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April 19, 2014

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iPad romance

After an excruciating wait, his beloved has arrived…

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Justin M. Bowen

A match made in Mac-addict heaven.

Now that the initial high has subsided, and I’ve torn myself away from my brand-new iPad, I’ve compiled a sort of diary of my iPad affair—tracked mostly by my Facebook status updates. This saga of man-machine love begins the day before the official announcement, when geeks worldwide knew it only as “the tablet” and ends with the morning after Saturday night’s honeymoon—pretty much 24 solid hours of what my friends and I call “Mac-ing off.”

Facebook status, January 26, 9:04 a.m. RT @poniewozik: “Last day of pre-iTablet era. Trying to hold on to the moment. How strange and crude our lives now will seem, in the AfterTab.”

Before Steve Jobs even began his unveiling of what we were now calling the “Jesus tablet” at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, I had five browser tabs open, gossiping and rumor-swapping with similarly obsessed fanboys and girls. Yes, we had been excited about the iPod and the iPhone, but this was shaping up to the Big One.

January 27, 9:52 a.m. watching the liveblog at tuaw.com, which is blending in feeds from Gizmodo, Engadget and others ...

March 11, 3:41 p.m. “Customers can pre-order online at apple.com at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time on Friday, March 12.”

Sympathetic to my chronic Apple affliction, my landlord kindly agreed (after a little bit of wheedling) to accept my April rent in two installments. I was prepared to eat from vending machines until next payday.

April 2, 9:16 p.m. iPad Eve ...

That night, ABC’s comedy Modern Family pivoted on the impossibility of getting an iPad. Fear-motivated, I was out the door and headed for the Town Square Apple Store shortly after 6 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Facebook status, posted from iPhone: April 3, 6:39 a.m. getting in line ...

In the two lines at the Apple Store, the male-female and age ratio is surprisingly equal. The “unreserved” line for iPads stretches around the corner and out of sight, several hundred people. In the reserved line, I meet Carol Deglman, who shows us all photos of her son—who has already bought his iPad, three hours earlier, in Florida. Deglman has made a handcrafted case for her iPad.

7:31 a.m. 90 minutes to go—I’m No. 20 ...

9 a.m. Apple store kids are cheering and dancing for us ...

9:22 a.m. I’m in the store!!!

I receive my 32-gig model and quickly select an Apple-made case, and hand over my card, eager to bolt for home. But Bank of America flags the $700-plus purchase as “unusual,” which leads to a 15-minute wait while clearing the buy. My Apple Store sales associate, Gareth, stays by my side during the ordeal, and lets me play with an actual iPad—the first time I had touched or seen the real thing. I had ordered it instantly, sight unseen. It’s love at first touch. While waiting, I signed on to Facebook and posted:

9:28 a.m. my precious ...

Got it home, and after painlessly setting it up and syncing it with my iMac, I took to my bed, propped my beloved beside me, and settled in for hour upon hour of Mac-ing off.

11:11 a.m. I think of the iPad not as a laptop, but as a pillowtop ...

The iPad is more for consuming media than creating it, which is a relief. It’s also designed to do one thing at a time, instead of ADD-inducing multi-tasking. Also a relief. Streaming Netflix is amazing. I prefer the Kindle app to Apple’s iBooks reader. I can finally read all sorts of blogs and articles (mostly hilarious but lengthy recaps of TV shows) that I might not bother with if I had to sit in front of my desktop iMac. I handily beat the iPad at (glorious, iPad-optimized) Scrabble.

11:55 p.m. Tired from Mac-ing off all day ...

Solely for the reader’s benefit, I did some research and discover an important shortcoming of the iPad: It is not (yet) a good device for streaming porn, because most streaming media sites (including non-porn music and video services) use Flash, which is not supported by Apple. Geeks will find a way.

Easter morning, April 4, 11 a.m. Steve Jobs is my Easter bunny ...

11:04 a.m. coming soon: windex wipes for iPad ... the screen is oleophilic ...

Facebook friend comment, 11:05 a.m. comment: that would be your pants ...

10 p.m. it’s been 24 hours, and my life still hasn’t changed ...

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