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April 12, 2011 - Dave Hecei
When Steve Jobs took the stage back on March 2nd, he stated that it was the beginning of the post-PC era. While this statement has been taken many ways, some good and some bad, it was a statement that from now on computing is going to change. There is one slight problem with the iPad; it is not a stand-alone device. But I think Apple has something up their sleeve.
The iPad, along with the iPhone, must be activated before using. This means that it must be connected to a computer, either a Mac or Windows PC, running the latest version of iTunes. If you are running Windows this should be a fairly trivial job, iTunes 10 runs on everything from XP to 7. If you are running a Mac there are a few things that you may have to do first.
First is the operating system. Macs run OS X and the new iPad 2 needs OS X 10.5.8 or better. If you are running Tiger (OS X 10.4) then you must upgrade before using the iPad. The latest OS X is Snow Leopard, also known as OS X 10.6. This can be purchased from the Apple Store, or other Apple retail outlets, for only $29. But be forewarned, Snow Leopard will only run on Intel based Macs. If you have a G4 or G5 Mac you are out of luck and must find a copy of OS X 10.5 Leopard. The problem is that OS X 10.5 is no longer for sale. Ebay is probably the best bet in finding a copy of 10.5.
Now that you have your Mac or PC updated with the latest software, you can now connect you iPad an activate it. The idea here is that you connect the iPad to a ‘base’ computer that acts as a transferring station and also as a backup device. When you connect an iPad to the base computer, the iPad displays it is syncing. The iPad will then backup its settings, any purchases of music, video, books, and Apps made on the device itself. It will then move synced items from the base computer to the iPad. These are things that you have selected to sync. This can be your photos, contacts, iCal calendar schedules, mail, and Safari bookmarks.
This transferring and syncing is all well and good. If you do this regularly, your information on your iPad will be safe and secure. The problem is that the iPad is supposed to be the post-PC era device. It is ideal for the person who doesn’t want to deal with the complexities of computers but wants to surf the web, email, chat, blog, and all those other things that PCs can do. This is where Apple may have the advantage.
Apple has a massive data center that they have been building in North Carolina. The main part was finished not too long ago, but it has not gone online yet. They actually decided to expand on the facility to increase its capacity. No one really knows, outside of Apple, what this facility is all about. What if this facility is for the iPad?
Think about it. The iPad is starting to revolutionize how people compute. No longer are they tied to a desk or even their lap. The iPad is thin, light, and powerful and can go anywhere. But it’s still has to be tied to a base computer.
Apple could take this massive data center in North Carolina and use it as your base computer. When you buy an iPad you it comes with a free account to the data center. You could then take an iPad home and over the air connect to the data center to activate it. Your account, which will likely be a multiple of whatever sized iPad you have, will store your music, videos, Apps, books, and such. It will also have your synced data – iCal, mail, contact, bookmarks, etc. If you buy a 16GB iPad you get a 32 or 64GB account. If Apple could do this, they would rule the Post-PC era – Advantage Apple.
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