When I was a little boy and got into trouble, my Dad would work the ‘discussion’ regarding my latest less than brilliant move, around to a point where invariably I would have to say ” I didn’t think…” hoping to add something like “…the window would be in the way”, or that “…the sink would overflow”, or “…the deck would catch fire”, but he of course would always cut in: “You didn’t think.” This always stopped whatever argument I may have been planning to initiate dead in its tracks. He always said this calmly, but pointedly. And, he was right; mostly I hadn’t thought about the outcome of my actions.

It’s taken me near a lifetime, but mostly today I do think about the result of my actions, and sometimes the actions of others too. So let’s think about the iPad.

Tons of words have been written about the iPad; tons and tons and tons of words. Mostly from the fans - the Mac people out there. We’ve all heard lots of praise, and lots about apps, and lots about Apple.

Now, I’m not a Mac person. Never was, ‘the attitude’ of the Mac clan got in the way. Especially the grown ups. And besides, when Wordnoise was bricks and mortar and I was working on PC’s, my co-studio worker Jarome swore at his screen (a Mac) as often as I did my PC screen - usually about once a day. That was over a good bit of time too. Recently though, Moyra let me play with her iPad. Its true; they’re just as cool as everyone says.

Over the years Mac has released lots of gear; some of it pretty startling in its grasp of the future. Those along with some duds of course, but at minimum Mac stuff has always been fashionable. On the PC side, not so much - kind of a tortoise and hare thing, with no finish line in sight.

The iPad though represents something a bit special I think. Something a bit deeper; a tiny shift has been orchestrated. The iPad represents a new way of thinking about how we interact with machines. We already rely on the net to give us answers: Need to know “Who won the F.A. cup in 1954?” and my friend Tony whips out his iPhone, and there it is. My wife’s BB answers the question just as fast - although for some reason less expensively! No, it’s not that aspect of the iPad’s release that’s innovative, it’s more than that. The iPad’s win isn’t so much in what it can do, but how we will interact with what we know it will someday do. We will change because a tool has been introduced that helps us to employ the resource more efficiently and more seamlessly into our lives. Wait for lightning to strike - strike a match.

Naturally, and like always, Mac has left out a ton of stuff on the iPad. Stuff they KNOW we’ll want; Mac gear has been doing that for decades. The apps will get better, friendlier, more expensive and will become more easily passé. The hardware will age and become obsolete more quickly than ever. The constant will be that for the moment, the latest iPad will be the coolest accessory one can be seen with.

The real magic though is that as the iPad gets out there, becomes more common place, less eyebrow raising, more ’oh that ’ol thing…’ in our lives, the more we will adapt it as a tool.  As we adapt tools, they get better; sharper, faster, and cooler. It’s not the greatest invention since fire, not by a long shot, but I think it will change things. Business, culture, sharing information, interacting with machines… all of it will change because this tool will change us. Like computers and then laptops and now… this.

When I was little I didn’t realize my Dad was inspiring the future. How could I know that his calm influence could reach out to Mac headquarters!! I didn’t even know he knew any of the guys who dreamed up stuff at Apple; but his lesson got through somehow because clearly, they did think.