Thursday, December 23, 2010

So what do you think of the iPad 1?

I have to refer to the current iPad as the iPad 1, since the version 2.0 will be out early in the second quarter of 2011. I have been playing with the the iPad 1 for a bit. It has some very cool features, but I don't think it's a real computer. It seems to be more of an entertainment machine. A nice entertainment machine, but is probably a very high end toy. I cannot imagine doing any serious work on it. The virtual keyboard is weak, like all virtual keyboards. I really like the "instant on" boot up!

I know that Mac loyalists(or maybe they are the Mac infatuated) will disagree, but really. I like being able to watch movies on the iPad (after downloading the free Netflix app). The display is very nice. I don't like that anything done in Flash does not work on the iPad. They do provide a delivered YouTube app to help get around this a little. Maybe this will improve in the future. Flash is everywhere, so this is a major flaw.

I think the associated audio is pretty good, as long as you are using good headphones or ear buds. Like all tablets and netbooks, the native audio is not good. I guess this goes with the territory.

There is only one interface port. Yes, one. The standard iPod type plug port. No standard USB interface. No network connection port. No camera, at least on the low end model.

I like the apps that come with the basic model (WiFi, $500), but you need an app for everything. You need to search for cool and useful free apps and pay for the others. Apple is great at keeping you on the hook. Mo money. I do like my iPod. I am sure you like your iPod, but it is a money pit. Anything to stay legal, I guess.

I can get used to Safari. I have used many browsers and this is just another flavor, but not bad. Nothing good, bad or otherwise to say about this.

I hear the new iPad will be lighter and have a number of improvements. Can't wait to see how it develops. I guess the real question is do I need a second or third device. I have a laptop, a netbook, and a SMART phone. So do I need this? I am not sure. The new world of tablets is just opening up. I would like to try the Samsung Galaxy to see if the tablet and the phone can live comfortably on the same device.

I am going to hold judgement on the iPad until I see the next version. Would I pay $500 for this version? Nope. How about you?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Digital Arts: Second Life for the Creative Arts

Let me start by saying that the creative are not dead, nor have they been. The second life that I am referring to is not the virtual world second life, although this is pretty cool. You can learn more about this at . Create an avatar and find or create yourself.

I am talking about the creative arts of film (documentary an entertainment) design, drawing, animation, web design, creative writing, music composition and recording, and broadcasting. The list could go on, but you get the picture. The big game changer for these disciplines has been that they are are almost 100% digital today. This means that the product is either entirely produced on a computer, is usually refined on a computer, and probably ends up on a computer when it is distributed.

Talk to a student in communications, art, music, english, or film today an you will find that they spend a great deal of time either in a computer lab, editing suite, or studio. This change was brought about largely by the Internet, although some may disagree. What it has done is take creative work off paper or tape and made digital. The finished work can be shared on social networking sites, personal resume pages, or anywhere other web venue. Distribution is easier and lets the every student publish their work. As an example, my last blog entry (although hardly viral) was read by almost 800 people with no marketing.

So what does mean for students? The creative opportunity is certainly there, as it has been. They can now show their work at little or no cost. The can collaborate with students at their campus or students/friends from anywhere in the world. They are also developing skills which are immediately applicable to the real world. Newspapers, television stations, advertising, and even political campaigns have moved to the web. They all have a message. They are all expressing that message using digital media, but are drawing from the skills of digital filmmakers, musicians, artists, web designers and others with digital skills. At last, an answer to the question "what can you do with a degree in ...." . Take a look at this rather busy page and think about how many messages are presented and what digital technologies are being used, Pepto.

This is all so new that even he students often don't connect what they are doing with the real world. I urge them to look at the web sites they visit, the movies they see, and the newspapers the read. All are actively using creating digital content. Many of the traditonal delivery systems are gone or are leaving the scene at a rapid rate. All are potential employers. There is a whole new world opened to these creative students. The really good news is that you can get in on the ground floor of this renaissance. It's there today. Investigate and pay attention.