[Air-L] ipad, laptop, desktop

Abby Waysdorf a.s.waysdorf at students.uu.nl
Sun Jan 15 08:27:35 PST 2012


Anecdotally, but interestingly considering where the debate here is going, here's a report of an iPad keyboard being easier to use for an elderly woman:

http://thehairpin.com/2012/01/an-84-year-old-sends-her-first-text-message

Abby Waysdorf
Utrecht University

On Jan 15, 2012, at 5:09 PM, Mark D. Johns wrote:

> I wonder if this is a generational thing, or if it is somehow tied to
> typing skills. I learned touch typing in the late 1960s -- first on
> manual, then IBM Selectric typewriters. When I switched to computers
> in the early '80s the keyboard seemed very natural and I've never seen
> it as a problem to be surmounted.
> 
> I use a Nook Color as a reader and occasionally to skim through email
> or web surf, but I hate typing on it. An iPad would be just as bad,
> I'm sure. I sat next to a guy on an airplane a few days ago who was
> typing on his iPad using only his thumbs, very much like people text
> on a cell phone. He was moving at a pretty good clip, but not nearly
> as fast as one could type on a keyboard. I've never seen anyone do
> more than hunt and peck successfully on a tablet. Perhaps touch typing
> is possible, but the adaptation would have to be difficult.
> 
> Adding an accessory keyboard to an iPad seems to run against the
> concept. At that point one has the same weight and bulk of Charles'
> Macbook Air (or the ultra-thin knock-offs of it just coming on the
> market). That would seem a more versatile choice to me, should my
> institution stop insisting on supplying me with bulky, 7 pound Dell
> laptops.
> --
> Mark D. Johns, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor, Communication Studies
> Luther College, Decorah, Iowa USA
> -----------------------------------------------
> 2011-12 Director, Luther Study Centre
> 23 Haslemere Road
> Nottingham NG8 5GJ
> United Kingdom
> -----------------------------------------------
> "Get the facts first. You can distort them later."
>     ---Mark Twain
> 
> 
> 
> On Sun, Jan 15, 2012 at 5:18 AM, Peter Timusk <ptimusk at sympatico.ca> wrote:
>> Just some comments from my experiences and  a question about labour, as I am
>> starting to kick at Apple glee clubs that seem to be popping up at
>> conferences. I am enjoying the iPad effects on writing thread though.
>> 
>> I have used keyboards since 1978 starting with Texas Instrument's keypunches
>> typing code and chemical formulas. My fingers are also used to playing 4
>> string electric bass guitar. I didn't start to type English sentences into
>> computers until 1994 or so. Before that I never had access to word
>> processors. I have some limited experiences trying to type up essays with an
>> IBM Selectric ( electronic typewriter) in the 1980's when I also started to
>> learn touch typing from library books. Apparently teaching programmers to do
>> touch typing is a real money saver. Word processors saved my education late
>> in life. I think too fast for writing.
>> 
>> I wonder how members of this list feel about the company Foxcomm that makes
>> most of our Apples, IBM's and Dells, etc.? Their workers are working in
>> miserable conditions. Some of the scholars I have read on this list also
>> have looked at labour conditions in the ICT business world.
>> 
>> Someone on this list recently pointed me to a book on the sustainability of
>> the Information age and I am reading that book.
>> 
>> I briefly used an iPad at a family member's ( and Apple stock holder) house
>> last month. Today I tried to use a display model Blackberry Playbook in an
>> office supply store. In both cases, I had to ask people how to get around on
>> the device.
>> 
>> When I was writing a thesis I was doing it in LaTeX code on a Macbook and an
>> eMac. I used a template published by my university. I have also tried a
>> mediawiki Intranet web site for note keeping not on the world wild web but
>> on a home network running apache web server on my macbook.
>> 
>> These days I just write papers in Word and do PowerPoint and am not fighting
>> any software battles at work.
>> We are not allowed to use iPads at work. I work in government and cannot
>> even take work home because of confidentiality.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Peter Timusk
>> at571 at ncf.ca
>> ptimusk at sympatico.ca
>> web: www.crystalcomputing.net
>> blogs www.cyborgcitizen.org
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org
>> [mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Charles Ess
>> Sent: January-14-12 11:17 PM
>> To: Barry Wellman; aoir list
>> Subject: Re: [Air-L] ipad, laptop, desktop
>> 
>> Well ... FWIW ...
>> After a year of trying, I've given up on using the iPad as a "serious"
>> computer - but my reasons are likely more idiosyncratic than not.  Can't get
>> used to a virtual keyboard - congrats to those who can!
>> Was intrigued by the Zagg keyboard, but for the first generation iPad, the
>> keys are too small and too closely spaced together for my somewhat largish
>> hands and touch-typing trained fingers.  But the OS and memory limitations
>> were the final straw - when I work, I often have scads of applications and
>> files open in ways that the iPad just can't do.
>> I can see using the iPad as a writing machine on a commute when you have
>> little else to have to access or deal with - but I commute on a bike most of
>> the time, so that's not a good idea for me ...
>> Still use the iPad as a reader - i.e., with Kindle, Nook, and other apps.
>> Great for that.
>> Sorry you don't "do Mac" - my recently acquired MacBook Air has turned out
>> to be surprisingly satisfying.  Following the example of many wise
>> colleagues, I got it initially as a travel machine.  But contrary to my
>> initial expectations, it is has enough zip, memory capacity, and storage
>> capacity to serve as my main machine.  While not as compact as an iPad with
>> a keyboard - it's not much heavier, and is far more capacious, including a
>> full-sized keyboard.
>> 
>> Apple didn't pay me to say any of this.
>> Best,
>> Charles
>> 
>> 
>> On 1/14/12 7:15 PM, "Barry Wellman" <wellman at chass.utoronto.ca> wrote:
>> 
>>> Perhaps because I've been using one for 55 years, but I don't know why
>>> anyone would abandon a proper keyboard for a glass iKeyboard.
>>> Real keys seem more natural to me than glass keys or even handwriting
>>> (for churning out long prose.
>>> And using a clip-on keyboard with an iThing seems kludgy. Besides, the
>>> OS is awful, wonders of Siri besides.
>>> 
>>> So when I am not using my desktop (just bought a 27" screen for better
>>> editing), I am using a laptop (my old Lenovo Thinkpad X60) and eagerly
>>> awaiting the advent of proper ultrabooks this summer. (Don't do Mac;
>>> netbooks underpowered).
>>> 
>>> Just my .02. I ain't gonna argue with anybody, but curious to read others'
>>> thoughts on this list.
>>> 
>>> 
>>>   Barry Wellman
>>> 
>>> ______________________________________________________________________
>>> _
>>> 
>>>    S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC               NetLab Director
>>>    Department of Sociology                  725 Spadina Avenue, Room 388
>>>    University of Toronto   Toronto Canada M5S 2J4   twitter:barrywellman
>>>    http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman             fax:+1-416-978-3963
>>>    Updating history:      http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php
>>> 
>>> ______________________________________________________________________
>>> _
>>> 
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