-point-OMG, are you out of your freepin' mind?

And, yes, I was. I was in lust. I should have realized this would all end badly when, with trembling fingers, I unwrapped the machine and tried to initialize it. In those days, machines were sold with quite a bit of software already semi-installed: The machine had to be initialized and the software unbundled.

The bundle got tangled somewhere along the way. The machine would not initialize. Hours of frustration ensued -- but, finally, I gave up and headed back to the store. I swapped my defective beauty for another just like it.

old tabletsI had to "train" the system to recognize my handwriting. The system thought it should "train" me. (This was a Bill Gates product, after all.) I would write a test phrase and it would tell me how I was supposed to write it in order to make it work properly.

We went round and round like this for some time before my dream was completely crushed and all my hopes died. Some years later I found that Oldest Son was using the carcass of this once-lusted-after piece of hardware to keep a pile of comic books flat.

And I'd moved on, too. I was cured -- permanently -- of my early-adapting ways. I was hardened by the experience, and maybe just a little embittered. (Does it show?) And then this iPad business comes along... and these old memories come unbidden to the fore...

Curmudgeon is a self-described dinosaur -- an Ozzie and Harriet person living in an Ozzy and Sharon world. And sometimes it confuses the heck out of him. He writes a very amusing blog at Second Effort.

Got a 400 word essay you'd like to contribute? Click here.
Sign up for BoomSpeak Email Updates



© 2006-2013 ConceptDesign, Inc. Terms of Use
BoomSpeak - For babyboomers - by babyboomers.