Jane says, I could hear squealing from way over here.

I say, I wasn’t squealing – they were appropriate expressions of excitement.

Indeed. One of our clever young things was showing me the wonderwalls of the new office iPad.

It must be said, the ebook on the iPad is very good: the type crisp, the presentation very clean and the breadth of controls impressive. It’s far more appealing than the Kindle page and interface. My tricky, mouthy niece tells me that she can read off her tiny *ainol (below) for up to four hours. Older eyes might handle that on the iPad.


I took it home for the night to experiment. It is, as Eric Beecher has said in Crikey, “an exhilirating experience.”

(Eric also had the can-kicking contrarian view that it will sink rather than save the newspaper: “The internet blew the first big hole in that con job. Now iPad-like devices are set to complete the demolition.” The con job he means is this: “The source of the financial success of almost all old media — television, radio, newspapers and magazines —  has been built on a gigantic con job, which enabled them to charge extortionate ad rates without accountability or accurate measurability.” On the web, advertising is charged on a CPM basis: cost per thousand, very countable  on the internet. Article here.)

One reason for borrowing the iPad was to show Stan, the old fellow next door, my father-in-law. He had been keen on getting one ever since it was announced. When does it get here? he would ask/keep asking. And this from a man who eschews gadgets – he had a laptop and mobile, both lapsed – claiming they are too demanding of mental and digital dexterity. Anyway, his friend Fred suggested Stan should wait and check out his when he got it.

Stan’s biggest reason was to read books with adjustable type sizes, ie Big – ebooks could almost have been designed with him in mind. He had a Julia Gillard grin on his face when I walked in with the Thing. He put down his paper book (is that a new category now? – Shane Maloney’s Sucked In, in case you asked. He’s working through the Murray Whelan series.)

Gave him the tour: here ABC news, here his preferred Australian, here the animated Alice in Wonderland, here the Brightness setting, … and here, the Book. The type control setting. The page-flipping. The bookmark. Oh, he was a happy man. I can see we’ll be shopping this weekend.

When I left him to play he was watching a youtube of Pavarotti doing Nessun dorma. He just rang asking how to put it to sleep as he had to take the dog for a walk …


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