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Harry McCracken on Creating on the iPad 2



I could have written the thoughts Harry McCracken lays out about using his iPad 2 for his work machine with a few minor tweaks. I didn’t. He did, so I’m linking to it. His points line up with my thinking very easily save for the choice of some of the software and accessories he uses.

But the points that he makes that I think have the most resonance are in these two paragraphs:

When you use a Windows PC–and, to a somewhat lesser extent, a Mac–you get dragged down by the responsibilities and obligations of using a computer. Even if you’re very familiar with a program, you need to bob and weave your way around icons and menu items you don’t require at the moment to get to the ones you do need. Programs other than the one you’re using may vie for your attention, possibly alerting you, for instance, that they need to be updated. You might have to rummage around in folders to find documents. When you multitask between apps, you need to juggle their windows, maximizing or minimizing them as you go. If a program stalls, you’ll likely need to kill it manually.

With the iPad, all that goes away. You can devote nearly every second of your time to the task at hand, rather than babysitting a balky computer. I don’t feel like I’m “using an iPad to write.” I’m just writing. It’s a far more tranquil, focused experience than using a PC or Mac. It’s also easier to dive in, do a bit of work as time allows, then dive out–especially since the iPad’s instant-on feature is more reliably instant than the alleged instant-on capabilities of traditional computers.

I’d call that right on.

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  1. Anonymous

    12/05/2011 at 7:31 am

    No more multitaskibg then. Is that a good thing?

  2. Anonymous

    12/05/2011 at 7:42 am

    Here we go again Warner. McCracken, like you, is a “creative content” user. What I mean by this is unlike the typical business user, you are not editing existing documents; use multiple existing documents to create a new one; share multiple drafts with edits “blacklined”; browse network shares for documents and content; compare multiple documents simultaneously that all come together to be a single project. You blog, or write an article, or do a web search. It is serial and NOT tied to a file server that you and your collegues work from. Absent an accessible file system, you cannot function in the typical business environment.

  3. Calvin Grinder

    12/06/2011 at 5:08 am

    “It is serial and NOT tied to a file server that you and your collegues work from. Absent an accessible file system, you cannot function in the typical business environment.”

    Are you saying because it doesn’t meet your specific needs, it has no value to others? I’m hearing the same word from folks that gets used about the Mac – “I LOVE my iPad!” It brings great value to many.

    You are free to continue to use the tools that work for you. You do not HAVE to buy an iPad or a “tablet”.

    PS friends in the medical professions report the iPad has infiltrated every

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