I-Pad Lust

I’m not an Apple customer, but I confess I have I-Pad lust.

Having shlepped a laptop around for years to use in libraries, research venues, family reunions, or speaking engagements, more often than not I felt burdened by equipment rather than assisted by a handy tool. I have a far different sense about I-Pad.

I see I-Pad as a useful tool for researching in libraries, though I wish it had a camera for copying books pages or documents. I’m confident a future I-Pad will provide one. For now, this is a tool you still can take deep into the library stacks, or into the court house basement.

I also see the speedy I-Pad as useful when giving genealogy lectures. I try never to respond to a genealogy question without access to my database for an accurate reply. It’s tough keeping track of 5,000 cousins, even if you are brilliant. Having my database online, the I-Pad becomes a fast & handy response tool.

For writing books and articles, I’ve learned the electronic format differs from the print format greatly. e-Books fundamentally have changed the way I write, because of the way an e-book appears on the screen, and because of the way an e-book is read. Writing to the I-Pad increases clarity & communication.

I’ve always been a voracious newspaper reader and magazine subscriber. But I don’t like reading a computer screen in a dedicated seat. I firmly believe I-Pad is the newspaper’s salvation, as well as that of the magazine publisher, simply because the tool re-incarnates the use of a newspaper or magazine. Read it at lunch, or on the throne. Flip the pages. Set it aside. Pick it up again. It’s as easy as a newspaper or magazine. Just don’t line your birdcage with one.

What genealogist doesn’t have a library of old and new images, or document copies? Face to face with a cousin, sharing or show-and-tell always has been a problem. I-Pad solves that. Carry volumes of family photos anywhere you go. Pull them out anywhere, anytime. Pass them around. Try doing that with a laptop.

I believe this Apple tool is one to latch on to. Simply because of it’s capability and probability to change computing, and the computer’s use as we know it. Already Apple has discarded the physical keyboard for the virtual one. I’m sure one day very soon Apple will sell the ultimate mouse trap. And I can’t wait to play Exterminator!

Practically speaking, for the genealogist I-Pad is a tool sent from your ancestors, making it easy to stay in touch. Come on Charlemagne, send me an I-Pad now.

Meanwhile, is anyone working on an app where you can insert your ancestors in a game, and let your grandchildren play with those who came before?