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e-reader, tablet computers

Tablets here, Tablets there!

We’re getting used to seeing e-reader tablets in the wild. It used to be such a fun game to spot a TV personality holding a tablet computer while delivering the news. A few newscasters even use a tablet computer to control a big-screen monitor slideshow to highlight the evening news.

That’s old hat now – becoming normal!

I follow a video podcast titled IPAD TODAY (TWIT-TV -This Week in Tech). The internet site has multiple video podcasts with twenty-something kids talking about tech news. Sara Lane and Leo LePorte have hosted the show since shortly after the iPad was launched in April, 2010.

Sara and Leo talk about featured ipad apps (applications – computer programs), culled from the 40,000 or more apps available on iTunes. Since the ipad is so much more than an e-reader, conversation covers a wide range of topics.

Sara used to have a program segment where viewers sent in video clips of ipads spotted in the wild (used in public). That segment has been discontinued now as sightings have become quite common.

How common? Apple Computers reported it sold 14.8 million iPads in 2010 (released in April) and an estimate of sales for the first quarter of 2011 is between 5 and 8.8 million units. Apple dominates the computer tablet market with an estimated 80% share.

It’s truly “a computer for ordinary people,” a quote attributed to Steve Jobs. It’s no longer a celebrity prop and has gained widespread normal usage by ordinary folk. You can’t say eighty-five year old Queen Elizabeth II is “normal,” but she recently got her personal iPad after grandkids showed her how easy it was to use.

I’m smitten by the iPad. I rarely use my laptop now, having abandoned it for the more convenient tablet computer. I turn it on and it’s ready to use, unlike the 2-3 minute wait for the laptop to boot up. My tabletop computer is used only for writing articles and stories. Our iPad (wife Jackie claims it too) is for consuming the internet while my tabletop is for input.

I usually make 6 o’clock a.m. coffee and read the newspaper while it’s brewing. Then I grab the iPad to read email and check out Facebook to catch up on family news. Then I read Zite magazine, a personalized magazine that culls news articles from around the web. You might say that I read hundreds – well many – magazines and newspapers by reading my news aggregator Zite.

A long battery life allows our iPad to live on the coffee table where it is convenient at any hour. At night, I hog our iPad to check email, read Zite again, and maybe check out another aggregator Flipboard before handing it over to Jackie to play Angry Birds, solitaire or online games. Both of us use the iPad while half-heartedly watching TV.

Our iPad is a quality e-reader with a color 10-inch screen offering great e-book reading using the iBook app. However, since it is a multi-purpose tablet, the iPad supports the Kindle and Nook reader apps and other lesser-known readers.

Speaking of the Kindle and Nook, these dedicated e-readers are designed for one thing only – reading e-books. A departure from the multi-tasking iPad, dedicated e-readers feature low price, long battery life, and a paper-like display that is said to be easy on the eyes. They are smaller than the iPad, a feature that some people find appropriate.

Now back to spotting tablet computers in the wild. Just last week, while shopping in the Chocowinity Food Lion, a thirty-something lady had an iPad propped up in her shopping cart. I resisted the urge to run over and inquire of the app she was using.

Yesterday I saw the NBC News weatherman Al Roker, clad in waist-high rubber waders, standing in the flooded Mississippi River. Instead of paper notes, he held his iPad2 while proclaiming the weather. That ipad is now his sidekick, glued to his hand, a prop proclaiming his hipness!

This afternoon I accompanied Jackie to Wal-Mart to buy supplies for a trip to the beach. We are to meet with our daughter and her family for a weekend getaway following a business conference that her husband is attending in Charleston, SC. We seldom get to see the grandkids as they live on the west coast.

When we first entered Wal-Mart, there was a large display of summer patio furniture. A neat-looking woman was trying out a lounge chair while reading her Kindle e-book. She was obviously waiting for a companion to finish shopping. Her reader was enclosed in a somewhat shabby, well-used leather cover.

When we left the store half an hour later, the lady was still there, absorbed in her e-book.

Oh, times have changed!

Check out the Pamlico Writers Group Blog at pamlicowritersgroup.wordpress.com. You’ll find past newspaper columns there and you may leave your comments. I welcome your feedback.


About Pamlico Writers Group

This is a publication of the Pamlico Writers Group, created to help promote and advance writers skills along with expanding our groups membership and reach. Our aim on this site is to keep you our readers and participants aware of upcoming events. Topics covered during the year will be news regarding our annual Pamlico Writers Conference and Competition, co-sponsored with Arts of the Pamlico, discussion of and from our conferences, participants and group news. PWG's Steering Committee has finalized details for our 5th Annual Pamlico Writers Conference on March 17 & 18th, 2017 at The Turnage Theatre, 150 W. Main St., Washington, NC. This year's theme is "Words," Image and Story". Our Friday night keynote speaker this year will be Author, Teacher, Speaker, and Director of Lavenson Studios, Zelda Lockhart. For more information on Ms. Lockhart visit her website at: http://www.zeldalockhart.com/. For a complete schedule of Friday night and Saturday events, go to our website at: https://www.pamlicowritersgroup.wildapricot.org/. Be sure to check back often for more details of this and other events we have planned. The companion juried writing competition submissions opened on January 1, 2017. Winners are announced and an awards ceremony will be held during our Friday night Kick-Off Event. If you'd like more information on guidelines for entries, please go to our website: https://www.pamlicowritersgroup.wildapricot.org/ All registrations for both conference and/or entry into the competition will be made through our web site: https://www.pamlicowritersgroup.wildapricot.org/. Again, see site for complete details. Thank you for visiting! We hope to see you again soon. **If you are a writer interested in finding a critique group or other writers, we encourage you to come and join us. If you life at a distance please don't let that diswade you, we have several members who participate predominately on-line. Our meetings are the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 pm here in Washington, NC at the Turnage Theatre. We would love to hear from you regarding comments or ideas you have for the group. This blog is authored by members of our writer's group. Thank you for stopping by. See you soon, Kaylene Wilson Program Coordinator


One thought on “Tablets here, Tablets there!

  1. Oh you are so right…everyone is hooked in, and I am falling victim fast. Since Christmas we’ve accumulated all the I’s…it’s intoxicating and very distracting. All of them bing with each new posting which is mind boggling. The one thing I don’t want to have happen, and I see it with my children and grandchildren, is to be so mesmerized by all the data that I look like I am in a trance. I just want to look like I know what I truly don’t.

    Posted by adsilverthorne | May 11, 2011, 7:16 pm

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