And, just like that, I’m making a second post in as many hours.
In short, he fancies it quite a bit. That is not at all shocking.
What is, however, is the amount of space he dedicates to the memory of Douglas Adams.
Early in the article, he recounts the joy in owning his first Mac (in fact, the second Mac sold in the UK. The first sold? Why, to Douglas Adams, of course), and how that user experience changed his relationship with computers. It made computers fun again, their use akin to playing with a shiny new toy.
He says about as much for the iPad – in many more words, perfectly and artistically ordered, of course. As an aside, I must admit a certain level of admiration for Fry’s writing style. Truth be told, the four page article can be boiled down to a preference for Apple products because they are fun to use, and that fun makes it easier to focus on the task at hand, rather than dwell on the fact that one is, in fact working.
It is his closing paragraph, however, that caught my attention the most- and solidified my own feelings on the nebulous device I’ve never laid hands on:
[For] me, my iPad is like a gun lobbyist’s rifle: the only way you will take it from me is to prise it from my cold, dead hands. One melancholy thought occurs as my fingers glide and flow over the surface of this astonishing object: Douglas Adams is not alive to see the closest thing to his Hitchhiker’s Guide that humankind has yet devised.
Indeed, this is what I’ve wanted to hear since day one. Yes, I’ve compared the iPad to the PADD, but at the back of my mind I’ve also thought of it as The Guide, as in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Not the book, but the plot device from which the books name derives.
The same can be said for both my iPhone, and my iPod Touch. And, of course, the iPod Video before that, or my Macbook, or my iMac. All of them designed to be inviting and warm, to exude a sense of calmness at the user, and – in general – be functional without requiring one to think too much about what it is one is trying to do.
I’ve promised myself that I’m not going to buy one of these things until I’ve had a chance to use it, to evaluate it, so make sure it’s what I think it is – and it can do what I need/want it to do.
But, I’m fairly certain that once those niggling doubts are satisfied, it shall become as ubiquitous as my towel: Always at my side, should I need it in a pinch to fulfill one of it’s many uses.