While the last thing the world needs is another blog entry about a recently purchased iPad, I wanted to practice typing. My initial reaction to the keyboard was that I would never use my iPad for typing, but that has certainly changed. Now I am able to type reasonably fast without even looking at the keyboard. In fact it it is faster if I just trust my fingers and the autocorrect than it is to either hunt and peck or to look at the keyboard. Don’t get me wrong, I still look at the screen (and as a result i see that although autocorrect and auto caps are enabled, it does not capitalize the letter I when it should).
I have enjoyed having the WSJ to read on the commute into work, the scrabble game (iPhone version) to play, as well as various other games. Surprisingly, I have even been creating on my iPad, using dropbox and iAnnotate to put PDF files on my iPad so that i can annotate them and have them with me wherever I have my iPad with me, which means i need to get a better case to carry it around with me.
I am also using it to read books while commuting. However, I do not get as much book reading in as I did when I was using my Kindle. This is due to the fact that i do not have a good case for it and am not comfortable whipping out my iPad either on the subway platform or while standing in the train. That will probably not change, but one never knows.
I will be shocked if the iPad is not a staple electronic item for students. Having text books in pdf format, and being able to carry around all of one’s books on a small tablet will save the backs of many a poor student. Unfortunately, as with all technology, it is not affordable for everybody and it will separate the haves from the have nots even more. Some kids will have their books and the internet wherever they go, and others will not. Assuming the iPad kids use their devices for good and do not get distracted with the games, text messaging, etc., they will no doubt be learning more than their iPadless brethren.
I also can see the iPad generation being babysat by the device, with parents giving their children an electronic book like Toy Story, which can read aloud and turn pages automatically. It is better than the television for sure, but no doubt it is better to read in person than have a professional narrator do it for you.
I touch type over 100 words per minute when I really get going, but typically type at 80 words per minute. I was therefore assuming that I could never really type adequately on my iPad, and was frustrated enough at trying, that I nearly decided that I would resort to hunt and peck typing.
When typing on the iPad in landscape mode, I found myself struggling due to the fact that the “home” keys are not standard. On a standard keyboard, your right pinky rests on the semicolon, whereas on the iPad screen, your pinky would rest on the “return” key, as they moved the semicolon off of the main screen.
What this means to the touch typists among us is that you have to make sure that when you are hovering over the keyboard, the “GH” keys are visible between your index fingers, and not to place your pinky over the “L” as that key is typed with the ring finger. I knew something was wrong because I could only see the letter F whenever I tried to place my hands in the “home” position.
Once I figured this out, and made sure that the “GH” keys were visible (i.e., you don’t rest your index finger on those keys on a regular keyboard so you should not have them hovering over the virtual keys either), “touch typing” became a possibility. I still can’t really “touch type” without looking at the keypad, but I can type a lot faster than I could before, and faster than the hunt and peck method. Much faster.
When your fingers start to stray just make sure you position them so that the GH are clearly visible between your index fingers and start belting away!
Well, I’ve finally done it! I am going to be a father of boy this November, assuming the geneticist’s 75% certainty pans out as expected. This is going to be an incredible life-changing event and I am terrified by its implications. Fortunately, I have seen that others have done this before me, many with less intelligence, humor and resources than I am blessed with.
Obviously, this is going to put a crimp on our diving in the near future. But, I’ll never forget my first dive vacation, seeing the families with their children, and I hope that our baby grows into child interested in the underwater world. I just pray that there is life in our seas worth seeing in 10-15 years! I am sure it will seem incredible to the new diver, just as it was incredible to me (despite the fact that anybody diving for 20+years before my first dive, will tell me that the oceans were quite different when they started their adventures!).
I’ll keep the blog, and hope to get wet still, but I sense it will be a while….
This is One Daddy’s Perspective.