I think we're in an era, tech-wise, in which we're each the proverbial "kid in a candy store." Every year - month - day - we find another potentially game-changing technological development. Sure, most don't prove earth-shaking or even revolutionary, but in the totality of all of these changes, we're finding our day-to-day lives altered so dramatically that a visitor from just a decade ago would be stunned.
I'm writing this blog entry on my iPad. After just a couple of weeks with the device, I can say that I haven't been this excited about a computer since my first Commodore computers, the VIC-20 and the 64. As I was when those computers were revolutionary, I'm constantly exploring the possibilities of the iPad - in how many different and diverse ways can I put the iPad to work? How can it make my life easier? How can it streamline my current work, and create new opportunities?
Of course, as always, it's never about the device - it's about how to use it as a tool to achieve your goals and ambitions. It's in that respect that I sometimes feel like a kid in a candy store - overwhelmed with all the wonderful choices and wanting to devour everything I see.
Unlike a candy in a candy store store, the more people that use a particular tool, the more applications for that tool are discovered. Hammers can be used to build a house, or repair a machine, or even as a weapon. They can even be used to check reflexes, or, in their nerf incarnation, to pound others over the head.
Many apps claim to improve your productivity - but the majority make a simple task more complicated than it needs to be. One of my favorite new apps is something called Infinote, which allows the user to type simple notes and post them on a "wall" of limitless proportions. You can group them and move them around as you wish, and color-code both the wall (you can several separate walls) and the post-its, but the that's the extent of the program. It's nothing more than a digital version of what had been an analog process - and you can carry it around with you!
Other programs create an entirely new system of idea processing that require major shifts in absorbing and processing information. Evernote allows the user, across their iPhone, laptop and iPad, to keep track of ideas, concepts, audio and visual elements and even recorded audio notations in notes that are kept, naturally, in 'notebooks.' It seems to be quite a popular app, but for my current needs, it seems like overkill.
It's easy to get carried away with the possibilities - and just the fun of the the thing (I cannot tell a lie, I've become an iPad gamer!). The candy store is big and getting ever bigger. I can gorge myself in the infinite variety - but if I really want to have a good time, I'll see how they've improved my old favorites...
Chocolate apps, anyone?