Archive for April, 2011

Ipad 2–my impressions

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

You will have heard all the rave reviews of the new iPad 2.  I have admired Apple’s technology and design from  afar for years now.  There have always been reasons why something else suited my needs better, but you have got to love those sleek lines and the sheer class of the whole design.  Blackberries have better suited my phone needs, I’ve used cheaper mp3 players and the facility on my phone.  However, as someone who is interested in change, it is impossible to ignore how much Apple have changed the game by their entry and design philosophy.  There seems to be an app for everything these days and the sheer imagination of some of them is incredible.  I saw one the other day which when you played it a snippet of a song, it not only identified it, but offered you the chance of buying it.  You can control you home music system, program your Sky box from afar, navigate your walks with a an OS map and so much more!  I won’t say that I wasn’t fascinated and just a little envious of this virtual toy store. 

The whole tablet pc phenomena has been very interesting and as someone who was an early adopter of a netbook, this seemed the next step in the journey of personal and mobile computing.  I’ve been (uncharacteristically) waiting on the side-lines to jump into this area and decided that Apple seemed to have got a sufficient strategic advantage that this might be the best opportunity for me to try both this form factor and their product for the very first time.  That is the rationalisation… if I’m honest, I also fancied playing with a shiny new toy and this seemed the brightest and shiniest in the store.

I got it on Saturday, and was slightly surprized by actually being able to get hold of one as I had found almost none available previously.  I picked it up for list price at Argos, who delivered it here free.  As a total iPhone novice I had no idea how to drive this but managed to set it up reasonably easily and was able to import my contacts and calendar from Outlook which was essential for me.  It picked up my wifi easily enough, so far so good.  I love the clever engineering of the smart cover that grips the side by magnets and also doubles as a stand. 

You don’t need me to tell you about the clever apps, which I only partially explored.  I had in mainly to enable web browsing and email plus the chance to find other uses (such as watching movies and listening to catch-up radio.)  I was very surprised, and not in a good way, with how often I needed to touch the screen to make it do what I wanted.  Quite often it would take 3 taps to make it work.  I totally own up to not mastering the system, but even so, it didn’t seem sensitive or accurate enough for me.  I was very impressed by the quality of the onscreen keyboard but unimpressed with the spell checking and editing options.  I found it almost impossible to get into the middle of a word to edit a mistyping.  This was  a big issue for me if I wanted to use it for email etc.

I can totally endorse its status as a beautifully made toy.  I can understand why people fall in love with it.  However, for me it was too expensive for what it offered, so I’m sending it back, and here a little plug for Argos, who made this totally effortless.  I’m sure many of you will disagree but I really wanted to fall in love with this beautiful model, but seeing her in the morning with no make-up changed things…

Event or Process

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

I listened to Liam Fox, the secretary of state for defence, talking on Saturday talking about Libya.  He said “If you don’t allow Change to to be a process then it becomes an event.”   Which I took to mean that if Change wasn’t a continuous thing then all of energy slowly builds up until it explodes in something like the revolt that is happening there now.  I think that this is also valid for business and in our own lives.  If we don’t allow Change to be part of how we live and work then the changing of the gears is much more uncomfortable and perhaps is one reason why people tend to hate Change.

The thing is that if you stop on your journey, then getting going again takes much more energy.  You need to regularly reviewing if what you are doing is working and if you are on track to get what you want, and indeed, if you still really want it!  It is easy to just keep on doing what you have always done, only to realise that what you get is no longer the right thing…