iPad: 30 days in

30 days ago, I broke down and bought an iPad.

I know, I’ve ranted and raved against Apple’s unfair closed-source system. And yes, I hated the shopping experience my first time out.

But lugging around my netbook + my Nook so I could read books and check email and read pdfs and read The Economist online started bugging me. Doubly so when I realized there were some ebooks I could only get from the Kindle store (damn you, DRM!), but neither my Nook nor my netbook could read Kindle books (Linux, it so happens, is the one platform Amazon’s Kindle software doesn’t run on). So I had to read Kindle books on my phone (Android), Barnes and Noble books on my Nook, and pdfs (Linux Journal - why do you guys cling to the old pdf format?) on my netbook.

Needless to say, this drove me batshit after a while.

So I trudged down to the Apple store to try out the iPad again.

And guess what? My experience was much better this time. There was plenty of software installed on the demo units for me to try out. The staff answered all my questions, and actually seemed to care about selling me one.

I picked one up, and after 30 days I don’t miss the Nook or the netbook at all.

I can read all my books, from every store. I can push my pdfs into DropBox and read them with GoodReader. I’ve even started jotting down notes for a few short stories in Elements, again using DropBox to sync up the files between my Nook and my desktop.

Oh, and I’ve also picked up a few games. Plants vs Zombies HD is almost worth the price of admission on its own.

Can I program on it? Nope. Is it annoying that iTunes can’t play my .ogg files? Hell, yes.

But you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands before I’ll give it up.

Ron Toland @mindbat