The Friday Blog
Are You Gonna Get an iPad?
To go ahead and destroy the tension, I probably am.
Lena and I were already shopping for an e-reader, and having the rest of the capabilities of the iPod as well, with an enlarged viewing screen and a nearly full-sized keyboard pretty much sealed the deal. I’m looking forward to pairing it with a Slingbox and being able to watch live and recorded television with it too.
I’m praying that Apple can get Avery Brooks to do the commercials for the thing. Functionally the iPad is just a better-looking datapad from Deep Space Nine. (The undisputed — by me — best of all the Star Trek series.) If Steve Jobs can get Captain Benjamin Sisko to hawk his product, I’ll sell the cats to put an extra one in the bathroom. Actually, I’d be willing to pay someone to take the cats.
On the Slate Political Gabfest the hosts were discussing why it was possible for Steve “the Man” Jobs to accomplish so many amazing things in his lifetime while Congress can’t even pass a bill. The easy answer is that Steve would have fired obstructionist filibustering employees, but I think also much of the answer has to lie in the fact that the people who work at Apple all actually want to get something done. It’s a vastly different culture.
(This is unrelated, but I wanted to tell you about it. I bought a Windows laptop about six or seven months ago. I wanted to be able to inexpensively run the D&D Insider software and easily bring it to the gaming table. As I told a friend, I didn’t need a whole computer, so I bought a PC.
It was before Windows 7 released, so it came loaded with Vista, with a way to get 7 for free when that came out. When the date arrived, I went to the company website to get my software upgrade. The server told me that there was an error with the server code and I would have to fix this code in order to process my request. I waited till the next day and tried again. The third day was the charm and I got my upgrade a mere month and a half later.
So now I’m upgrading my OS. It took several hours but I didn’t have to babysit it, so it wasn’t really an inconvenience. Afterwards the computer seemed a little slower, but my expectations for Windows are fairly low, so it didn’t bug me. I went looking around to see if anything had been moved, corrupted, or deleted, and everything seemed in order… with the sole exception of everyone’s character sheets from both D&D games I participate in. ((The one and only thing that was of any importance to me at all on the computer.)) Really. It’s almost like Microsoft has never done this before.
I opened up my Dropbox and downloaded the copies I had made of the character sheets and put them back where they belonged, chuckling and shaking my head. PC people don’t understand the loyalty Appleheads feel to their brand. If they had one of their own to contrast and compare every day, they would.)
No, I wanted to talk about comic books. I’m thinking there will soon be an amazing new era in comic books, centered on the Man himself. With the iPad there will finally be a full-color monitor quality e-reader, and with Jobs sitting on the board of Disney which now owns Marvel Comics… well I’m sure you see where this is going. See, unlike regular books, the production costs of a comic book relative to it’s actual price is enormous. Remove that, and you have the potential to drastically reduce the price of a single comic while actually increasing the cut for the publisher. It’s win-win. Hollywood has shown the viability of the characters with mainstream audiences, and the world of comics drastically needs a huge goosing right now.
Apple loves placing their products in schools, and the iPad has the potential for replacing textbooks entirely. Just think of all those little potential buyers of comics. Further, the elimination of Flash from the devices is helping to officially usher in HTML5 and CSS3, which will finally put the ki-bosh on that unwieldy data-stopper of an plug-in. (Between them they seem to be able to do everything Flash can without any of Flash’s abnormally huge load times.)
So how does any of this matter to you? Let’s say you’re browsing the Amazon Kindle store, or the Apple iBook store, or the Sony Whatevertheycallit store, and you come across Heroes of Lesser Earth. Not just the comics but the actual books, with all the extras that you can’t get online. I’m thinking $2.00 each. What would you do? Would you recommend it to a friend?
What would you do?