It’s difficult, nearly impossible I’d say, to write a review of the iPad and say things that haven’t already been said over and over again.
Yes, I’ve got an iPad. I’ve bought a 16GB model from the United States (Apple Store of Charlotte, to be exact) and imported it to Italy using the UPS Express service. It took 2 days for it to arrive and be cleared at customs. But anyway, I’ve got an iPad.
Let me state this straight up: it is magical indeed. But in a way that it doesn’t do anything revolutionary or out of this world - it’s the realization. The “how” it does things and makes you feel home right after 10 minutes you’re using it.
I could focus this article on the technical specifications and features it has. At this point, I think it’s best for me to keep this personal, and talk about the story with the iPad so far.
The Story, Part I - Coffee’s For Closers
It was a cold, fresh morning when I woke up and knew that that was gonna be a great day. It took a while to get out of the bed and properly open my eyes, but I definitely wanted to wake up - that day was going to be a very important day for the geek in me. I had my usual cup of coffee, it felt better than usual. Oh that’s why, new coffee. Nice. The Macbook was already, and of course, open with Dropbox that had been running all night and it was clearly asking me to be closed. I closed it, and I opened Mail. Lots of new messages, but the one I wanted wasn’t there. I fired up Dashboard, slowly moved my eyes to the Delivery Status widget. Something wasn’t right.
Dammit. They told me it was going to be delivered today. I had another cup of coffee. Yes, I get a lot of it in the morning.
I tried to calm down, I needed to find a solution for that. If they told me it was going to be delivered today, then today it must be. For God’s sake, I’m a good person. I pay taxes and haven’t killed anyone (yet. Maybe.), I deserve a proper shipment. Thing is, I didn’t really understand that problem. How could a package possibly be stuck in Venice, without status updates from the night before, when it barely takes 7 hours to drive from Venice to Viterbo? Hell, they should be carrying it by hand.
It was a fresh morning outside, one of those mornings when you can go out and breathe just to feel cold air stabbing your lungs. I stood inside, pondering the next move in front of my Macbook pretty much like Napoleon staring at a map of Waterloo.
Of all the solutions I could have thought of in that moment…of all the greatest ideas a human mind could possibly have…
I decided to call my mother.
Perhaps we should skip this point, but I think it’s quite functional to understand the whole story. Maybe not, but my mother surely played an important role that day.
“Mom it’s me”
“Morning honey! How have you -“
“We have a problem.”
“Well me actually, something’s wrong with the shipment. It looks like it’s stuck in Venice, but it should be here by now. I can’t see any update on the website.”
“Website? Wasn’t it delivered by truck?”
“Mom. The website is for tracking the package. They’ve been doing this stuff on the internet for years now.”
“Oh whatever. You’re the expert here.”
*drinking some more coffee*
“So? Am I supposed to do anything for this thing? Isn’t it the tablet iPhone you bought in the US?”
- yes, she called it a “tablet iPhone” -
“You can call the UPS guys for me and ask them about the shipment. I can barely talk now (yeah, I need some time in the morning to start talking), please call them. I’ve just send you an email with the tracking number of the package. Call them and let me know if everything’s right or we…I really have a problem. Ok?”
“Did you put smilies in the email?”
“I’ve just found out that I can put those tiny yellow things in messages! They’re cute!”
“Yes I’ll call them. I’ll let you know in 5 minutes”
“Ok, thanks. Later.”
My mother isn’t exactly the techie type. Sure she knows how to use her cellphone, but she didn’t know anything about Google or MSN until a few months ago and she still doesn’t understand what a blog exactly is. For this reason, and because I’ve also tried to keep an arrogant and tech savvy attitude with people, I’m often referred as “the expert”.
I like it.
But please let’s keep this between us. Also, I still can’t understand why I called her. I guess it’s just the first person that came in my mind in that moment, and I needed a person to help me figure out that mess.
Have you ever had the longest 5 minutes ever? One could do a lot of things in five minutes. Think about it: you could kill someone you hate, have sex, sing your favorite song, walk the dog and hook up with some girls just because you have a cute dog. One could do so many things in just five minutes I wonder how many 5 minutes we waste everyday just because they seem like brief and useless amounts of time.
Me? I did nothing in those five minutes. I just stood completely focused on nothing staring the dog sleeping on my bed. Motherfucker’s got style when he sleeps. But boy I did wonder about what I was supposed to receive that day.
I’ve been thinking about the iPad since the day Steve walked up on stage and take it out in front of hundreds of people. Yeah, the iPad I mean. That shiny, large screen captured my attention as I saw it, and after a brief demo of what the device was capable of I was hooked. And thrilled. But most of all, reading what people had to say after trying it with their hands really got me into that iPad thing, and the doubt that - yes - I needed something that stood in the line between the Mac and the iPhone started to grow on me. I needed to hold the internet in my hands, and maybe they were right to say that half the things I used to do with my Macbook could easily be done, in a better and newer way, on an iPad. I had to order one.
And so I did. Some weeks after Apple launched the pre order option, I saved some money and ordered a 16GB model. The one I was patiently waiting for. That magical piece of hardware.
I can barely describe the minutes that followed my mom’s second call. To sum up, it turned out that while I was waiting and drinking coffee staring at the screen of my Macbook, the iPad was actually in my town waiting inside a box at the UPS Store. The damn UPS guys just forgot to update the delivery page and communicate to the server that they received the package from Venice.
I put my clothes on, had another quick coffee and drove to the UPS Store. It was there, it was real. I didn’t open it, I decided to put it in the backseat. I drove back to my house. I tweeted. I opened it.
Then something changed.