Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mysterious Mr. iPad

When Apple launched the iPod it changed the music industry. Samething happened when it launched the iPhone. The dwindling and struggling smartphone industry was revolutionized. In an age when there was hardly any talk or recognition for smartphones, Apple brought the industry to light and now everyone right down to the ignorant layman is talking about the iPhone.

The BIG question is if Apple can do the same thing all over again. Many companies including Apple have tried to introduce the tablet PC and have failed miserably. So can Apple be successful 2nd time round? Its hard to say, a lot depends on how people receive the iPad.

The problem with tablets and why so many companies have failed in their attempts is because it lies in the convergence area of multiple technologies. It’s mobile, it’s a laptop, it’s an ebook reader, it’s a video cum music player, it’s a netbook et al.

Now that we know a little about history let’s get to know the iPad. It looks like an oversized iPhone except that it has a 9.7 inch high-resolution (1024x768) touchscreen. It supports multi-touch and has an accelerator to adjust the image as you tilt it. It is about 0.5 inch thick and tips the scales at 700 gms, making it very portable. Like the iPhone there is just one home button on the front, with buttons on the side for volume and resetting the device.

Purring beneath its sleek hood is Apple's new A4 1 GHz processor, which Apple claims, packs a punch while consuming little power. Connectivity options include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in all iPads and GPS and 3G in some models. The device claims to offer a staggering 10 hours on battery back-up while on Wi-Fi, putting it well ahead of most netbooks, notebooks (including the iMac) and phones. It'll be available in 3 memory capacities - 16GB, 32GB & 64GB.

So Can we use this as a normal computer/laptop? No, Of course not. The iPad is not exactly a laptop in tablet form. Though, we can use this for all our normal activities like browsing, email, watching movies, listening to music, playing games etc. we cannot install off the mill softwares on the iPad. Apple will have apps available for the iPad like it does for the iPhone. There is also no option to expand the memory. No USB or Firewire slots, no SD slot, no HDMI ports, no LAN ports and no disc drives.

Apple has made a very decent attempt in introducing a tablet PC but it’s got gaping holes. Their thinking and imagination has been restricted by the iPhone and they’ve taken the mobile concept and enlarged it with a few changes. There is no multi-tasking. That means you can do one job or run one program at a time. The whole concept of minimising and running in the background is unavailable. Apple has made the iPad dependant on another computer. You need a computer to sync and configure your iPad like you do with your iPod and iPhone. I can't imagine taking the iPad to class. It'll be so difficult to type on it and to use MS Word and Excel at the sametime (and the fact that i cant install them on it).

The main advantage for the iPad is that it’s an Apple product. If HP or Dell had introduced this it would certainly have failed. If you ask me to rate it on 5 stars, I’ll give it 2.5-3 stars.

Apple could have done a brilliant job but instead they come out with a half baked product which is more based on the mobile concept than the computer concept. They just took a step backward. On the other hand their main competitor, NotionInk’s Adam is the perfect tablet PC which is a PC which is mobile, instead of a mobile which is a PC (iPad).

p.s. coming soon... Adam without Eve

-> SJ

Monday, February 15, 2010

Its Valentine's Day!

Its a day celebrated globally. Its a day put aside for love. A day when lovers or would-be lovers propose/re-affirm their love for eachother. Single people feel sad that they do not have anyone to share this day with. No one special to go out to dinner with or to buy gifts for or who would buy gifts for them or shower their attention and love on them.

"Being single isn't bad, what is bad is giving up hope that you will that someone special"

This was a status message put up on Google Talk by a friend. When i read this message, I initially felt very sad that people perceived that their life depended on another person. At one point of time this was true for me too. I too believed (i realise now was a perception based on crappy hindi movies) that life was nothing without love. It was nothing without having to share special moments in your life with someone who you love more than anything else in the world. But i've now come to realise and understand that love and the companionship of love is just one aspect of life. There is so much more in this world to live for - Beautiful sceneries, friends, family, work etc.

Work is ultimately what makes us who we are. It is not what we say or our beliefs that dictates who we are. It is what we do. The work we do and its effect on the world around us is what makes us who we are. Thats because then we have dedicated our lives to something and this giving meaning to our lives. This meaning is what defines us.

It is not who we spend our lives with but what we do in the time given to us that makes us who we are. Thus our lives, in reality are more dependant on what we do and not on the person we spend it with.

I believe that the whole concept of finding "that someone special" is flawed. Anyone can be "that someone special". You do not have to look through 6.5 Billion human life forms to find that someone. Statistically if you do look thru so many people you will find many "that someone special". Then what will you do? Fall in love with everyone of them?

Also, lets assume that "that special someone" exists for everybody. Dealing with such a large number there is a very high probability that you will never meet that special someone coz you might just die before you even get to know all 6.5Bn people populating this planet.

Why is it that in love we imagine the other person to be the world? Why do we think that our perfection, our lives and our growth depends on the other person? Why is it that so much of the time in love we feel suffocted and frustrated? This is because the brain mistakenly assumes a deep feeling of attachment, attraction and bonding to be love. Why else do you think there are so many instances when lust is thought of as love, when mere fondness is interpreted as love and when close and continuous proximity makes the mind believe that it needs the other person.

Love is nothing but an illusion of deep attachment which the 'heart' is fooled into thinking so by the mind. Love is a feeling that can be artificially generated. Through arranged marraige a man and a woman start living together. Through close proximity and continuous interactions over a period of time they become used to each other's presence and become emotionally attached to the other. This need, to be with the other person, is what we mistakenly call love.

Finding a partner all depends on how you respond to people. "That someone special" you are looking for and hoping to meet can be anyone you choose to be. Even the ex- boyfriend/girlfriend you had a terrible fight with, the ugliest person in school to the most beautiful person, or even that stranger you met at the bookstore.

Yes, i do know that the decision of choosing the partner depends on many factors. History, values, ethnicity, compatibility et al. But why should any except compatibility make any difference. Compatibility is an obvious need as without it the couple will not be able to stay together. But imagine if everyone realises that finding a partner depends on how he/she responds to her/him. This would make everything easier. People do not usually understand this and thus it makes all the problems.

Finding a partner all depends on how you respond to people. If you are patient and kind and understand with everybody and accept him/her as he/she is instead of making him/her change into someone you you want, then anyone you meet can be the person you've been looking for. Then the relationship you are in, will be a peaceful one with a sense of belonging. It would be true love where you both are independant but dependant at the same time. There is attraction but the attraction is filled with the need to do good for the other.

But tell me, why is it that we need to find a partner?? Can we not do without one?? Can we not exist on our own free will and enjoy our lives alone?? Yes, humans are social creatures. But we do not need to find anyone to spend the rest of our lives with. We can be single and still enjoy the moment.

But we still hope and eagerly wait to find "that someone special". Someone so perfect that he/she understands what i need before i do, understands each and every cell inside me better than i know myself, someone who will put everything on the line for me and not regret it later, someone who will be devoted only to me.

Why should we be depended on any one person?? Why can we not just do our work and go home peacefully and worry about how to perform better. The whole concept of waiting for true love and "that someone special" is nothing but a load of crap because everyone is capable of being "that someone special", you do not have to pick and choose. I'm not saying that love or attachment is bad. Its not, you should get attached to people especially when you have a high need for people. But you must remember that you cannot revolve your whole life around finding someone. That search should just be a side effect of the work that you do.

Happy Valentine's Day people!

-> SJ