I can smell a rat.  Humour me while I try to find it.

The iPad.  It looks very nice.  In fact, despite the mumblings of the nay-sayers, I think I’d like to have one.  I don’t even mind that it doesn’t multitask.  I wish it did, of course, but I’m a geek.  Most people don’t really care about browsing the internet, e-mailing, editing a photo and playing Super Whambot Massacre IV simultaneously; provided that they can switch from one to another quickly I suspect that most people won’t notice if those apps aren’t actually running in the background.

I’ll go further.  I think that the iPad might end up being the replacement for the Mac.  Think about it.  It doesn’t even matter that you can’t write software on it. In the very early days of the Mac you couldn’t write software either.  You needed to buy another, vastly more expensive, system (Lisa) running the Mac development kit to do that.  Substitute iPad for ‘Mac’ and Mac for ‘Lisa’ and that’s exactly what you need to do today.  The Mac won’t disappear tomorrow, or even next week, but one day it will – and the iPad is its replacement.

What I can’t abide, though, is being in thrall to Apple for all my software.  I don’t want to get everything from the app store, DRM’d to the hilt.  I don’t want to be told that I’m not allowed to run an emulator, or that I must pay a subscription for the privilege of writing software – even free software – for their system.  One day, I suspect, Apple plans for us to get all our content, software, media, the lot in this manner.  And that isn’t just unacceptable, it’s a very big rat indeed.

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