iPadmania

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Typing and Other Annoyances

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I was in Toronto for a couple of days on a sales trip (pretty good one at that). Before leaving, I called my hotel, a not-so-hot one—there was a huge mining convention in town with 20,000 attendees—and the desk clerk assured me they had wi-fi for every room.

It didn’t work.

Each room did have an ethernet cable, which did me no good, because I took my iPad. In the course of my wanderings, I was tempted very briefly to buy a router (hey, are those expense-able? I mean, you do get reimbursed for pay-Internet reception, right?), but I decided I wasn’t going to be spending that much time there anyway.

There was a Second Cup cafe down the street, which is sort of like Starbucks, with better coffee. And, thank the Internet gods, free wi-fi. A login prompt came up, telling me that the hotspot was for “Rogers wireless customers with the iPhone 3GS, I agreed to the conditions (what, no curling or hockey jokes?), and I was in. I called up this blog page, logged in and tried to post. And….hmmm, no go. I started to type, but I couldn’t see what I was typing. Is it something to do with the Safari version on the iPad? I don’t know; stay tuned for further experimenting.

I was going to post something on typing, which many find vexing on the device. I don’t, I’ve had an iPhone for over three years, so I’m used to how it works. My advice: trust the autocorrect, 80 percent of the time. I use a modified touch-typing style, fewer fingers than I’m using now on a regular Mac keyboard, but more than two fingers. By the way, have y’all figured out accents? Hold the letter key down until you see the letter with various alternatives. Slide to the one you want and release.

Some people, however, want a physical keyboard. I’ve seen two recently. First off is the Apple one–check out their online store here. On that page, you’ll see the regular wireless (Bluetooth) keyboard and the somewhat clumsy dock.

One of our colleagues has been carrying his iPad around with this dashing setup. Brookstone sells it, and it’s a portfolio (in three colors) that contains a Bluetooth keyboard. You open the case, the iPad can sit up at a comfortable angle, and it looks for all the world like a neat little laptop.

Written by almipad

March 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Wired!

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And now, we take a recreational break. I’ve found a great way to waste way too much time. It’s all down to a cable, specifically, an Apple composite AV cable. Find it at an Apple Store, either bricks and mortar or here. It’s $40, and it allows you to connect the iPad to a TV set of fairly recent (the past decade) vintage, whether flat-screen or not.

Next, if you haven’t already, download the Netflix app and sign up, if you aren’t already a member. Basic, streaming (non-DVD) membership is $8 a month. The selection is pretty decent, although a lot of movies are DVD-only. But the quality is good; I have a cable home Internet connection and picture quality is flawless, and there were no hiccups. I happily watched a couple of adaptations of the Stieg Larsson “The Girl Who…” trilogy (simplified story lines, but still gripping), the documentary of the recording of The Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street” album, and bits and pieces of other movies.

The cable works with iPods and iPhones, too, so if you take videos with your phone, you can see them on the big screen.

Written by almipad

February 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm