Sunday. Launch plus two days. I’m walking down Bourke St in central Melbourne when I pass JB HiFi. A single handmade sign stuck onto the wall states simply: “iPad. Here now”. Now some in my family accuse me of being a nerd, but the truth is that while I was aware of the iPad’s Australian lift-off on the Friday, I had forced it out of my mind. But hey, it was in store now. Better check it out, I thought. So down the escalators I go.
A special display pod had been set up for the Pad. It wasn’t hard to find: it was the one with the crowd around it. While banks of HP laptops and Acer netbooks enviously displayed all their slots, buttons and lights, it was the simply dressed new girl in town who every boy wanted to dance with.
Trouble was, every boy – and it was nearly all men and boys – in town seemed to be wanting a twirl with the new iPad and there was no room for me. I couldn’t get close enough to see her, let alone lay a finger on her touch screen.
I’ll wait, I thought, and casually left the store. Wandering further down the street I walked past David Jones – “iPad, here now” – and Myer – “iPad, here now”. And indeed the iPad was in both stores – surrounded by a crowds.
I’ll wait, I thought, and headed for home. Yesterday I walked past an Apple supplier – “iPad, here now”. This time I’ll surely have a chance to play with technology’s newest celebrity. It’s Tuesday morning, after all. Isn’t everyone supposed to be at work? Apparently not, for while I could actually see the slim new attraction this time, I still couldn’t touch it.
I’ll wait, I thought, and walked out with a plan to return later in the day. Which I did. Unfortunately, I returned just after school had finished and the iPads had been taken over iPod wearing schoolboys.
I’ll wait, I thought. And I did. Back in my day the time one spent dominating a computer game depended on how long you could make your 20 cents last (which was never very long in my case). But these things were free to play with. I had to inspect every product in the store before one of the juniors probably realised he was hungry and left.
Finally! I didn’t stay long, and I didn’t buy one, but my encounter was long enough for me to feel the weight, caress the shape and gesture all over the screen. I can’t review it for you – my date didn’t last long enough. But let me reinforce the words of others: this is the future of computing.
(Image Niall Kennedy)Print This Post