[LINK] iPad

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Fri Jan 29 09:34:35 AEDT 2010

stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:
> The Apple iPad specs look reasonably comprehensive ...
> http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs

Good to see Apple stuck reasonably close to the specification I wrote
for a "PADD" in 1996: <http://www.tomw.net.au/twadd3.htm>.

I proposed a device named after the devices in Star Trek, which was to 
be 176 × 250 x 10 mm. The Apple iPad comes close at 190 x 243 x 13 mm.

     "Personal Access Display Devices (PADDs) are ... the successor to
the primitive Personal Digital Assistants, notebook PCs, radio pagers
and mobile phones of 1996. ...

     Larger PADDs ... dimensions of a B5 sheet of paper, by 1 cm thick
... touch sensitive screen covering the whole upper surface, which is
also a high resolution (2000 x 2000 pixel by 16 million colour) screen.
All PADDs have video and audio built in and can operate as what a 1996
person would know as a mobile phone, radio, TV and video cam-corder. ...

     The QWERTY keyboard, in its virtual form is still in use for data
entry. ..."

However, in retrospect I think a smaller device with a screen about
twice the size of an iPhone would be better: the size of smaller PADDs
in Star Trek and the screen on the smaller Amazon Kindle. It would be 
about 125 × 88 mm: a passport (ISO B7) size device which would be easier 
to hold in one hand. Apple might be reluctant to make a device this 
small, as it would compete with the iPhone. Kept in a large pocket or 
handbag, it could be used as a phone via a Bluetooth device (resembling 
a Star Trek com-badge).

My prediction for resolution of the screen was a bit high at 2000 x 2000
pixels and the iPad lacks a camera. The prediction it would run Linux
was almost right, with the iPad using a version of Unix. But Linus
Torvalds has not got the Nobel prize yet:

I got the bit about online storage right: "Data is stored safely on
servers, either owned by the employee's company or a contracted service
provider. Data is downloaded as required over the network." My
prediction for processing power was a bit low: "equivalent to about four
1996 era Intel Pentium processors", but memory was far too low: "(64
megabytes) to hold the data the user needs immediately".

Apple are a bit late with the iPad as I predicted it would be released
in 2005. Some other predictions went better, with Senator Helen Coonan,
when Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
commenting on the telecommunications predictions:

One prediction which is now coming true, and the current government will
be less happy with, is that fibre optic cable to households will prove
uneconomic and be overtaken by wireless.

The bit about "Politicians have learnt to be careful about heavy handed
attempts at net regulation." is about to come true with the predicted
"Internet Party" forming as the Australian branch of The Pirate Party:

Tom Worthington FACS HLM, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Adjunct Lecturer, The Australian National University t: 02 61255694
Computer Science http://cs.anu.edu.au/people.php?StaffID=140274

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