Friday, May 28, 2010

The Screen

The beautiful thing about the iPad is its screen. The screen is the wow factor: oooh, pretty!

But the nasty-yuk thing about the iPad is also its screen: 'wow' quickly turns to 'ew.' (see this Wall Street Journal story for more).

I still think it was a strange cheap-out for Apple not to include a chamois with the iPad. The iPhone comes with one -- even a pair of glasses from LensCrafters comes with one!

On a related note: Tried baking scones with a recipe from a cookbook on my iPad. Great recipe, but having to refer to the ipad for it didn't work so well. The recipe didn't fit on one screen, so I had to touch the screen to move through the recipe -- and the screen would dim periodically, so I had to touch the screen if I wanted to glance at the recipe again. Ugh. My iPad screen was not pretty by the time the scones went into the oven.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Verizon & Connection Issue

The iPad connects to wireless networks out in public (library, school, medical centers, park, etc.). The iPad connects to wireless networks in people who use Comcast as their ISP.

But the iPad wouldn't connect to my home wireless. This has been driving me batty. I've tried different tricks, and I've tried just TRYING over and over again (sometimes the 333rd time's the charm).

I called Verizon tech support today. After the obligatory penance of going through automated service menus, I got to tech support. He put me on hold. Came back and said he was sorry, but he couldn't help me, because while Verizon is aware that there's an issue with the iPad being able to connect to wireless networks run on Verizon service, it does not yet have a solution or any kind of tech support instructions for how to address it.

He suggested I call Apple. I said I wasn't sure that would help, since the iPad itself seemed to be working just fine and could connect to everything EXCEPT Verizon. If the problem is Verizon, how can Apple fix it?

He acknowledged that was a good question -- and that it must be frustrating not to be able to get service I'm paying for. He put his supervisor, Eli, on. Eli was also very apologetic, but, bottom line, he doesn't know what to do, either.

According to Eli, the issue was registered with Verizon tech support on April 6th. They've been trying to work with Apple since then to figure out what the issue is and how to fix it. He has no estimate for how long it would take to get to a solution, but promised to call once they had one.

I asked if it would be days or weeks, noting that if they'd been working on this for a month and didn't even have an estimate on how long it would take to solve it that things didn't look good. He said the lack of a solution was 'not acceptable' and he hoped it would be a matter of days. (What else can he say?)

At this point, both Verizon and Apple probably should -- to be fair -- tell anyone who wants to sign up for Verizon Internet service or who wants to buy an iPad that the two won't work together. If you want an iPad, you'll need a non-Verizon ISP at home. If you want Verizon ISP, don't put the money into an iPad if you want one for home use.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Applause where applause is due: the iPad is a very good video provider.

I was at a lecture this week and missed "Glee," so I bought the episode on iTunes & stored it on the iPad (where it can be found under Videos, not iTunes, just in case you're new to the whole i-world).

Watching "Glee" on the iPad is pretty wonderful, though maybe not as great as watching it on television -- what's missed is the shared experience, I guess. But I like knowing I've got the Madonna episode as a Glee-fix when needed!

I downloaded some yoga videos, too, and here the iPad beats the iPhone or the television. The screen is big enough to be able to see the instructor (an issue with the iPhone), and the device is so small that it can be moved from the bedroom dresser to floor to wherever you want to do tree pose or corpse pose or downward dog or....

Still no connection at home, though. I did connect to the UMPC guest wifi, so connection IS possible!

Monday, April 19, 2010



If I weren't already an iPhone fan, I'd be swearing off iAnythings forever. It's been one hitch after another with the iPad.

I should have called Verizon and tackled the connection issue in case they know some trick for getting their router to work with the iPad when the iPad's being recalcitrant, but I didn't have the energy.

I'd uploaded a movie directly onto the iPad, but then it wasn't there (because, I guess, it was on iTunes -- I don't understand that). So synced that up today except that I got about 50 error messages during the process: "The iPad cannot be synced. An unknown error occured [13014]." I just hit the 'apply' button to sync it again. And again. And again. And again.

Honest to God, can't tell you how many times.

Finally, the movie was on the iPad. It's a ghost icon: no name, no image. But if you click the ghost icon on the iPad screen, the movie does start to play.

I've turned off the iPad. I think we need a break from each other.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

iPad Apps

While I'm figuring out the home wifi connection issue, I'm downloading (uploading?) apps when I'm on a strong WiFi network. Interacting with the iPad's the way to move forward. iPhone apps will work on the iPad, but it's goofy -- just a little iPhone app in the middle of the larger iPad screen.

Step 1: Delete the iPhone apps that got loaded on to the iPad when I synched through iTunes. Resolve to (try to) not synch through desktop-iTunes anymore.

Result : (a) I've got about one screen full of iPhone apps that I'm going to keep around to see if I use them on the iPad. (b) I've got a screen (not full) of what I'm considering either reference or 'reserve' iPad apps: these are things like Settings, Contacts, iTunes, App Store, Maps, as well as Epicurious and Adobe Ideas and Connect (apps I haven't used yet so don't know if I'll keep them or if they'll be useful enough to move to page one). and (c) Padma's Home Screen (first one) has 20 apps that I think I'll tend to use most frequently: calendar, notes, NYT Editor's Choice, This Day, BBC News, Weather Channel, NPR, YouTube, MaxJournal, Words HD, Virtuouso, Bible, Dictionary, USA Today, Netflix, ABC Player, iMajJohng, IBooks, TweetDeck, and Brushes.

The bottom row of the screens all hold Safari, Mail, Photos, and iPod.

Step 2: Add apps. (See list above for the first round.) Reaction/quick review of apps will be posted in the comments on this post.

BIG FAIL: OK, to my mind, there's a big obvious gap here. Did you notice it? No Facebook app for iPad. I can get TweetDeck and access Twitter, but not Facebook. WTF? Colleges are making iPads the default technology for their students and Apple doesn't have a Facebook app? Is that an Apple fail or a Facebook fail?

Step 3: Add books. (See comments on this post for more on that.)

Step 4: Play.

WiFi Connection at Home and Outside

Still not working. We tried opening the wifi at home last night so it wasn't password protected anymore, and the iPad could still 'see' the network but wouldn't connect to it.


I did take 'Padma' out for lunch today. It's a pretty day, so I sat outside the Frick Fine Arts buildling. The 'reception' there wasn't strong (mostly one ring/bar), but Padma held on to the Pitt wifi connection there. I didn't have to find a new one or relog in or anything. So good for her!

But I will be happier once I can use this at home.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Further Aggravation

I love computers. I'm not afraid of computers. I kinda miss unix, but I loooove Apple products. My iPhone is the Best Gadget Ever.

But the iPad and I are not clicking. I took it home last night*, but couldn't get it connected to my wifi at home. It found the network, but kept giving me 'wrong password' error message when I tried to connect. Grrrr. I tried all kinds of different ways to write my password, thinking I'd forgotten a capital letter or had misspelled/mistyped. No dice. So maybe this is just me being an idiot about my password -- I'll find out tonight, when my son comes over with his iPhone and tries to connect to the network.

* I walked home, so the iPad was in an interoffice envelope and then inside my messenger bag. This worked out fine. It's not heavy, so lugging it in a messenger bag is not a big deal, and the interoffice envelope actually makes a very good case!